The three most fun things I did in class this year. Part one: Betty Botter

It’s Christmas season and it’s the sort of time for having lots of activities in class and doing some things just for fun. Given that it’s my last week at my job, I’ve been going through the folder where I keep my old lesson plans and handouts. I found the three activities that were most fun.

The first one is based on a tongue twister that my mum taught me. I’m actually not that good at this one but my mum is pretty masterful when she does it. The important thing with this kind of lesson is to keep it fun. Lots of students are really worried about their pronunciation and it’s important to not damage their confidence. Explaining how it’s really hard for even foreigners to say some things is helpful. I also made a point of performing this and messed up a few times while doing it. My classes got quite good at doing it and so I think if anything it boosted their confidence because they could show off how they could do something hard.

How to use it

1. Download and print the handout

pdf: Betty Botter

docx: Betty Botter

2. Go though the tongue twister line by line with the translation. It’s much easier to say something when you know what it means. For a class who could handle it, getting them to rephrase the poem in other words would be better, but the focus should be on the pronunciation more than anything else.

3. Drill the poem line by line chorally with the class.

4. Give them some time (as long as it takes, mine took about ten minutes) to work on their pronunciation in pairs.

5. At the end we had a mini competition (I hyped up the special prize all class and then pulled out a pack of M&M’s which they thought was a good gag). Taking part was optional but almost all of the students did.

Hope you have fun with this one. If you use it let me know how it goes in the comments.