This week my class had been studying exclamations. I always find it a little artificial to teach phrases such as:
“How beautiful she is!”
“What on earth is that?”
when I haven’t met anyone who speaks like that in the last thirty years.
So how to practice it?
Luckily I had picked up a few ideas at the great workshop given by Elsien Gale (Activities to get teenagers speaking) at TESOL France a couple of weeks ago.
After presenting and practicing various forms of exclamations I asked the students to create their avatar. They chose names, nationalities, jobs, hobbies, etc. for their alter ego. After having moved the tables and handing out the all important props:
I then explained that they had all been cordially invited to a diplomatic cocktail party at the English ambassador’s palace in Geneva. The students then had a few minutes to go round and introduce themselves (in their new character of course).
During feedback, they told the class who they had met and I encouraged a couple of exclamations form each student, and these seemed more “natural” so to speak while everyone was pretending to be part of “the upper crust”!