Whisper Down The Alley

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school to senior high school To promote memory acquisition of target phrases and sentences, and to encourage information exchange in English. any 20-25 mins Students, a text book, and a timer.

This game is also known as 'Chinese Whispers'. Divide the blackboard into 5 - 7 sections (depending on class size), and tell each row they are a team. Give names to the teams, but write these on the board before speaking them. This encourages reading practice, and is also a useful experiment to see whether or not your students actually read anything you write. Have the JTE explain that they are going to pass a sentence in English down each row from student to student until the last student receives it and runs to the front and writes it on the board. Tell the students that they have a 2 minute time limit in which to either teach or learn the phrase/sentence.

Have the first student from each team come into the corridor with you while the JTE remains in the room with the class and ensures that they understand the procedure. Have the students repeat the target after you, assisting acquisition by splitting sentences into phrases, and by accentuating the natural rhythm. E.g.:

"When I say good vegetables, I mean fresh vegetables" or,

"I came to school by bike." "I always walk to school".

When two minutes is up, stop teaching, hurry the students back into the classroom (It is generally a good idea to stand a little way away from the classroom so that students near the door can't eavesdrop and get an advantage), and when they have all regained their positions call out "Start!". At the end of two minutes, call out "Change!", and repeat this process until the message (or part thereof) has been passed through all the students.

The winning team is the first to write the target on the board correctly and in full. Reward this team in the fashion of your choice (lottery tickets, stamps, stickers...), then begin the procedure again, only have the students all move back one seat, with the rear most student coming to the front (actually out into the corridor with you). JTEs like this game because they can hear the students speaking phrases from the 'TEXT BOOK' (let us pray), while students enjoy it because it's competitive, and it gets them out of their seats, even out of the classroom.

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