Home > Conference, Teaching > More from the talk…

More from the talk…

The other activities mentioned in the talk are:

Five senses – Oral exam questions such as ‘describe’ and ‘compare’ naturally lead candidates to say ‘In the picture I can see….’ . Candidates do not often use the other senses and thinking about them and pictures can help fill the minute of so that candidates are required to talk. It also helps make what they have to say more colourful and therefore more likely to impress. Therefore when asking students to describe a picture, ask them to think about what they can ‘hear, smell, taste and touch’ along with ‘see’.  To take this even further encourage the students to consider what the picture reminds them of (e.g.. school trips to farms) and what they might like or dislike about the picture (e.g. I don’t like farms because they smell)

Back-story – This helps students with their imagination and gives them extra things to talk about.  By back-story, I mean what is the person like outside of what you can see in the picture?  For example in slide 20 from the talk, there is a woman on a farm. How old is she? Does she live on the farm?  Is she married? Is she a farmer? If students learn to think outside the box they automatically have more to talk about and can be more descriptive e.g. the difference between “In the picture I can see a woman with a lamb’ compared to ‘In this picture I can see a woman who looks about 25 years old, she is probably a farmer as she is feeding a lamb.  This is similar to ‘Who, what, why, where, when, how’ from the talk, this is where I encourage students to internally think of questions about the picture which they then answer aloud. For practice in class challenge the students to come up with as many questions about a picture as possible (remember the aim of this exercises is not accurate question production so don’t get carried away correcting any ‘wrong’ questions or the focus of the lesson will change from speaking to grammar). Students then share their questions trying to answer as many of them as possible.

Categories: Conference, Teaching
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