Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Teaching Unplugged Activity - “Predicting the original text”

One of the course books that I use for my conversation classes has really simple paragraphs and dialogs, and I think that it's a little boring to read them out loud in class. However, the information that they present is really helpful for solidifying the lexical terms in the chapter.

So, with this in mind, I decided to try an activity based on the “Predicting the Original Text” activity on page 58 of Teaching Unplugged. The text was a collection of three short monologues, where people were talking about their pay and benefits at work. I wrote the first sentence of each (something like, “Hi, my name is John Smith, and I work at a bank”), just to give students an idea of what type of person was there, and then I told them that the text was a short paragraph where the person talked about his or her pay and benefits. I also wrote some helpful vocabulary words on the side, and told them that these words were in the text somewhere. We quickly talked about the meaning of the words, and then they were off.

The activity went pretty well, and since the texts were so simple, the students were able to predict them fairly accurately. We took a minute at the end to look at the differences between the student guesses and the real text, and to see if the difference were “wrong” or just “different.” With a different text, the activity could have been more interesting, but all in all, this activity met the goal I had for it: to present a more interesting way to deal with the text containing the chapter vocabulary.