Is it possible to have students use their cell phones in class to learn languages even with no internet connection? Oh, yes, IT IS.
Yesterday afternoon, during a workshop I presented to Cultura Inglesa Uberlândia teachers, Ana Cláudia, a colleague of mine, shared a very creative activity she has tried with her students. I'll call it Secret SMS.
These are the steps we followed:
1. Ana Claúdia asked each teacher/student present for their cell phone numbers and wrote them on a whiteboard we had in class.
2. Then, she asked us to choose one of the numbers on the board to write a text message to. The message should include 2 things we did last weekend.
3. Once everyone had written the message, she gave an OK for us to send it.
4. The student who got more messages was the winner and got a candy.
5. She then explained that in class, she elicited the messages students got on their cells and wrote them on the board calling attention to verbs in the past.
- As we don't know who sent us the message, students could then stand up, mingle and try to find the sender of the message by asking questions such as:
"Did you go to the cinema last weekend?" "Did you eat out last weekend?""
- Instead of writing the phone numbers on the board, the teacher could ask students to write their names and cell phone number on a slip of paper. Then, after collecting all slips with phone #s, the teacher would hand one number to each student, making sure no one got their own number. Each student would send a message to the cell phone number they got (this way all students would get a message). Again, as a follow-up, students could mingle to try to discover the sender of the message.
- The teacher would write his cell phone number on the board and ask students to write a message (with their names) to send to the teacher using specific vocabulary, structure or topic. When teacher says OK, they all send the message. The first message the teacher receives is the winner.