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Speaking activity: "Pricing the Foodstalls"

Objective/ product

Students find out and list the prices of foods available at a night market, and each student also provides others with the price of the item s/he is selling at the market.

Followup: the accuracy of the prices obtained is checked.

Materials needed

  • for each student: price of the single item s/he is selling
  • for everyone: copy of a list of all the food items available, with space for the prices to be filled in

Procedures for traditional classroom

Students trade information through the use of a "mingling" format (also known as the "cocktail party" format), engaging in a series of short question-and-answer exchanges with individual classmates.

The activity may be followed up by pairwork in which students compare results.

Adaptations for ITV

Adaptation of this activity may necessitate limiting the objectives of the activity -- for instance, requiring students to find only a limited number of prices at the market.

Some students may have to take an "eavesdropping" role, if only for a turn or two -- which means that for them the activity becomes more of a listening activity than a speaking activity.

If there are few students at the receive sites, provide a single listening station (with microphone) in the originating classroom, so that one originating-site student at a time can interview, and be interviewed by, the receive-site students "on program." Using split-screen technology or switching between cameras enables these interview participants to see one another; meanwhile, the remaining students in the originating classroom mingle as they would in the traditional classroom. Note, however, that this solution will force receive-site students to hear each other's information repeated many times to no purpose.

If more than one site has numerous students, provide listening stations at all sites that have numerous students; students at these sites "rotate in" to the listening station so that a series of unique pairs or triads of students trades information, across the channel. (During the interview they should be visible to each other on program.) Meanwhile, students at sites with few students can "jump in" as needed to interview and be interviewed. Generally, however, these students will not receive equal speaking opportunities. These students may be invited to announce their results to the class as a followup to the speaking activity; this will give them a bit more speaking time.

 

Sample Clips

In this activity, students role-play foodstall vendors and customers. Each student has a form A or form B, corresponding to his or her role as customer or vendor. Customers wish to find out the prices of as many foods as possible, but each vendor only sells a certain kind of food, and so the customer has to first find out about availability and then price. In the sequence shown here, the teacher first models the role-play with one student at the origination site, and then sets up two students, one at the origination site and one at a remote site, to work as a pair across the channel. Following this sequence, after this pair finished, another origination-site student took the place of the first to speak with a different receive-site student. Since only one pair could use the channel at once, other receive-site students were assigned to treat this as a listening exercise when not paired for speaking, and to find out as many food prices as possible by "eavesdropping."

 

Teacher Modeling. The instructor plays the role of customer to find out what the "vendor" is selling and how much it costs.

 

Student Completion of Task. An origination-site student plays the role of customer, paired with a receive-site student playing the role of food vendor. The receive-site student's form was faxed to the site the previous day.

 

 

 

1999 Stephen Fleming, NFLRC, University of Hawai‘i.All rights reserved.