Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Voice Production

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

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Improvisation is an effective way for ESL students to develop language skills that they can use outside of the classroom. Improvisation develops skills such as confidence and empathy. The following activities give students an outlet to express a range of emotions. A variety of tenses, vocabulary, question forms, idioms and proverbs are the focus of this section.

Game: Forwards/Backwards
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The main language is to practice target language and the present tense.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space and copies of simple dialogues; see below for examples. Any of the dialogues from the teaching language books can be used.
Instructions: Divide the group into pairs and give each pair a copy of a simple dialogue. Give each pair time to practice their dialogues. When they have memorised the dialogues, get them to perform them in front of the class. Get the group to repeat it in slow motion, fast forwards, hopping on one leg, replacing the words with numbers or the alphabet, backwards, or jumping up and down.

Dialogue 1: Introductions
Adam: Good morning. What’s your name? Where are you from?
Anna: My name is Anna. I’m from America.
Adam: My name is Adam and I’m from Alaska.
Anna: Pleased to meet you. (They shake hands.)
Anna: Goodbye. (Waves and walks off.)
Adam: See you soon.

Dialogue 2: Giving directions
Betty: Hello, you look lost. Can I help you?
Brian: Yes, please. I’m looking for the football stadium. Do you know where it is?
Betty: Of course. Go straight (points straight), turn left and it is next to the big shopping centre.
Brian: Thank you very much.
Betty: You are welcome.
Brain: Goodbye. (They wave goodbye.)

Dialogue 3: Greetings
Carl: Hello, how are you?
Cathy: Not so good.
Carl: What’s the matter?
Cathy: I’ve a headache.
Carl: I hope you feel better soon.
Cathy: Thank you.

Extension: If the students are comfortable, get them to continue the dialogue until it comes to a natural conclusion. This is a good introduction to improvised work.

Game: TV Channels
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The focus is to listen and be observant as well as to react quickly.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: A volunteer sits in the centre of the circle. The rest of the students are the TV channels. The student in the centre of the circle is watching the television. He/she is channel surfing. When they point to someone in the circle, they have turned on the channel. The person must speak; they can be a news channel, weather, sports, documentary comedy, drama, or a soap opera.
The channel surfer stays on the channel for about 30 seconds and then moves on. They can always come back to the same channel. Everyone should have a chance at being a TV station.

Click here for more ESL drama activities

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The Gruffalo – Drama Workshop

Posted in Voice Production

Tongue Twisters Part 2

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Tongue Twisters

  • I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York
  • Peggy Babcock loves Tubby Gigwhip.
  • Two toads totally tired, tried to trot to Tewkesbury
  • She stood upon the balcony, inimitably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him in.
  • The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick

But she said, “This butter’s bitter.

But a bit of better butter

Better than the bitter butter,

That would make my batter better.”

So she bought some better butter

Better than the bitter butter

And it made her batter better.

So ’twas better Betty Botter

Bought a bit of better butter.

  • The skunk sat on the stump. The stump thunk the skunk stunk. The skunk thunk the stump stunk. What stunk – the skunk or the stump?
Posted in Voice Production

Tongue Twisters

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Tongue Twisters

  1. A skunk sat on a stump. The stump thought the skunk stunk. the skunk thought the stump stunk . What stunk the skunk or the stump?
  2. A tutor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, ‘Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?’
  3. If Freaky Fred Found Fifty Feet of Fruit and Fed Forty Feet to his Friend Frank how many Feet of Fruit did Freaky Fred Find?
  4. Pepperoni pizza on a pink pattern plate with parley on the side to your pleasure.
  5. 5. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    wheres the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  6. Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather….
  7. She shuts the Shop Shutters So the Shopping Shoppers can’t Shop.
  8. Unique New York….Unique New York…..Unique New York…..
  9. Which wrist watch is a swiss wrist watch?