Each week on a Tuesday, since my IELTS courses finished, I have been doing IELTS PSP Speaking, which is basically an hour of IELTS-focused speaking practice. I have found that when practicing part 2, students frequently dry up before 2 minutes, sometimes well before, so I came up with this activity to encourage them to extend their answers as much as possible… It is a mixture of an activity that was suggested by a Sheffield Uni colleague of mine from last summer, Tim Ball, at the IELTS Swap Shop session that took place at IATEFL this year, and the well-known game, connect 4.
- It consists of a 6×6 grid (click on the picture to access a ready-to-use document):
- In each square of the grid there is an IELTS Part 2 Speaking topic.
- Students are aiming to score as many points as possible by getting 3 or 4 squares in a row, with 3 being worth 10 points and 4 being worth 20 points.
- In order to “win” a square, students must speak for the full two minutes about the topic in question.
- The instructions on the game remind students to think about the what/who/why/when/how type questions that accompany speaking part 2 topics.
- As with the exam, they have a minute to think about what they are going to say and make a few notes.
- Students play in pairs.
- Student A speaks, Student B listens and times, and vice-versa.
- Teacher listens and does delayed feedback at suitable moments.
The students were engaged by it and the aim was fulfilled: instead of just giving up after 1 and a half minutes, they did push themselves to keep speaking! (How important winning a square becomes… 😉 )
Let me know how your students get on with it! Enjoy!