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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 2; Issue 5; September 2000

An Old Exercise

Five bloody good meals

Are there some exercises that are "old" in your personal repertoire of techniques? Is there a particular sequence that you used to use and re-use 5 years ago that you can now barely bring back to mind?

Here's a an activity that I learnt from Ron White of Reading University back in the mid-eighties and that I used intensively for about five years. Why didn't I use it in the nineties and over the last nine months?

  1. With a class of any level from elementary to advanced tell them that you want them to bring to mind 5 different memorable meals they have been involved with ( organised, shopped for, cooked, eaten etc )

  2. Tell them of two memorable meals you remember yourself as this will give them time to half listen to your stories while bringing their own to mind.

  3. Pair the students. They each describe five meals that were special in some way.

  4. Tell the students to re-pair and re-tell two of the meal stories their first partner told them.

  5. Each student now writes the meal story that most appeals to them from the 5 they have told and the seven they have heard.

  6. The stories go up on the wall and the students go round and read them

Thank, you , Ron White.
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