Speaking Activities in the Active Learning Classroom

When in active learning classroom, always think about making your activity (any activity) 'active,' which means putting the students in action by having them work in pairs or small groups. When they can share on the white boards and use the iPads for research, it makes it a very active learning classroom indeed.

Example of an activity done in an 'active' way:

Students are grouped in small groups of 4 to 6 students, and the tables are put together near a white board so students face each other and can also use the board to share.

Each team gets a task. For example, each team is given a model resume and must identify, name and explain a section to their classmates. Another example is students are asked to use the iPads to research a university in the English-speaking world (ex.: Harvard, Princeton, UCLA, U of T, Cambridge, etc.) and must find 3 programs that are related to science, social science and arts. They must share the name of the program, the requirements, etc. Then one or two people present them to the class.

A reading activity can be a springboard to speaking in an active learning classroom. For example, students are asked at the beginning of a given week to read an article given by the teacher, or that they must find in one of the magazines at the college's library. The next class, they go into teams of 4 and must summarize their article orally, or/and mention three key pieces of information to inform the others, or debate with other students to decide which article is the most interesting/challenging, etc.

The possibilities are endless. Just let your creativity flow!