Let the kids lead the way

November 6, 2008 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Children's Classes | Leave a comment

In my Elementary age classes I do a lot of speaking exercises. One of my favorites is to have the students make a partner and create a dialogue. I build up to this by first having them make a partner and instructing them on what questions to ask such as, “what’s your name? how old are you?” Once they are comfortable with this, I ask them to decide on their own questions. If they are advanced students I tell them they can’t ask name and age, because its too easy.

I usually tell them that they each have to ask their partner at least 3 questions. Next I let them practice, and they have to have the conversation in front of the class.

Student Leaders

After doing this exercise for awhile, I have noticed a few things. The stronger student in the pair always helps out their partner, and in essence teaches them. Also, the kids come up with questions that I never would have thought of. This is real language happening. It’s not me the teacher telling them what to do, its the kids leading themselves and maybe going beyond where I thought they could go.

Set up, step back

Basically what I am doing here is setting up the scenario and stepping back to let the students creatively make their way. Its so simple, and I think many break throughs can happen with the students when they see they have the confidence to speak on their own.

If you have had any similar experiences, please leave a comment and let us all know.


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