The ABC of ELT

Unplugged PET Matching activity

This idea was inspired during Jemma Garner’s Teaching Unplugged workshop.

If you’ve taught PET then I’m sure you’re familiar with the common matching tasks which can be very difficult for students. This is usually due to the fact that the details about the students include what they like in general and what they specifically want now. If students don’t read it carefully then they only address what they generally like and match them to that.

Even when drawing attention to this detail to students they can still forget this detail.

Whilst sitting in Jemma’s workshop, I was reminded about how powerful and useful it can be to take students within the exam task. When Jemma mentioned doing surveys with students, I started  thinking. Couldn’t we get students to match themselves to items?

Here’s a suggested routine.

  1. Introduce the topic (for example films, books, magazines, locations etc)
  2. Brainstorm different items within the topic.
  3. Create some questions to ask other students
  4. Create profiles of different students
  5. Create items to match students to. (remember to create extra ones)
  6. Students pass their activities to other students for them to match.
  7. Get back together and debate which students match (the original answers might not be best)

I really like step 7 as it fits within the realms of critical thinking, students can argue that the choices the other team made aren’t correct and that they should have made different options. It could even be extended to get both groups to make suggestions of how to improve eachothers descriptions or items to match to and then pass it on to another group (repeating until every group has been done).

It should also generate a nice amount of intrigue as I’d certainly like to know what book/film/etc someone would match me with. I might even then go read/look/do their suggestion as a result which again could possibly lead to some extension work next lesson reporting back and giving reviews (or a homework of writing a review/letter with a review) which ALSO occurs in PET.

What do you think? Would it work for your class? What would you change?

About Chris Wilson

I'm an English Language teacher based in Krakow, Poland. I enjoy writing, using technology and playing the Ukulele.

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