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Grade 1 English Speaking and Listening

Grade 1 English Speaking and Listening

1. I’m pulling your leg


Tell the students about a real experience or plan of yours, but mix in some fantasy elements. Here is an example, based on a plan to spend an evening playing chess with an old friend. Keeping a straight face, but with a twinkle in the eye, say, ‘Oh, I am looking forward to this evening! You won’t believe me! I don’t think I have told you before but I play chess. I am so famous that chess players from all over the world come to play against me. Haven’t I told you? Yes, I know it is difficult for you to believe. But this evening, Boris Karpov, the Russian grand master is coming. Of course, it will be a difficult match…..’

By this time (if not before!) your students will be expressing their disbelief. Admit that you may have exaggerated a little and ask them which parts of the story they think are true.


Divide the class into groups of four or five. The students then take it in turns to tell a story which is either true with fantasy elements added, or wholly true though difficult to believe, or wholly untrue. The other students listen and say which elements, if any, are true.

2. Interrupting the story


Tell the students that you are going to begin a story and that they should try to stop you saying more than a few words by asking questions. For example:

You: the other day…

Student A: which day was it?

You: it was Tuesday.

Student B: Was it in the morning or afternoon?

You: Afternoon. Actually, I was….

Student C: what time was it?

You: It was around 3 pm. I was reading a book…

Student A: Which book were you reading?

You: It was actually Harry Potter that I was reading. Then…

Student B: Which Harry Potter book were you reading?


3. Mistakes in reading


Select a text in the students’ course book. Say that you are going to read the text aloud and they should follow in their own book. Add that you feel tired or have not got your glasses and might make mistakes: they must tell you if you do. Read to the class, but substitute, add or omit words. The students should tell you immediately. Thank them when they do, correct yourself, and carry on making more mistakes and correcting yourself with their help.

Note: This works best with advanced Grade 1 students who are quite fluent in reading.

4. Oral cloze


Read a story or prose passage, which can be from your course book. Stop occasionally before a key word, and get the students to guess what it is going to be: they can either volunteer the word orally, or write it down. If the passage is one they have worked on recently, this can function as a review exercise of key vocabulary other than aiding in teaching listening comprehension.

(from ‘Five minute activities’ by Penny Ur and Andrew Wright)

Image courtesy: centralia.k12.mo.us

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