Monday, February 11, 2013

Advanced Level activity in the Virtual Classroom!

One of my hall-of-fame activities for advanced level learners of English in the virtual classroom is on 'giving opinions'. The following is a description as to how the class session usually goes.  I always start a lesson with some type of small talk activity and normally will have a picture up that might generate some discussion such as the one below.
Then, we go into the activity.  I usually go through phrases that people need for giving opinions using a powerpoint slide and/or illicit the phrases from the student, depending on the level of the student.  Then I bring up a slide where the student can mark whether they agree or disagree with the statement that I am saying.  The student practices listening by listening to my statement and then they will explain their opinion, which allows them to practice speaking.  The following are some of the statements I might use:

1.  It is difficult to have a successful family life and a successful career.  One has to choose one or the other.
2.  Video games are the cause of violence in our societies.
3. It is okay to smoke while pregnant during the first trimester.

I, of course, tailor the statement to the student's needs and will use business topicss or general topics based on the student.  The student will mark on the whiteboard and then the group will discuss the issue.  It is really fun with groups as there might be a lot of differing opinions.  With a one-to-one student, this activity might last more than one week depending on how much the student likes it.


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