Speaking Activities for senior adults

Ideas, tips, discussion

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Speaking Activities for senior adults

Unread post by joanKeen »

On a voluntary basis in my local community in Switzerland, myself and another volunteer lead a English conversation group at our local library. I have some experience as an ESL teacher as I have a CELTA certification and taught adults for about 10 years. But I no longer work in the teaching domain and although the group has started well and has been running for over a year now, I am finding it increasingly difficult to think of interesting activities.

The organisation of the group is very loose, it is meant to be a cultural exchange and anyone can come along and there may be new people or the same people each time. We just sit on comfortable chairs and chat, there is no blackboard, no resources of any kind. In addition the level of English of the participants varies hugely as do their ages. Mostly it's retirees that take part but also younger people.

I usually print out some activities. Last time we worked on giving directions. I started them off with a simple game and then we worked up to being an imaginary tour guide in our local community. It was fun and it worked well.

For me it is a welcome change from my main work and a way to be connected with my local community. My problem is what on earth am I going to do with them next time and the time after that? I would be really grateful for ideas, tips on resource books, or just general thoughts on how to keep this group going in an interesting and dynamic way.
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Re: Speaking Activities for senior adults

Unread post by Wendy1969 »

If it is a once a week meeting, you could ask each person from the group participants to take turns to write down on a card the specific topics that concerns them or what specific topics they would like to discuss in the group for the following meeting. If you think the topics is suitable for a group discussion, you could then ask the group to check out vocabulary related to the topics. You could also prepare words related to the topic - on a card and then request participants to pick out any word card that they would like it translated to their first language. Some participants can volunteer to translate and assists the individuals concerned to take part in the discussions.

The word cards should be designed with pictures and as colourful as possible. That would make the speaking activities even more interesting. You could ask each person in the group to make a sentence from a specific word card to check understanding.

You could also watch a short movie or a short documentary together and then ask questions related to the show to check understanding.

Speaking Activities for Senior Adults or Young Learners can be fun. One just need to expand on their English vocabulary.
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Re: Speaking Activities for senior adults

Unread post by dfa9 »

That sounds like a wonderful initiative! For your next session, you could try organizing a "show and tell" where participants bring an object and describe its significance. Another idea is to discuss current events or have themed discussions, like favorite travel destinations or cultural traditions. You could also play word association games or role-play common scenarios like ordering at a restaurant. Keeping the activities varied and interactive will help maintain interest and engagement.
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