Monday 25 August 2014

Turkish Session Diary 9: Limit

I'm starting to realise that with WAYK, lesson plans are never more than a blueprint. Once you've got that spark going things always turn out differently, but in a good way.

Last week we had decided that we would like to know how to call the emergency services. So I came up with a Target Conversation between a caller who's seen a burglar, and a police officer. It was a perfectly decent target conversation. I also had material ready for calling an ambulance after a fall, but that turned out not to be needed.

Instead of the stodgy four-line TQ Imaginary Friend routines followed by taking turns around the table, which had been my method until recently, I thought it might be better to just start with a Bitesize Piece, play with it, and go from there.

I had a playing card-sized clipart silhouette of a burglar, and put it in the centre of the table. "Hırsız var!" (There's a thief about!) I said, and then pinched one of my learners' bottle of water. It was great fun and we quickly recycled material we'd already used, "I'm a thief!" "You're a thief!" "Liar! I'm not a thief you're a thief!" "Catch the thief!" and so on.

Combined with the bag from last week, everything could have spiralled out of control if I hadn't been conscious of the need to rein everything back in to a Target Conversation that we would be able to practise.

The final Target Conversation was a role-play involving a Police Captain, Police Officer, Thief, and Witness(es). The Thief would start by "stealing" some of the objects from the middle of the table, and the Witnesses would alert the Police Captain. The Police Captain would order the Police Officer to catch the Thief, and then ask the Police Officer to check the contents of the bag to see what the Thief had stolen. Incidentally it turned out to be our first foray into past tenses ("What did the thief steal?", "The thief stole ...")

I am happy with how things went this week because:
  • Everybody spent most of their time speaking Turkish, with very little reversion to English
  • Everybody knew what they were saying and why they were saying it at all times,
  • At no point did I feel that anyone got bored with the repetition
My only gripe is that I didn't use TQ Limit enough. I had seriously maxed everyone out by the end, but we all had a good laugh and I think that made all the difference.

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