Lessons Learned – New Horizon 3 – Speaking +1/+2 – Would you like to party?

Would you like to party?

15 to 20 min

An individual activity that gets the class up, moving, and speaking English.

The New Horizon books have a dedicated speaking section at the end of each unit called Speaking+. The short model conversations are generally dry and a little awkward although they do adequately explain the grammar point. This activity is designed as a warm up or a review to go over “Would you like…?” grammar and engage in a speaking exercise. The target sentence for this activity is:

“Would you like to come to my party on (day of the week)?”
“Yes, I’d love to.” or “I’m sorry, I can’t I have to (activity).”

Many of the students at Japanese schools can translate sentences without any difficulty but forming their own sentences and speaking them is a whole different ball game. If you are just looking for lots of ideas or this one doesn’t suit your needs, JHS Englipedia project has a healthy collection of activities for this grammar point and similar ones.

Purpose: Use “Would you…?” grammar to generate their own sentences without a written prompt.

Secondary Purpose: Get the students speaking!!

I have done this activity with 5 different classes, my wife has done it 3 classes, and we found it to be successful in all of them. I did have to modify the plan a little bit with one class that typically under performs. The larger the class the better with this activity. The success of this activity hinges on large portions of the class being forced to use a negative response thus giving more chances for the students to practice the speaking parts. I also made sure to fill out my own sheet with the class so that I could participate and ensure they were using English.

Prep: One of the best parts about this activity is that requires ZERO prep work. Print out the sheet and make some copies. If you have really nice JTE’s they will usually copy it for you. Don’t forget to hole punch.

PDF:Would you like to party activity
PPTX:Would you like to party activity

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 7.13.57 PM

Execution: After handing out the worksheet (one for each student) I ask the students to put a line through two days. I do this by drawing a large version of the worksheet on the board and putting a line through the blank space on Wednesday and Friday (or whatever days you want “free”). Next I have them fill in one day with the word “PARTY!!!” Then have the students mark off the remaining 4 days of the week with any activity. I try to give funny examples on the board but I encourage them to generate their own. The most common ones I saw were; “sleeping,” “playing a sport” and “playing games.” You don’t need to review activities just make some suggestions and then set them lose on their paper. I gave them about 3 to 5 minutes to fill out their calendar. Also if your class is very low level allow them to write the activities in Japanese or katakana but stress that they must use English during the speaking portion.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 7.20.05 PMWalk down the rows to ensure that everyone understood the directions and that they have their work sheet properly filled out. I then modeled the conversation with the Japanese teacher in the classroom. It is important that  both teachers have visible calendars so the class can see the logic flow of the exercise. Once you have performed both dialogue options as a model the remaining time in the activity (5 to 10 min) is spent by seeing which student can get the most people to come to their party. Ask the students to stand up and move about the room trying to find compatible calendars by using the grammar point. Offer a reward for the winner or top three students.

As a more in depth alternative have them leave 4 days free and only fill up 3 days with activities (one day for a party and two for other activities). Once a student has agreed to attend another student’s party they are now booked on one of their free days and must respond in the negative if another student asks about that same day. “Sorry, I can’t I have to go NAME’s party.”

For your lower level classes use a work sheet that has the target sentence on it. For higher level classes, try and force them to do it without the written prompt and using only the calendar. If you want the exercise to take a little a longer you can also have them decide what kind of party they are having. Give them 5 minutes to fill in their calendar but not much more or you will lose the class.

If done right, voila! The whole class will be up and out of their seats and speaking English! Try and make it a point to circulate the classroom and engage them with the model conversation. Also watch out for groups of students that just come together to chat. Go bust that up by English-ing at them until they move on. 🙂

A final thought: I genuinely thought this activity would take a lot longer than it actually did. When I first brought the idea up to the teacher I said it would take 30 minutes. I was way off. If you have a bright class and they get the idea right away you can really trim this activity down to 10 minutes and use it as a warm up. I think this format is a great shell for just about any of the Speaking+ activities in the New Horizon textbooks. Typically the teachers use Speaking+ as a chance for memorization practice and then reciting the dialogue in front of the class. While that is fine as an activity it doesn’t give the students a chance to generate sentences on the fly. Now, here is a dog in a party hat because, dog in a party hat.

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