- Roger Ascham
So, teachers of English as a second language (ESL) are always looking for easy conversation activities good for such purposes as they provide students with the optimal opportunity to speak as well as enhance their vocabulary and grasp the subtle grammatical nuances of English as a language. These activities also act as good warm-up games and backup exercises that require little to no preparation. However, it is essential that these exercises have a clearly defined structure with a clear beginning and end. In order to achieve that, the following card game to initiate and strengthen the speaking skills of a student can be played in class anytime.
- Ace of Spades: What would you do if you won the lottery?
As for the content of the questions or topics, the sky is the limit. This activity can be used as a "getting to know you" activity, for grammar practice, or as a way to discuss thought-provoking issues.
- Spades could have only conditional questions, such as
→ If you suddenly meet your favorite author at the supermarket, what would you do?
→ If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
→ If you had to live without all your favorite things for a week, what all would you have to stay away from?
- Hearts could be present perfect questions, such as
→ Have you ever cooked for your friends? Describe the event.
→ Have you ever lied to your parents? Why?
→ Have you ever been to a foreign country? Describe the experience.
- Likewise, you can frame "Tell us about..." question-statements for fluency practice to correspond with diamonds. For instance:
→ Tell us about your family.
→ Tell us about a favorite childhood event.
→ Tell us about your house/apartment.
- Clubs can be used for philosophical questions, such as
→ Is the act of killing someone suffering from an incurable illness painlessly justifiable?
→ Should the state restrict tobacco advertising?
→ Should rapists be given capital punishment without considering the circumstance?
- Jokers can be used to ask any player a question that is not on the printed list.
You'll also need one deck of playing cards for each group. The game can be played with less than a full deck, but there must always be enough cards for each player to have a minimum of three cards.
- Each player takes three cards from the deck and silently reads the questions corresponding with the chosen cards.
- On the arrival of an individual's turn, the player shows one card and answers the corresponding question after the teacher or another group member has read the question out loud. Optionally, other players can check the student's grammar for correctness and fluency. If the grammar is correct, the student keeps the card. Otherwise, the card is discarded.
- The player who gets to keep the most number of cards till the end is the winner. For more free form conversation practice, a player can choose to pass cards to another player who must then answer the question. In this version, no scoring takes place.