Language Play, Language Learning Part Two

by Sophia Mcmillan
(Shane Training Centre, Shane Corporation)

Language Play, Language Learning Part Two



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Procedure: Give the learners some examples of the simile pattern and show them how they rely on alliteration, imagery or cultural reference to create their full effect. Explain that although there are many fixed expressions, new forms are also being invented all the time.

Give the learners a list of adjectives and ask them to create their own similes. They can compare their answers in small groups, choosing the best alternatives before reporting back to the whole class. If you want to add an element of competition, you can get the learners to vote on the most expressive or original answers. They can then compare their answers to any standard forms that exist (this is useful passive knowledge and can help to highlight interesting cultural similarities/differences).

Advertising Slogans (Adv)

Advertising slogans are everywhere. They are also among the most memorable pieces of language.

Procedure: Give the learners an advert from a newspaper or magazine that includes a well-known slogan. Have them discuss how the slogan reinforces the overall marketing and placement of the company. Give them some products to market (obvious examples would be the school where you are working, or a textbook or dictionary that you use) and explain that their task is to think of a slogan for the product and an image/short text to go with the slogan.

The activity can be made more challenging by having the learners to role-play the part of advertising executives who must then present this campaign to their clients (you/the rest of the class).

Alternative Realities (Young Learners)

Young learners can often learn and forget quickly, and so their lessons feature lots of drilling and repetition. However, it is important to give an opportunity for them to use language more freely and creatively.

Procedure: Use the text/own materials to introduce and practice the relevant structures e.g. animals, “it has …” Then explain that the children are explorers in the jungle who have each found a marvelous new animal which they are going to describe (and draw). The easiest way to explain this is to demonstrate it using your own example ('Where am I?' 'In the jungle.' 'I can see an animal. It's a very strange animal... etc). If you cannot draw, so much the better, because anything the children produce will be better than your picture. Allow the children sufficient time to think of a fantastic animal and describe it. You can also ask the children to name their animals.

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