In this co-taught lesson, we had the P4 students practise giving directions through a game, called ‘Where’s my treasure?’. The idea is not exactly new, but we (a) used a mingling interaction format which enabled the students to choose the partners they would practise with, and (b) presented the game as a challenge: Challenge number 1: See if your partners can guess where you have hidden your treasure; Challenge number 2: we’ll see how many classmates you will have tried your game on within 10 minutes.
This fired up the children, who tried their presentation on one classmate, then on another classmate, and then on another classmate … At the end of 10 minutes, some of them had presented their directions-giving, and listened to their classmates’ presentations, 5 times. And I noticed a marked progress in their fluency in their later attempts. Hence, although it was, in essence, repetition practice, the children enjoyed the repetition, and acquired the language quickly (and happily).
(BTW, if you like this kind of experience sharing, check out ‘Running dictation’ by a volunteer primary school teacher, Usagi Eu: