Siam Computer & Language School, a higher learning institution in Information Technology and English Language Instruction, was founded under the leadership of Dr. Prasert Prawatrungruang in 1979. Subsequently, SIAM  has been officially authorized by the Thai Ministry of Education to operate as a private teaching institution with branches throughout the greater Bangkok metropolitan area   More...

 

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Fun Activity Ideas for teachers to help Thai students learn English


  1. Pictionary---There might be several versions of this game but the main idea is that a player pulls a word out of a box. Then he or she will try to draw the picture of the picked word and let the other player(s) guess what the word is. Whoever guesses correct can be the next person to draw. This game can be divided into 2 teams. But the people who will be doing the guessing have to be from the same team as the person who’s doing the drawing. Each team can be given ten minutes to draw let’s say, ten words. So the better the team is at guessing and drawing, they’ll get all the words drawn before the ten minutes is up. After that, Team 2 will do the same thing. It will be a good idea to group words into separate categories. The first round can be words related to animals, the second round can be names of movies, and so forth. For example, if the selected word is “Snow White”, then the person who picked the word can draw a princess eating an apple with seven little men standing nearby.

  2. Role-play--- This is another good activity for students to practice what they’ve learned. You may write up a skit for them, or you may choose an already written play that is not too complicated to read. Thai students tend to be a bit shy, so before making them go out in front of the class and act out the assigned roles, let’s divide this game into “Easy” and “Advance”. With the Easy level, students just sit in their seats and read out their parts in the play. As they gain more confidence and become more comfortable with using the English words, we can move on to Advance level. In the Advance level the students will stand up and act out their role. Prepare some props to make the activity more engaging and realistic.

  3. Potluck--- Sitting in class and listening to lecture can get real boring. Why not have a simplified potluck. Each student can bring a simple dish to class. It might not be a good idea to bring food with strong smell e.g. papaya salad with fermented crab, because then the whole place will reek and other staff might be wondering what stunt you’re trying to pull. Desserts are actually a good idea because they don’t really have a strong smell. Of course, if the school administration is okay with strong-smelling food, then by all means go ahead and let someone bring the papaya salad with the fermented crab. Instruct the students to select a dish that their friends have brought and use the English adjectives to describe that dish. Describe the smell, color, taste, and ingredients that are in it.

  4. Telephone---- Also known as Grapevine and Chinese whispers, the whole class will line up and pass on (whispers) a message to the person next to them. This game can get really funny when there are many players because as the message goes down the line, it changes to something totally different from the original message. By the time the last person in line receives the message, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may turn into “Alan Okeef wants a payday”.

  5. Movie Day---- Bring a movie (or cartoon) to class. If the class is small you can play the movie on the computer and let students gather around to watch. Otherwise, it’ll be better to get a projector or a television to show the movie. Most schools should have them. Please select the film suitable with the English level of the class. Don’t watch the whole film in one day, watch part of it and write up some questions for the students to answer using the vocabulary and phrases they have learned. A question can be to describe one of the actors in the movie.

  6. Short Story---- Students can work individually or in pair. The teacher will start reading the beginning of the story out loud. A few sentences to a paragraph should be enough. The students will continue writing the story from the part where you stopped.  

These are just a few examples of engaging in-class activities that can help Thai students learn English.  In order to keep the students’ attention and interest, the class has to be interactive and fun. At the same time, it is also crucial that they’re not just having fun, but they are actually learning something as well.

 

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