Tuesday 9 September 2014

Turkish Session Diary 11: Supercharge setups with role-play

This week the learners decided they wanted to work on possessives. I was game.

For obviousness, I wanted to use the learners' personal objects, so before long I had their phones and purses/wallets (fortunately the same word in Turkish) out on the table. For a third class of objects I got three sugar sachets and wrote our names on them. In hindsight I could have used their keys. Imagine that, a Where Are Your Keys? practitioner not thinking to use keys...

We worked through the "Is this my phone? Yes this is your phone. Is this your phone? Yes this is my phone. Is this her phone? Yes this is her phone" routine with all the possible permutations, but before long I started to sense a descent into aimless repetition, disconnected somewhat from the actual meaning.

So once we had enough material I explained, in English, that we were now going to have a role play. "I've got everybody's stuff, and so now you need to find out who they all belong to and return them to their rightful owners." It worked like a charm.
Player: What's this?
Hoarder: This is a phone.
Player: Whose phone is this?
Hoarder: This is her phone.
Player: [Indignantly] Well, give her her phone!
Hoarder: OK OK!
Player: Whose phone is this?
Hoarder: [Sheepishly] This is your phone...
Player: [Indignantly] Give me my phone!
So I think when you've got learners who aren't quite into hunting yet, role-playing is a vital element in any set-up.

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