Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fun Activities to Develop Autonomy

How autonomous are your students?

Are they independent in class and outside? Many of you will say no, they need helping developing autonomous strategies. Well, here I´ve complied a few ideas for ways of developing learner independence - but in fun ways! Enjoy!

Error Awareness

The words we hate
Ask students to go through their notebooks and write down 5- 10 words they have misspelt recently. Check the correct spelling in dictionary. Divide class into groups and give out large sheets of paper and marker pens. Ask one member to write “Our Hate List” at the top of the paper. Cover the sheet randomly with the words. They can write big and use fun lettering. Display posters on wall. Tell students that, in future lessons, when they feel confident with a word, they can cross it off.

Playing Games
Collect 9 sentences with errors from students´ work and make a multichoice exercise. Eg. I keep fit by: joking/jogging. Draw a 3 x 3 grid on the board and divides the class into X/O. Now play noughts and crosses. The winner gets three in a row.

My Favourite Errors
Tell students about your favourite mistakes in English when you were learning. Write your favourite on the board. Ask students to give around 6 favourite mistakes in grammar, vocab, etc. Group pupils in sixes to share. Any interesting ones they write on the board.

My Top Ten
Aim: to encourage the habit of checking for mistakes
This activity is best done when students have built up a fairly large file of corrected work.
· Tell the class that there are likely to be certain errors they make again and again, and that eliminating these can considerably improve the standard of their work.
· At home, students go through their work and make up a “league table” of their 10 most common errors
· In the next lesson, pairs compare their lists and report back to the class. You can note the findings for remedial / revision work
· Tell the students to keep their list handy whenever they are doing a writing task, checking their work for each of those mistakes when they have finished
· Repeat a few months later. Students (and you) can compare lists then and now.

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