Communication Activities

Explanation

These activities are best for using target sentences or questions to find defined or personally chosen answers. Independent communication activities are essential for developing fluency in English, but practice may be needed before students can fluently answer questions in this type of activity.

Information Gap

Information gaps are simply worksheets with two or more versions, with each version containing a list of the same questions and different answers. Students must ask students holding different versions of the worksheet to get all the answers.

Information Gap Variation: Student vs. Teacher

Example: Treasure Hunt

  1. Break students into groups and give them a map and list of directions.
  2. Have students take turns being the group leader, who gives the group the directions.
  3. Other students will follow the directions with the map.
  4. When students arrive at the destination, they write the destination on the worksheet.
  5. Students show the teacher the worksheet. If the answer is right, they continue to the next question, but if it is wrong, they try again.

Information Gap Variation: Student vs. Student

Example: Weather Information Gap

  1. Give students either an A or B version of the worksheet.
  2. Students walk around, greet each other, and use target language to find the answers to missing blanks.

Preparation: Moderate to Difficult

Materials:

  • Different versions of worksheets (found in Materials)

Grade Target: Middle to High

Interview

Interviews are simple and are very good for targets such as Do you like __? or Do you have a ___?. All this activity requires is a good worksheet where students (or teachers) decide what questions to ask and what students to interview. After interviews are finished, a Who am I? quiz is a natural follow-up.

Three Hint Quiz

  1. Either the teacher or students pick a target vocabulary word (Apple).
  2. The quiz-giver thinks of and gives three hints describing that word (It’s red, it’s sweet, it’s a fruit).
  3. The quiz-takers try to guess what the word is (It’s an apple).

Three Hint Quiz Variations

  1. More or fewer than three hints is acceptable.
  2. When teaching adjectives and describing words, have students say hints in English.
  3. If students don’t understand, have the quiz-giver use gestures or cultural references (It looks like Daigo’s head).

Preparation: Easy

Materials:

  • Flashcards or several sets of small vocabulary cards
  • Quiz worksheet

Grade Target: Middle to High