What I really love about the speaking clubs is 2 things, basically:
- you never know which way the discussion will take you, and –
- you learn such a lot from the clubbers while they discover a great deal from you…
Last week I was mostly absent from the virtual world as I was busy starting a conversational club. Its second session received most favourable feedback from the participants, which is why I decided to share its plan and the accompanying materials – so you could use it next year – or this year, may be – why not?
The Friday of March 18th was devoted to Saint Patrick’s day – yet, you can’t imagine the variety of topics we touched upon! Here’s what we did (including the links to songs and downloadable materials).
1.Watch the St Patrick’s Day parade. Spectacular and hilarious.
2. What is Saint Patrick‘s day all about? – a PowerPoint presentation (easy!) from http://www.worldofteaching.com
and the wikpedia link (for the more inquisitive ones). The symbols of this day, the shamrock, the leprechauns and the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow… We ended up with the Irish traditional cuisine and noted down a recipe of the Irish stew – and then discussed it. What’s more, our ladies soon switched to discussing the healthy and unhealthy food, and we learned a lot from Marina – a biologist – about metabolism!
3. Speaking of food – the sad matters now: Sinead O’Connor’s condemning song about the famine in Ireland. Or was there any? Acute issues were raised during a hectic discussion followed. Download the lyrics
4. Back to the funny side of life again. The Irish are outstanding! Witty, violent and full of other virtues 🙂 Can you do this quiz based on the great quotes about the Irish by famous people?
5. To finish on the high – we sang another song by Irish Rovers – The Unicorn Song. It bears little connection with Saint Patrick, – it’s just a lovely song by an Irish folk group. Get your SS to listen and read and find out why Unicorns have disappeared… While listening, we ate cookies with green jam, drank the famous Russian tarragon-flavoured green soft drink and had green tea with green apples.
Can you believe it – the whole thing only took us a little over 2 hours (all participants were intermediate). The student talking time and engagement was great – I guess, that was due to the variety of subjects discussed, and I also made sure there was lots of small group interaction.