Paul Kaye, British Council
Learners have a lot of ideas about how they should learn a language and it is important to encourage them to discuss these and to communicate them to the teacher. Many of these ideas are not necessarily things you agree with, and discussion also gives you an opportunity to explain your beliefs about language learning and share your rationale.
The example cards can be used in a variety of ways depending on your need. Each one has an opinion that is often heard in classrooms.
- You can use them as discussion prompts, with learners in groups. All 20 example cards can be placed in the middle of each group and they turn them over one by one, then discuss. Learners can also choose the card which closest expresses their own opinion.
- You can use them as a role-play. Prepare a class meeting to discuss learning issues. Hand out the cards and tell learners to pretend they have this opinion and must express it in a class meeting.
- You can use them as a mixing exercise. Learners are given one card and must find out how many other people have the same opinion in the class. This could then feed into a class survey and a written report.
Note: You can guide discussion in all of these activities by selecting the cards you want learners to have. This can be useful if there are specific issues you would like to discuss with your learners, e.g. group work and why you do it.
If you do find learners respond to these activities and really do start to give opinions, be ready to respond with the same honesty and make sure you know why you do things the way you do them!