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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 4; Issue 2; March 02

Lesson outlines

1. Using Rembrandt Self-portraits ( secondary and adult)

Herbert Puchta, Austria

Preparation: Have ready copies of a self portrait of Rembrandt as a young man and a self portrait of Rembrandt as an old man. You need to be able to give one of each to each pair of students.

  1. Pair the students and give each a copy of each portrait.

  2. Tell the students to decide who, in each pair, should role-play the young Rembrandt. This student sits with the portrait in front of her and answers the questions her partner asks her.

  3. After a 10 minute roleplay the questioner assumes the role of the old Rembrandt, while the other becomes the interviewer.

  4. Ask each student in the pair to roleplay the Rembrandt she has not yet been.
    The two Rembrandts now have a conversation.

2. From Declarative to Interrogative to Negative
(secondary and adult)

Mario Rinvolucri. UK

Preparation: re-write part of the coursebook reading passage in this way:

    all declarative sentences become interrogative
    all interrogative sentences become negative
    all negative sentences become declarative
  1. Give the re-written passage to the class and ask them to re-write it this way:

      all interrogative sentences become declarative
      all negative sentences become interrogative
      all declarative sentences become negative

    Put the rules up on the board. Tell them to keep their coursebooks shut.

  2. Group the students in threes to check their re-writes.

  3. Ask them to check with the book.

3. New Versions of "Simon says"
(primary, secondary, adult)

Isobel Williams, Germany

  1. Get the students all up on their feet.
  2. Explain that you are going to give them some physical orders. They only obey you when the order ends in PLEASE

    One step forward, please ( anybody who does not obey is out of the game)
    Step back! ( anyone who does obey is out )

There are many other versions of the Simon says game.

When you say to the class : Simon says…. they obey you
" " " " " " Slow says…… they obey you but very slowly
" " " " " " Quick says ……… they obey you very fast
" " " " " " Inside-out says…….. they do the opposite action

When you give a straight order, they do nothing.

( editorial note: I feel elated when someone comes up with a powerful variation and enrichment of game I have dumbly felt is fixed for ever, like Simon says….)