Developing vocabulary and oral fluency using dynamic activities
I met with my new tutee for the first time today. She has only been in the country for a year and her oral English is very good. Forgive me for not having memorized the oral rubrics, otherwise I’d tell you specifically what level she is at. She seems to have mastered the BICS fairly well, so I will be focusing on CALP skills. Today we went over the preamble of the Constitution (at her teacher’s request). I modeled two skills that we will be working on in the future: 1) breaking down the text into understandable segments (i.e. an outline), and 2) using context clues to figure out the meaning of an unfamiliar word. She seemed delighted when the two of us accurately predicted the definition of the word “posterity”.
With that said, here’s a game you may want to play if your tutees are more advanced speakers: Taboo Jr. I played the game with a group of kids so that my tutee wouldn’t feel on the spot or pressured (low affective filter). We had a lot of fun, and in fact, my tutee even guessed the correct answer to several of the words! Taboo Jr. is perfect because it uses very common vocabulary that you would find in the school. For the less advanced speakers, maybe play password where there are no limitations to what you can say (as there are in Taboo). In fact, it would be pretty easy to create your own taboo cards using vocabulary that you’re working on.