One size fits all: Two activities that transcend level and age

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Chris Wharton, CES English School


Finding a successful classroom activity is a blessing for most ESL/EFL teachers; finding one that works across proficiency levels and age groups is a godsend. This paper details two such activities. The first activity uses a simple word game as a gateway to a much deeper process involving vocabulary development, spelling, sentence formation, paragraph cohesion, and creative story telling. The second activity makes use of the students’ first language (L1) and encourages translation from the second language (L2) to the L1, and back again. Although the use of the L1 in the classroom is a contentious issue, it is felt that back translation raises students’ awareness of the possibility of expressing the same meaning in various ways. Both activities were used successfully with very different groups of students: elementary school students, college students, and advanced EFL adult students. English teachers who can find activities like these will find their planning to be more efficient and their classes to be more effective.