School Reunion

Alcohol not included.

PRACTICE:

  • reporting verbs
  • indirect speech
  • dependent prepositions
  • gerund vs. infinitive

WHO IS IT FOR?

  • Levels:  Strong upper-Int to Advanced (CEFR B2-C1)
  • Ages: 15 yrs and older.

THE RUNTHROUGH:

A fun and quick classroom role-play for practicing verbs which are commonly used for reporting speech.

You’ll need:

  • One set of the role cards provided.
  • Space for a mingle.
  • 15-20 minutes.

This activity is best used as a freer practice activity after the language has  introduced and form practiced.  It’s especially important that the students appreciate the need for gerund/infinite after certain verbs and also dependent prepositions.  The total list of verbs used:

  • to accuse sb of doing sth
  • to admit (to) doing/having done
  • to advise sb to do sth
  • to apologise for doing sth
  • to warn sb not to do sth/against doing sth
  • to encourage sb to do sth
  • to advise sb (not) to do sth
  • to insist on doing sth
  • to ask sb about sth/to do sth
  • to claim that
  • to complain about sth
  • to congratulate sb on having done sth
  • to recommend doing / sb do sth
  • to offer sb sth/to do sth (for sb)
  • to invite sb to do sth
  • to propose doing sth
  • to remind sb about sth
  • to promise to do sth/ to sb
  • to remark that
  • to threaten to do sth / sb with sth
  • to convince sb to do sth

You can duplicate cards and omit certain verbs if they haven’t been introduced yet.

  1. Ask the students how many people they are still in contact with from their school days (with adults, this will be high school, but for younger students this could be primary/middle school).
  2. Invite the students to stand so there is room for the students to move from person to person.
  3. Explain that they are going to role-play a school reunion.  They will be given a card/cards which contain instructions.  In character, they must do the things that are on the cards but not use the words marked in bold.  They need to talk to as many people as possible and try to remember as much as possible about who said and did what.
  4. Issue the cards: 1-3 per student. (If you have a smaller number of EFL students, then remove the duplicates.)
  5. Give them a moment to think about how they / their character could do these things in a natural way.  Give support with vocabulary help if needed.
  6. Allow the role-play to run its course (5-10 mins.)
  7. Stop them and ask them to sit down.  Put them in groups of 3.  Show them the verb list (above).  They must reflect on the cocktail party and try to guess who had which verb. (5 mins.)
  8. For feedback, choose a verb and ask a student to volunteer who they think had the verb by putting the verb in context. Example: “Jane threatened to take me outside and beat me up!” This ensures the language is contextualized and the full form is used.

BEAR IN MIND:

  • Sometimes students don’t like role-plays, so really emphasize the aim of the task.  The role-play part of this task is quite short though, so hopefully they won’t mind too much.
  • If you have younger learners, they could do this activity imagining that they are their grown-up, adult selves.
  • Students may lose track of who they’ve spoken to and what’s been said.  Be sure to stress the importance of remembering some details at the outset, but discourage note-taking, as it will kill the flow.
  • If you are working in a context where the alcohol aspect of this task is not appropriate, you can easily turn it into a celebrity birthday party or a business networking event.
  • To prevent students feeling overly self conscious, put some piano music on on the background, or even a track of other people talking (but keep the volume low):

SUMMARY:

An easy, quick and fun way to bring reporting verbs to life.

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