Monday, November 16, 2009

What is a synonym for rejoinder anyway?

We started the review quiz around 9:10, and after collecting it we began the sentence stress. I wrote on the board that stressed words carry important information, and I told the students to write this down. I then asked for a volunteer to come up and write in the stress. I then illustrated a sentence without stress with a robotic voice. After, I gave them the worksheet and told them to work in pairs. After several minutes I read the sentences aloud, and then asked students to come up to write in the stress. I then had them repeat after me one last time. I also told them about the unstressed 'and'.

Next, I introduced the rejoinder expressions by having a volunteer come up and read a sentence to which I said nothing the first time and then with a rejoinder the next. I told them that it was important to use these expressions in order to show the speaker you are listening and interested. After this, I did the listening comprehension and then practiced the conversation as a group.

Next, we practiced the rejoinder expressions in the book. I also demonstrated that facial features were important when using these expressions as with the wrong facial expression the sentiment can be completely negated. I then gave them a crossword puzzle to practice the expressions before having them construct their own dialogue. For this activity I gave them a handout with a pre-fabricated dialogue where they could change certain words and expressions. I also told them to use their imagination if they wanted. I gave them 10 minutes to do this and to remember it, and then I had some pairs present.

I think I will definitely continue the dialogue construction practice in class because it seems to be going well so far. Something I would probably do differently next time is instead of the crossword which really just practices students’ memory of the expressions, maybe an activity where they would have to choose the correct expression for the situation would be more appropriate. Even a simple fill-in-the-blank exercise could suffice for this, but I think that students could benefit from this pre-task activity despite the fact that the dialogue construction activity already has the expressions provided. Perhaps then, it may be an idea to have them build one dialogue with my support and then ask them maybe with a different partner, to build another one without the aid. That way they would have to use the expressions learned in class and thus such a pre-task activity would help them.

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