Need inspiration for group reading/speaking activities

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Need inspiration for group reading/speaking activities

Unread postby jtjohnston » 28 Jan 2013, 03:15

English for specific purposes.
I need inspiration. I need some new ideas for group reading/speaking activities.

I am training police recruits in ESL in French Canada. I have access to "Media Reports" (See examples below) from a police department in English Canada.

There is a lot of policing vocabulary I want them to learn.
And the same time I want them to read more.
I want to do more group oral activities.

I guess I can create yet another dictation, fill-in-the-blank or a jigsaw activity. But that gets old fast. Anyone have any inspiring ideas?



File 13-*****
At 3:34 pm, an unmarked police car was headed east on ***** Ave in ***** when it was struck from behind by another east bound vehicle. The second vehicle failed to stop and was followed by the police car until it stopped in the downtown area. This resulted in a 35 year old male being charged with failing to stop at an accident, two breaches of court orders, operating unregistered vehicle, operating uninsured vehicle and operate motor vehicle with no license. The male was held for court and his vehicle impounded. There were no injuries to the two police officers involved and minor damage to the police car.

File # 13 - *****
9:30 P.M. RNC street patrol officers arrested one adult male in the ***** Dr., ***** area under eight outstanding warrants. In order to facilitate the arrest, officers became involved in a foot chase with the male. The noted individual will appear in court in the morning.
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Re: Need inspiration for group reading/speaking activities

Unread postby Alex Case » 28 Jan 2013, 22:18

It's difficult to give general tips because it is my philosophy that with authentic texts the task comes out of the text (in the same way as for a modernist sculptor the work comes out of the particular piece of wood or stone that they are working on).

For example, for the top one I'd take out the middle bit, making it:
"At 3:34 pm, an unmarked police car was headed east on ***** Ave in ***** when it was struck from behind by another east bound vehicle. The second vehicle failed to stop and was followed by the police car until it stopped in the downtown area. _______________________________________________________________. There were no injuries to the two police officers involved and minor damage to the police car."

Ask students to guess the police actions and what the man will be charged with, then they read and check. The great thing about this kind of task is that there is no need for detailed comprehension questions because they'll ask all the things they don't know in order to do the task and check how right they were after. Then do some other task with that same language, e.g. ask them what other things they would impound cars because of.
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Re: Need inspiration for group reading/speaking activities

Unread postby brenbrennan » 25 Feb 2013, 18:46

Get away from the sitting down and doing boring text based exercises! Inn still some energy into the class with some drama (you never know, you might have a budding Daniel Day Lewis among your learners!)

Option 1: Give some of the Ss a scene to act out like a bank robbery. Give them dialogue. Have other Ss as witnesses that give a statement to police afterwards.

Option 2: Get a S to bring their games console to class with grand theft auto. While some Ss are causing mayhem on the game, the other Ss have to verbally describe the events taking place.

Option 3: Watch a segment of a movie where a crime takes place. Ss have to describe events accurately and then discuss the 'best practice' procedure they are required to follow in such a situation.

In all above options, after you've done the 'cool' activities, THEN Ss need to write up the police report using passives etc.

Make Ss re-do the report as a HW (improving accuracy through drafting), maybe in a collaborative Google document.

Option 4: Take one of your reports and go back the reverse easy, i.e. Ss act out (having fun with it) what actually happened at the time of the event.

Don't just stick to learning with grammar exercises - it doesn't inspire real learning!

Just have fun with it! :-)
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