In classes that are 2 hours or longer, it’s wise to give students a short break. Even with the most hard-working classes, everybody needs time to visit the restroom or get a snack. And, of course, check the latest updates on Facebook.
Here, I would like to suggest that you give students a short task that they can do during the break. It should be something fairly simple. Emphasize that the task must be done in English.
Ask students to:
What do the words FACETIOUS and SUBCONTINENTAL have in common?
(Answer: FACETIOUS features the five vowels in alphabetical order, and SUBCONTINENTAL contains the five vowels in reverse order.)
What are the 3 most commonly used words in the English language?
(Answer: the, be and to, according to the Oxford English Corpus)
How do you say 撒嬌 sa jiao in English?
(Answer: there is no single word in English for 撒嬌, but “cajole” or “act like a spoiled child” are good approximations.)
What is the longest English word that can be typed with the left hand?
Which English word begins and ends with the three letters UND?
While some students might want to get away from studying English during break time, there’s no reason you can’t get them to do a little fun fluency work and encourage them to practice English independently.
Hall Houston teaches at Kainan University in Taoyuan County, Taiwan. His articles have been published in periodicals such as It's for Teachers, Modern English Teacher and English Teaching Professional. He has written 3 books: The Creative Classroom: Teaching Languages Outside the Box, Provoking Thought: Memory and Thinking in ELT, and The ELT Daily Journal: Learning to Teach ESL/EFL.