Close Control task types 7. Buying or swapping. Malaga TEFL Teacher Training Centre.

Close Control task types 7. Buying or swapping. Malaga TEFL Teacher Training Centre.

The principle of students buying things from each other or swapping things to complete a set or manage to collect a series of things on a list is a good task type for close control activities.

Examples of this would be:

The task is to collect, by swapping, the different component parts of a robot (head, body, arms, legs, feet, etc.), but to unite all the pieces needed to get a whole robot with all the pieces of the same colour. The TEFL teacher provides cut up robot body parts (drawn, photocopied and coloured or downloaded from the internet) e.g.:

These are handed out randomly to students who work behind a barrier (at the TEFL Centre we use upright folders). A given student may have several left arms (a blue, green and red one) but no left foot. A possible student-student exchange between, say, Pepe and Carlota could be:

  • Pepe: ‘Carlota, have you got a blue left foot?’
  • Carlota: ‘Yes, I have.’ Or ‘No, I haven’t’. (Carlota is not allowed to lie; the teacher monitors!)
  • Pepe (in the affirmative case): ‘Please give it to me’. (He takes the foot and gives a different body part to Carlotta that he wants to discard).
This practices ‘have got’ for possession.

The same material could be used for other structures by adapting the dialogue frame the students are given:
  • First conditional:
  • Pepe: ‘Carlota, if you have a blue left foot, will you swap it with me for a green left arm?’
  • Carlota: ‘Yes, I will.’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ or ‘I’ll swap it with you if you give a green right arm.’
  • Second conditional:
  • Pepe: ‘Carlota, if I gave you a blue left foot, would you swap it with me for a green left arm?’
  • Carlota: ‘Yes, I would.’ or ‘No, I wouldn’t.’ or ‘I’d swap it with you if you gave a green right arm.’

The first team to collect all the body parts of a single colour wins.

TEFL classroom training note: There must be two full sets of a given colour for each team playing. This ensures that teams may be competing to collect the same colour.

The same principle as above can be applied to a shopping list and food picture cards, and could involve language such as ‘going to’ for intentions (e.g. I’m going to give you some butter. What are you going to give me in return?). Here the task could be to get the ingredients necessary for a recipe and buying the ingredients could also be part of the activity.



Posted on August 7th, 2017


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