My beginner student and I have been practicing telling time and discussing schedules. It’s helpful that she has a family of five and each member of the family seems to be on a different schedule. This has given us plenty to talk about. We also use my family’s schedule for comparison and more discussion results.
Since stating different times of the day has yet to become a comfortable topic for my student, I’ve given thought to additional ways teachers can offer practice. Some ideas may not be so unique, but are worth listing. I’ll add a couple of new ones, too.
- Look at a TV or movie schedule. In small groups, students can decide what shows to watch. They might even actually go to the movies together!
- Look at an events calendar for your school or town. Again, students can discuss what events look interesting and decide (hypothetically or literally) which ones they could attend.
- Choose different famous people. Assign one celebrity to each small group. Students can then imagine one day in the life of that person and make a daily schedule. Suggested celebrities: a TV news reporter, a TV talk show host, a film actor, a rock star, a politician, an author.
- Students could be asked to find three different conversation partners with whom they could have three different 5-minute phone chats in English during the course of the week. They should agree on a day and time for each call. Give them a suggested list of topics or questions to discuss. Example: weather (Do you know the forecast for tomorrow?), meals (Did you have dinner?), bedtime (What time do you go to sleep?)
- You can create role play activities in which students must work together making appointments and planning their weekly schedules. See my Scheduling Frenzy_handout as one possibility.