One of the major skill sets of a great language teacher is the ability to “prompt” students so they will generate language. It isn’t easy and with time a teacher becomes better at replying, prompting, leaving unfinished their utterances so that students are put into a position of “having to communicate”. It is a skill that even gets more refined as the teacher adapts and scaffolds at just the right level/language. Teachers also get better at moving things along – the big challenge of pacing.
EFL Classroom 2.0 has so many online language generators that help teachers out in this regard. Generators and prompts keep the pace level high and keep students so engaged. I’ve used them and 30 minutes will go by in the wink of an eye. No boredom with them at all. I’ve put together many that can with a click of a mouse, start students talking. Also, in ppt and paper/flashcard form. Here’s a list – try them with student and I’m sure you’ll see they work like a charm. The teacher just keeps circulating as students take turns in groups, answering the prompt.
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The “Top” games series continues! It seems the categories are limitless…..
Today, I’d like to tackle “Game generators”. A game generator is a site or program that makes it easy for a teacher or student to make a game. (and I mention student because the optimum way to use a generator for language learning is getting students to make the games). Game generators can be elaborate or simple, they can be plain or full of sparkles. But what counts at the end of the day is that they function well and don’t take up a lot of the teacher’s/student’s time (nor have a sharp learning curve).
So here are the Top (free) generators as I see them….
1. Fling the Teacher. This game is super easy but generates a powerfully attractive and addictive game. Just add questions and answers/possible answers. Here’s an example. One of many on our Games page of EFL Classroom 2.0
2. QuizBreak. Brought to you by CLEAR (Univ. of Michigan’s – Center for Language Education and Research), it makes a Jeopardy style quiz game with the possibility of all kinds of multi media inserts. Works well and makes an attractive game. Will store your game permanently (you can’t download). Read my full review.
3. ESLVideo. This site allows you to make quick quizzes using Youtube videos. Students can share, teachers can embed the quizzes. Students email the results to teachers for tracking. It’s been around a long time but is still keeping up with the times!
4. QuizStar. Makes a very attractive quiz with photos/audio that you can show your students afterwords. Tracking of student answers and reporting is possible too. The drawback is that you need to assign a class / create a class. There is no fully public version. But the 4Teachers.org does a great job offering tools to teachers (like Rubistar).
5. Purpose Games. This site has been around a long while and developed well. Teachers can create very attractive interactive games (see this sample) and is especially effective for vocabulary. No registration except if you want to make a game.
Next up - Paid quiz generators and random generators!