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Speaking Activities for the Classroom Print E-mail
Written by David Holmes (Anagarika Tevijjo)   

Introduction

The materials in this text were compiled over a period of ten years, in Thailand from 1993 to 2003, while I was teaching at The Faculty of Arts at Chulalongkorn University and later at the Department of Language at KMUTT. I started a file of speaking activities because there were too many tasks and ideas to keep in my head, and I wanted to be able to access them when I needed them in the future. Eventually, the file grew thicker and thicker, until it was big enough to become a book.

The speaking activities in this text come from a variety of sources:

A lot of the tasks sprang from my own imagination, stimulating me to go into the classroom, feeling motivated by the freshness that accompanies a new inspiration and being eager to share it with my students. This could be compared to cooking on impulse rather than following a set recipe. I got many additional ideas from talking to fellow-teachers about what worked for them in their classes. I even picked up some good examples from the handouts of various courses that I was required to teach, all of which taught me a lot of time-proven tricks that almost always work.

 

Curiously, when I told my Chula students that I was compiling a collection of speaking tasks for publication, they responded by getting involved and suggesting ideas of their own. I would often divide the class into groups of five students and tell them to make up a dramatic scene or dialogue or game, or whatever else they wanted to try, and come back and perform it in the next class. Many of these activities were effective learning tools and have been included in the book.

For many years, I also facilitated English programs for Arthur Andersen, SGV Na Thalang, KPMG, Yontrakit Group, Amari Group, and Bank of Ayuddya, TOT, DEP and TAT, and other organizations, in Thailand , for which I had to keep creating new materials, so that it has become second nature for me develop speaking activities for the classroom.

One final thing that I would like to add is that, at KMUTT, I learned a great deal about student-centered, self-access, task-based learning, and curriculum development, working with Richard Watson Todd of the Faculty of Applied Linguistics, so it follows that much of what you see in this book also illustrates the Theory and Practice of Curriculum Development as it was being created at that time in the International Program at KMUTT.

David Holmes
Bangkok, 2003

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