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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 5; Issue 2; March 03

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A Baker's Dozen of miscellaneous Activities for Mid-teens and up

Seth Lindstromberg

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For the past couple of years I have been compiling for Cambridge University Press a multi-author collection of language learning activities for students aged 11-16.

The working title is Language Activities for Adolescent Learners.

Contributors, besides me, the major authors of activities are David A. Hill, Hanna Kryszewska and Tessa Woodward, with valuable contributions also from Judit Fehér, Jean Harper-Rudiger and Bonnie Tsai.

The chapters of the book are:

  1. Maintaining discipline in the classroom (including a section on Peer Mediation)
  2. Short auxiliary activities: ice-breakers, warm ups, breaks and closers
  3. Mainly Speaking
  4. Mainly Listening
  5. Mainly Reading
  6. Mainly Writing
  7. Vocabulary—learning and reviewing
  8. Literature
  9. Building the skills of discussion and debate.

Hopefully, it will be on the market sometime near the beginning of 2004.

To follow are 13 activities of mine which did not happen to make it into the book owing to some lack of versatility when compared with the 99 activities that I did choose for inclusion.

I should add that—

--A couple of the activities that follow may be original with me, but the rest are re-workings of ideas I have learned from other teachers in years gone by.
--Penny Ur, the CUP general editor had a considerable hand in making the following activities more readable than they had been before…but she is not responsible for any infelicities that may have crept in since she last looked at them.

Ice-breakers, warm-ups, breaks, closers
Ice-breaker flash cards
Jumbled spelling
My name at the airport
How long have you had it?

Picture letters

Vocabulary in phrases, awareness of mnemonic techniques
Song title memory challenge

Reading, some speaking
Many texts

Reading, lots of speaking
Wide-view jigsaw reading
Maps of stories, stories from maps
Circle the episodes
Story stepping stones

Writing from video
Third conditional practice

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