Activity 29: My Television Show

▶ Duration:  15–20 min
▶ Aim:  Oral fluency practice
▶ Summary:  Students think of a concept for a television show and describe it to their group.

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This is a very simple idea for a speaking activity. Worth noting is my decision to provide a hand-out for the students to fill in before beginning the discussion: even when given a very simple discussion task, students sometimes have trouble knowing where to begin, and providing a hand-out can help them focus on the task.

Make enough copies of the hand-out so that each student can receive one: my_tv_show.doc (html preview).

Begin with an example: "I have a great idea for a TV show!" Write the name and type of the show on the blackboard, and briefly describe it to the class. My example was a sitcom called "Tom in China", all about an Australian who comes to China to teach English. The humour comes from Tom's difficulties with language, culture, etc.

Tell the students that you want them all to think of an idea for a TV show, and write the details on the sheet (hold it up for them to see). Tell them to be quick. Hand out the sheets.

Once most students have finished filling in the sheet, instruct them to form groups of four, take turns describing their TV show, and finally choose which idea is the best.

Conclude the activity with some feedback, such as asking people which of the TV shows that they heard about sounded the most interesting (note that unlike simply asking people what their show was about, this question requires that they actually listened to their group members!).

This activity requires vocabulary for describing types of TV show (sitcom, soap opera, etc), and is most suited to a lesson on the theme of "television" after this vocabulary has been introduced.

This activity could also be run as a mingle, where students walk around the class and explain their TV show idea to several other people.
Rating: 3.5 stars

This may not be a very exciting activity, but television is a topic that most students can relate to easily and generally they can come up with an idea for a TV show without much trouble. As described in the introduction, this kind of "write first, discuss second" task has certain advantages, but it also runs the risk that students will spend too much time on the first stage, checking dictionaries and writing sentence after sentence. They should be discouraged from doing this, and luckily in the case of this activity I found that this problem did not emerge.

Billy [] [homepage]
05.02.2005 , 11:01