Real-world Speaking Activities for the EFL Classroom
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We all want our students to speak English. This is usually the reason they find themselves in our English as a Foreign Language classroom. Of course, some may need to take exams or write business emails or listen to university lectures, but for the most part our students consider speaking to be the most important skill they need to get to grips with. So it’s a shame when we find classrooms where the only speaking students are doing is repeating after the teacher, answering grammar questions or reading a simple dialogue.
Where is the reality in these activities?
Our students come to our classrooms to learn language they can find useful in real life, outside the classroom. This is what we need to give them. Our students can then practise these conversational situations in the safety of the classroom before they need to utilize them in a real English-speaking context. Doing these activities will mean they will be exposed to any possible language they may need so as to be able to communicate effectively in such situations.
Here are a few ideas for real-world speaking activities you can use in the EFL classroom.
For this activity students will need to watch the news or read a local newspaper. In groups they must decide on a few stories they want to report on and write down notes on their story. In class, each group must present their news stories to the class.
This activity incorporates authentic materials and requires the students to narrate a story. Although the context may not be exactly how it might happen in real life (unless they’re planning to be news anchors!) telling stories is something we do naturally in everyday life.
In this activity the students will interview each other. Each student will be given the chance to be interviewed but not by one person, but by the whole class. As the “celebrity” takes to the “stage”, their classmates can ask them questions about their life – past, present and future. For this it makes sense for them to use true information rather than pretending to be someone they’re not, but they must think of a realistic reason they are famous – ie they’ve eaten a pizza in record time, they’ve stayed up all night or they won a spelling bee when they were twelve.
This activity mimics real life because we are always asking people questions about themselves. In the classroom we can get stuck asking “Where are you from?” and “Why are you learning English?”. This activity gives students the chance to ask questions they would usually ask their friends or people they have just met – for example, “Why do you eat so quickly?”, “What do you do the day after you stay out all night?” and “How did you become so good at spelling?”.
Scenes from a Hat
This is an improvisation activity. Write down a number of familiar everyday scenes that occur between two or more people – for example, a son arguing with his mother about him smoking, a customer complaining to a waiter about their food, a daughter telling her parents she’s pregnant, or a couple on their first date. In groups let the students discuss the different situations first and think about what could be said in each. There will be many different interpretations of each situation and that’s good. Once this has been done, the teacher can pick students who then choose a situation out of a hat i.e. at random. They must then act out this situation without discussing it first with their partners.
This activity allows the students some preparation but essentially requires them to think on their feet. There is every chance they may end up in such a situation (ok, maybe not all of them!) and this will help them feel more confident getting into discussions off the cuff.
There you are: three activities which bring a bit more of the real-world into your EFL classroom. You’re welcome.
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Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.