Speaking Activities for Classroom

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Speaking Activities for the Classroom

Copyright 2004

Compiled by
David Holmes
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Contents
Preface :
To The Teacher
Chapter One : Warm-up Activities
Chapter Two : Words, Phrases and Sentences
Chapter Three : Grammar and Speaking
Chapter Four : Interactive Role-Play
Chapter Five : Traveling and Touring
Chapter Six : Finding the Right Words
Chapter Seven : Fables, Tales and Stories
Chapter Eight : Talking Tasks
Chapter Nine : A Bit of Business
Chapter Ten : Pronunciation
Chapter Eleven : How to Improve Your Diction
Chapter Twelve : Sound and Rhythm
Chapter Thirteen : More Pronunciation Practice
Chapter Fourteen : Curriculum Development
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Preface
The materials in this text were compiled over a period of ten years, in Thailand from 1993 to 2003, while I was teaching at The Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University and later at the Department of Language at KMUTT. I started a file of speaking activities because there were too many tasks and ideas to keep in my head, and I wanted to be able to access them when I needed them in the future. Eventually, the file grew thicker and thicker, until it was big enough to become a book. The speaking activities in this text come from a variety of sources: A lot of the tasks sprang from my own imagination, stimulating me to go into the classroom, feeling motivated by the freshness that accompanies a new inspiration and being eager to share it with my students. This could be compared to cooking on impulse rather than following a set recipe. I got many additional ideas from talking to fellowteachers about what worked for them in their classes. I even picked up some good examples from the handouts of various courses that I was required to teach, all of which taught me a lot of time-proven tricks that almost always work.

Curiously, when I told my Chula students that I was compiling a collection of speaking tasks for publication, they responded by getting involved and suggesting ideas of their own. I would often divide the class into groups of five students and tell them to make up a dramatic scene or dialogue or game, or whatever else they wanted to try, and come back and perform it in the next class. Many of these activities were effective learning tools and have been included in the book. For many years, I also facilitated English programs for Arthur Andersen, SGV Na Thalang, KPMG, Yontrakit Group, Amari Group, and Bank of Ayuddya, TOT, DEP and TAT, and other organizations, in Thailand, for which I had to keep creating new materials, so that it has become second nature for me develop speaking activities for the classroom. One final thing that I would like to add is that, at KMUTT, I learned a great deal about student-centered, self-access, task-based learning, and curriculum development, working with Richard Watson Todd of the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, so it follows that much of what you see in this book also illustrates the Theory and Practice of Curriculum Development as it was being created at that time in the International Program at KMUTT.

David Holmes
Bangkok, 2003
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To the Teacher
This is a book for teachers and students who wish to create a classroom environment enjoyable for both students and teachers. With this idea in mind, I am going to summarize some prefatory comments I made at the opening of a Task-Based Learning and Curriculum Conference held at KMUTT in the year 2000.

We began with the question, “Who is the most important person in the classroom?”, and answered, “The student is the most important person, because the university and the teacher are there to serve the student’s need to learn, just as the hospital is there to treat the patients, or the police to protect the security of the citizens.”

Ironically, however, institutions can end up serving the purposes of those who run them so an imbalance is created that downplays the rights of those to be served. Teachers should always...
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