Vox Pop

I was teaching this week and was wondering what I could do as a warmer for a coming class on clothes and fashion.  As I walked from my classroom to the teacher’s room, it hit me.  Mini interviews with other teachers on what my clothes said about me.  So I pulled out my phone and started interviewing colleagues.

30 minutes later, I played them in class and they were a great mine of vocab and also grammar, used naturally, with lots of lovely aspects of pron there too.  Sometimes, it is easy to forget how easy it is to make our own listening exercises.  All you need is a phone with a record function, preferably some speakers to play it through,  and someone to speak.  Happy days.

Procedure:

1. Choose a question: mine was just “what do my clothes say about me?” Then record as many answers as you want / need, for the record, I chose 4 people and the total time for the recording came to just over 1 minute.

2. Play the recording: I played the recording three times and asked them to one of these each time:

  • listen for the opinions of each speaker and then summarise them.
  • Write down any interesting vocab that they heard, with a focus on adjectives.
  • Write down any grammar they heard

the language that came up was great – teachers tend to have quite large ranges.

These were all in the 1st speakers answer, which was 15 seconds long.

“Maybe you choose things which suit you, which is good”

“if it’s work attire, then, it’s probably not what you would wear normally outside of work”

“you might have a slightly geeky looks sometimes”

There is so much you could do with any of those, but conditionals, modals and relative clauses came up regularly in the answers. Good to provide a model for students and proof that what we teach them does get used by people every day, not just in course materials.

Fillers could also be worth looking at, I chose not to as I was only looking for a 20minute activity

However, my favourite answer was “it makes you look like a pretentious knob”.  you can’t say fairer than that!

3. (optional) Focus on any elements of connected speech that come up, or stressed / unstressed words

4. Students can either: ask each other the same question, or if you are feeling brave, send them out to interview other people about their clothes, it’s up to you and go with whatever will work best with your class.  But, do record it and ask students to listen back for the same things as above.

That’s all folks, let us know if there were any great questions you used.

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