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Humanising Language Teaching
Year 6; Issue 3; September 04

An Old Exercise

Guessing the teacher's preferences

Taken from Grammar in Action

Christine Frank
Prentice Hall, 1987

Choose two houses you know well, one of which you like and one you dislike. Prepare to describe each to your class but as neutrally as you can.
Each description should last 2-3 minutes.

In class:
Explain to the class that you are going to describe two houses, one of which you dislike and one of which you like. Tell them you will try to be a neutral as possible and that their task is to decide what you really feel about each.
Tell them to listen to your words and your voice use, and to focus on your posture and gestures.

Tell the group about the two houses.

Pair the students and ask them to share what they think and why.

Get the class to vote: "Hands up those who think I liked house number 1".
Ask various students to justify their choice.
Do the same with house number 2.

Now tell them your preference and why you like one more than the other.

You can do this exercise with any pair:

  • two countries
  • two men
  • two dogs
  • two films
  • two cars
However the pair must be one in which you genuinely like entity A and dislike entity B.

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