Communicative Language Learning (CLL)
- CLL seeks to bring students beyond grammatical competence.
- Students need to decode language and manipulate it in private dialogue.
- This leads to communicative competence.
Students must listen to a series of letters and then think of a meaningful phrase which uses each letter as the first letter of a word. The order in which they use the letters is not important.
For example, given - A D I F , students might produce:
- A day in France
- Fantastic dreams are incredible
- I ate David's fruit
2. Numbers and sizes ratios
(From 'Grammar Activity Book' published by CUP)
This activity focusses on general knowledge and guessing numbers and size. Learners then have the chance to produce their own version of the activity.
- Put learners into groups of 2 or 3
- Learners look at comparisons on the board or in a handout and discuss how big the difference is between them
- They then match the comparison to a ratio
- Then they write a sentence expressing the ratio
The world's tallest man is 2.5m tall.
The world's shortest man is 0.5m tall.
The ratio is 1 : 5.
The world's tallest man is five times as tall as the world's shortest man.
The age of the Egyptian pyramids v the age of the Aztec pyramids - 1 : 2.
Aztec pyramids are twice as old as Egyptian pyramids.
Number of rows on a chess board v number of squares - 1 : 8.
There are eight times as many squares on a chessboard as rows.
Other examples you could give:
- Number of circles on the Olympic flag / number of circles on the Japanese flag
- Paris, distance from London / Athens, distance from London
- World's highest mountain / world's highest waterfall
- Population of London / population of Mexico City
- Number of countries bordering Spain / number of countries bordering the USA
- one mile / sixteen kilometres
The purpose of this activity is to get learners to think logically and critically, to use their general knowledge and to practise comparative forms.
3. Question to question
Sometimes we answer one question with another question, rather than giving a direct answer. Why do we do this?
- for clarification
- because we don't know the answer
- to show interest
- to stall
- I'm sorry, what did you say?
- What do you mean?
- Could you repeat that?
- Why do you ask?
- Don't you believe me?
The purpose of this activity is to teach functional language, to practise intonation and question forms, as a confidence booster, and to have fun!
Students create a paired dialogue so that each line begins with the next letter of the alphabet. e.g.:
- Ahmed, how are you?
- Bad, really bad!
- Come on, it can't be that bad!
- Do you think I'm joking?
- Everyone knows you're a joker.
For higher level students, you could combine 'alphabet dialogue' with 'question to question'.
The purpose of this activity is as a warmer, a confidence booster, to practise real time speaking using colloquial language, and to practise sentence starters.
In this activity, learners look at a text which contains nonsense words and try to make sense of it from a grammatical perspective. It is good for helping students with their 'decoding' skills and gives great opportunities for creative language use.
An example of a nonsense text:
- What is a sloobie?
- What does it do?