Learning Circle ideas

Learning Circle ideas checklist

Karen Adams, Professional Development Manager

It's possible to adapt many classroom activities to make them suitable for a Learning Circle. Here are a few ideas:

  • Vocabulary quizzes
    Word search and crossword activities can be fun. Club members, in pairs or small groups, can devise quizzes for each other. Put the moist successful quizzes and puzzles on a poster.
  • Mini presentations
    Members of the group take turns to make a short presentation to the group. It could be on any topic - a hobby or interest, a BBC World Service programme they have heard, their favourite singer or actor - or even a point of English grammar! The only rules are that the presentation is kept short (around 5 minutes) and that there is an opportunity for other group members to ask questions.
  • Song groups
    Learning Circle members make a list of some of their favourite songs in English. Each song then becomes the responsibility of a member or pair of members. Their task is to find and learn the words - e.g. by listening to the song or looking on the Internet - and to teach the words to the other members of the group.
  • Story competitions
    Composition writing is a favourite classroom activity. However, the focus is often on producing grammatically-correct English rather than on interesting stories. In the Learning Circle, why not ask members to tell their stories, all linked to a theme. For example, they could tell the scariest story they know (in English, of course) - and vote on which story was most frightening.
  • Video pals
    Writing to penpals has traditionally been a solitary activity. However, technology now allows us to communicate in many different ways. Video letters - where participants talk to their correspondent on film - is a fun and unusual way of helping students to communicate in English. If you have a friend or colleague teaching in another region or country, why not encourage him or her to set up a Learning Circle? Your groups could then correspond on video, telling the others about their lives, their interest, their town - and their Learning Circle.