By Mario Rodriguez
Hey, language teachers. You probably know it already, but do you want to know what the biggest well-known secret about foreign language learners is? They all want to be fluent!
Do you know who else wants language learners to be fluent? Employers! Not to forget universities and colleges where fluency in a language is often a basic requirement. Yes, fluency is important, and it can be incredibly frustrating for teachers if their students do not understand its importance.
So, how do you motivate a student to learn the importance of fluency in a target language? If you’re unsure, here’s a little activity you might find helpful.
Fluency Circles is an entertaining activity that involves moving around and interacting, while utilizing the target language classmates and improving their fluency skills.
To prepare, create a list of questions, photocopy them and cut them into sentence strips.
When ready, divide the class into two equal groups. Then instruct the groups to form two concentric circles with one inside the other. Students in the inner circle are given the sentence strips and stay put, while students in the outter circle rotates and answers the questions. This process is repeated four times. The group answering gets to add extra information each time they are asked a question, enabling students to be creative, gain confidence speaking and listen to the tones of voice of different people. The groups then switch places, so all students get a chance to ask and answer the questions.
You can explain the instructions by using a diagram, so students clearly understand they need to form the circles, or you could even ask some of your students to help demonstrate the activity before the start of the class.
Ultimately, the questions you choose depend on the topic you cover in class, but you can also use it to practice grammar, punctuation or vocularly. As we were covering health, I used questions, such as:
- What are you doing to stay in shape?
- Do you and your friends care about your weight?
- How much water do you drink every day?
- What is a good sport to keep in shape?
For more advanced students, you can get students to create questions beforehand, and then have a competition to vote on who had the best answer.
This activity has proved very successful. Students enjoy the interaction, but also understand the importance of practicing their English to develop fluency. The activity, therefore, fulfills the class objective.
If you want to practice your English fluency, try out ACTIVATE ENGLISH on the Laureate Global Portal. You can learn more about the Laureate Languages products by visiting the Laureate Network Office website. Mario Rodriguez, an EFL teacher at UNITEC Honduras in San Pedro Sula, will soon be “profiled” on Laureate Connect – watch this space!