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Speaking prompts for advanced students: No topic, no questions, no pre-determined outcome. Does it even make sense? This post describes how I decided to find answers to these questions. The problem Teaching a number of advanced B2 and above, groups and individuals students I have come to a conclusion that trying to ignite a discussion by simply announcing the topic Fashion!
First of all, it is painfully predictable.
It has been done too many times, especially with advanced learners who have probably been attending different courses for several years, to create any interest among students. Forced conversations, artificial setup…is anybody taking anything away from this class?
Trying to polarise the group by introducing a controversial topic capital punishment, corporal punishment, race, religion, euthanasia etc. On top of that, I have found students uncomfortable expressing their views on controversial topics and if they share their thoughts, they are usually politically correct and everybody tends to agree with everybody on what is culturally accepted.
There is no discussion at all. The solution At some point, I decided to let go of preparing conversation classes in the sense of searching for the topic, questions or possible language points that could be covered. The Internet is full of images which I could easily imagine myself discussing or have actually discussed with my friends.
You see something and then share your opinion with other people?
I was curious whether my students would find these images equally compelling and thought-provoking. The first ever image I chose for my students to talk about was this one:Some students who haven’t had English lessons since their school days have bad memories of dictations, being called in front of the class and humiliated, or completing endless gap-fill exercises with no practical implications.
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English studies (usually called simply English) is an academic discipline taught in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education in English-speaking countries; it is not to be confused with English taught as a foreign language, which is a distinct discipline.
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