Happy Drilling in EFL Classroom

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WHY?

Drills are the most important exercises at the 1st phase of learning a new structure. They may be neglected thinking that they are mechanical and meaningless but they may be very effective for some learners. They are repetitive so they can make the form memorable. Making a drill type of exercise a little bit meaningful and adding a pinch of creativity to it can be challenging but it is worth it. I want to list some ideas here and I’ll divide them into two categories. Tools and the Activities …

TOOLS?

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1. Ask students to take photos of people or pets at home,in the street or give them your own photos or tell them to draw.

2. Give them an A4 size paper and show them how to fold it as a tiny book , or show them how to fold as 6 equal rectangles, or see more foldables here 

3. Introduce them some desktop tools to work with or some web 2.0 tools like bookr, bubblr, imagechef, animo to, glogster, 

4. Buy colourful post-it notes with different shapes.

ACTIVITIES

1. Tell them to write what they were doing/ had done / did when,after before the photo was taken ( I was —ing when my mother took this photo) / I had eaten my sandwich before this my mum took the photo.

2. Give the skeleton and ask them to write a poem. You can see another example here.

Asking Indirect Questions

 

The following activity was something spontaneous when we did ‘indirect questions’ but then I felt the students still needed practice, something more like a mechanical drill but I was not prepared for more exercises so I did the folllowing.

I told mys sts to have 4 slips of paper.

On each paper, I told them to write 2 wh questions and 2 yes-no questions.

While they were writing their questions, on some slips of paper I wrote indirect question beginnings, such as ‘I’d like to know ….’ ‘ Do you know ….’, etc.

On my desk, I put their questions and my beginnings face-down as two different card decks.

I told sts they would take 1 card from each pile and write the indirect question on the board.

As homework, I told them to change the indirect questions to direct questions.

More follow-ups

If you have a creative, enthusiastic students, you can even tell them to choose 3 indirect questions from the board and improvise a dialogue but unfortunately my sts need to be prepared for that stage for some time and I’m hopeful 😉