TeachingEnglish
Conversation group for adults

Hi,I will have a conversation group for adults this Autumn. The group usually consists of about 10-12 adults at intermediate level. Each lesson lasts for about 2 hours and the course runs for ten weeks. I have had this group twice already (mostly the same people every time) but have run out of ideas for new conversation topics. I would be grateful for any tips or ideas how other teachers manage such groups. Should the group remain whole or be broken into smaller groups? All suggestions are very welcome!

ARAG's picture
ARAG

Hi,I read your post about a conversation class for adults. Well, the number of students is a good number to design activities in different modalities since variation is always important. You  may like to try pair work,  groups of three, four and whole groups activities. Remember that ranging your students depends on the activities you will be working with. For example, if it's a debate you can separate the group into  two teams or if it's a taboo game the whole class can work in two groups as well. Another fun activity is cutting a song into pieces like a puzzle and your students have to order them as they listen to the song. This is an activity for  trios or groups of four.Also, some ideas for a conversation class could be:*Watching a piece of a movie if you have access to a tv or a computer and having your students practising a specific scene. A kind of a role-play. (in groups of four). Bring some realia to make it more intresting (in a restaurant, at the movies..)*Watching or providing information on a documentary or on a country and then exposing it in trios. You may give them some time to do this a whole class to plan this and on the second hour to present it. This is an activity for an advanced group.*At the beginning of every session, it is a good idea to have them commenting the news that they heard yesterday. This always works!*Bring magazines or articles from newspapers in English and have your students pick up articles and comment them to the class. This would take about 10 min per group (pair work)*Have them practising pronunciation or stress with a piece of a movie and bring the script (15 min script would be fine). This could be done in pairs.*You can try as well with songs. Students usually love songs and you can design activities to practice pronunciation, rhythm, stress and vocabulary.*You can also try chain stories by using a picture and then they have to make up a whole story without stopping. (whole group). 15 min activity*You can have them saying tongue twisters and make competitions on who says it well and faster. The rest of the group must be checking their classmates. Have them practising about 10 min before presenting and make it fun since some students might find it frustrating. To solve this be ready and bring easy, more or less and advanced tongue twisters (pair work)*Bring pictures and have them creating a whole story using the pictures (trio story). They must tell the story to the class. Everyone in the trio must talk so make sure to say it before the activity so everybody is prepared to present.*You can also design surverys(questionaires about their interests or things they like) or the typical Find someone who...and they have to find out and fill in this survey in a certain amount of a time. (whole group activity)*Prepare some cards in advance with  names of words or topics and they have to discuss them in a certain amount of time let's say for a minute. Divide the class in groups of four for this.*Have the celebrity time in your class and make one student come to the front and the rest of the students become papparazzi. They have to ask him/her different questions. This works with Intermediate students.I'm sure there's plenty of ideas to teach this group. I hope this info helps you and if I think of something else, I"ll let you know :) P.S.Remember that the age, their needs and their  interests are very important issues to design the activities for the class.   

ARAG's picture
ARAG

 I just remember bringing to my conversation class boxes with different questions and have them discussing the questions in pairs. This might take around  15 min. Basically, the first thing  to do is to set the instructions and to pair your students, then have them discussing the questions alternately and while doing this activity you must monitor them. Remember taking notes of their mistakes so that you can give them feedback which could be done in a general way, you may write some of the mistakes on the board and have they correct them or you may go group by group and tell them their mistakes.Here's this great website that contains a lot of questions:http://iteslj.org/questions/You may want to select the questions if you feel that some might make your students uncomfortable.Good luck and specially have lots of fun! 

Sunnytop's picture
Sunnytop

Many thanks for your suggestions. I will definitely include them into the lessons next semester.

Suuny's picture
Suuny

Hello,
My name is Sunny and I am a Chinese girl, i am teaching adults and their age is 3- 40 years. i am teaching them conversational English and now i need your help if you tell me some conversational topics like this,
Like if topics is Hospital then i prepare my lesson like this,
Hospital
Vocabulary:
A headache a backache
Sore muscles a stomachache
A cold a cough
The flu insomnia
Hepatology Blood bank
Physician dentistry
Cardiology Urology
Pediatrics Ophthalmology
Internal medicine
Common sentences:

I want to register
This is my Medical insurance card
I feel quite sick, doctor.
I don’t feel good.
Would you please do a physical examination for me?
I am not getting better at all.

Dialogue:
A: Hi, Henry! How are you?
B: Not so good. I have a terrible cold.
A: Really? That’s too bad! You should be at home in bed. It’s really important to get a lot of rest.
B: Yeah, You are right.
A: And have taken anything for it?
B: No, I haven’t.
A: Well, It’s sometimes helpful to eat garlic soup. Just chop up a whole head of garlic and cook it in chicken stock. Try it! It really works.
B: Yuk! That sounds awful!

Note:
Model Verbs Can, Could, May for requests; Suggestions
Can/May I help you? What do you suggest/have for dry Skin?
Can I have a box of cough drops Try some of this lotion.
Could I have something for cough I suggest some ointment.
May I have a bottle of aspirin? You should get some skin cream.

SO now i need few new topics because i already taught them almost 20 basic topics, or if you can give me some website to find out the teaching material
hope to hear from you soon
Thanks

challengeofusenglish's picture
challengeofusenglish

Hi everyone,

Why did I begin my blog? I have had many thoughts about learning English that I’d like to share. I began to write these thoughts in an article, but then I realized that one article wasn't enough. Instead, I would need to write a series of 2-3 entries. However, a series was still not enough. My ideas were like a tree and new branches of thoughts continuously sprouted from my mind. So why not begin my own blog about it? Some of my topics are serious, some of them are just for fun.

I tend to use US English, but of course I love British English as well.

You can reach my blog here:
http://challengeoflearningusenglish.blogspot.hu/

An interesting bilingual entry:
http://challengeoflearningusenglish.blogspot.hu/2014/01/communist-army-a...
The Hungarian version:
http://milstory.blogrepublik.eu/2014/01/17/464-az-angol-nyelv/

The latest entry:
http://challengeoflearningusenglish.blogspot.hu/2014/01/american-english...

Thank you very much for your attention.

Bye bye,

Attila

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challengeofusenglish