On Monday my intermediate group were looking at modals of obligation, based on a text about how to become a millionaire. We had a set of sentences which I wanted to work with. They went something like this:
- You have to be very hard-working.
- You shouldn’t take long holidays.
- You don’t have to be born rich.
- You must have a clear idea of what you want to achieve.
- You should (something I can’t remember…)
- You mustn’t (something else I can’t remember!)
We checked the meaning by matching the sentences to a set of key words, and then I thought it was important to work on stress patterns. I also wanted them to memorise some correct sentences, as at an earlier stage of the lesson they’d produced things like:
- You have to very hard-working.
- You don’t have to born rich.
Here’s what I did:
- Told students to listen.
- Said all six of the sentences as quickly as possible.
- Put students in pairs and told them to practice doing the same.
- If they decided they’d finished, I made them do the same thing backwards, starting with the final sentence.
- When I thought they were ready, I challenged them to say the sentences as quickly as me. I counted 3, 2, 1 and we all spoke at the same time, with the aim being to finish at the same time as I did.
Students seemed to really enjoy this activity with lots of laughter throughout, especially when they were racing me. They worked hard to correct each other. I didn’t have to do any remedial drilling in this case, as the challenge of speaking as fast as possible meant they produced the correct stress patterns pretty naturally.
And why is it for shy teachers? Because once I’d said the sentences at the beginning, all I had to do was listen until they were ready to race me at the end, at which point I was speaking at the same time as them. That meant I only ‘exposed’ my pronunciation once in front of the class, which I know is something that some teachers are worried about. They got lots of drilling, and I did hardly anything 🙂 Win-win!
What other drills can you think of which do the same job?