The Minimalist ALT
was inspired by a group of Japanese elementary school teachers I was training who told me they wanted to learn activities that require 'no preparation, no materials, and are time-flexible.' Don't we all!!
The result not only changed my own teaching style, it made my life at school a LOT easier! But more importantly, the students enjoy the classes and use English in real and meaningful ways.
Scroll down to learn how to teach... with less.

March 3, 2009

Liar! Liar!

a meaning-focused sentence pair practice activity
(with a time-adding writing/testing option)

materials: target sentence pattern, and return comment
time: 5-10 minutes (with writing, 15-20 min.)


-Write a sentence pattern on the blackboard. the part that the students will change should be written in a different color, or underlined. Write also the partner’s return pattern *.
-* teachers here can choose what language the students react with. for example, ‘I play tennis.’ --> ‘You play tennis?’ or -->‘Liar! You don’t play tennis!’ or -->‘I think you don’t play tennis’ or -->‘Do you really play tennis?’, etc.

-Students think of two sentences in this target pattern-one TRUE and one FALSE.

-Writing/testing option--students write the sentences in their notebooks (or elsewhere) for checking before the next speaking activity.


-With all students standing, pairs play janken, and loser says/reads their two sentences aloud. janken winner must guess which is the FALSE statement, using the teacher-chosen language (above *).

-If points are awarded, correctly guessing students get one point for each correct guess.

For classes that don’t interact well in a free-moving activity like this, have the students move in their seating rows, seat pairs playing janken, and one side rotating back one seat after their conversation is finished.