The beginning of a new class is a good time to a global review of the tenses and forms that you will be studying during the coming course. The idea of this exercise is not to intimidate the students, nor to have them learn everything in one go. Most students will have already studied most of these forms and the following year serves to improve and build upon the set of English skills that they have already acquired. The following conversation exercises serves the double purpose of introducing students to each other and getting them to converse from the get-go, as well as reviewing the basic tense structures that they will be working on during your course. This spoken exercise can also work well as a means of review. For lower-intermediate or false beginners.
Aim: Introduce students to each other while introducing/reviewing a wide range of tenses
Activity: Interviewing activity in pair work
- Ask students to break up into groups of three or four and write down the names of all the tenses they can remember including an example for each tense. You may want to help them as this exercise is just a way of introducing structures that they will be working on during your course.
- Talk quickly about the structures that are mentioned. You may also want to write the names of the tenses on the board so that students can refresh their memories.
- Ask students to get up and find a partner.
- Have the students take short one or two word notes on the questions from the first worksheet. Students don't need to write full answer notes, but should focus on replying in full sentences to the questions asked by their partners.
- Once students have completed the task, ask them to quietly read through the notes they have taken about their partner.
- Have students get up again and find another partner. Distribute the second worksheet and have them answer questions about their partners. Once again, students don't need to write full answer notes, but should focus on replying in full sentences to the questions asked by their partners.
- Make sure to point out that this exercise is intended to remind them of what sort of elements go into using English (i.e. tenses in this case) and that you will be taking your time going through all the points so quickly covered in this lesson.
- After you have finished the exercise, have a class discussion about the differences between the first person I and third person he, she (i.e. 's' on third person singular, etc.)
Questions for your Partner
- Why are you learning English?
- When did you last have an English lesson?
- What do you do?
- How long have you had your job?
- What do you like most about your job?
- What do you like least about your job?
- Where do you live?
- How long have you lived there?
- Can you describe your house/apartment?
- Are you married?
- Can you describe your family?
- Where did you go on your last holiday?
- What did you enjoy about your last holiday?
- Where would you like to go on your next holiday?
- What are your favorite hobbies?
Questions about your Partner's Partner
- Why is he/she learning English?
- When did he/she last have an English lesson?
- What does he/she do?
- How long has he/she had his/her job?
- What does he/she like most about his/her job?
- What does he/she like least about his/her job?
- Where does he/she live?
- How long has he/she lived there?
- Can you describe his/her house/apartment?
- Is he/she married?
- Can you describe his/her family?
- Where did he/she go on your last holiday?
- What did he/she enjoy about his/her last holiday?
- Where would he/she like to go on his/her next holiday?
- What are his/her hobbies?
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