April 26, 2015

Chinese Whisper with Whatsapp

The more I use Whatsapp in class, the more I realize how rich this tool is.

Last week, I tried a very simple activity with my Basic Students who had just learned how to express themselves in the Past.

Have you ever played Chinese Whisper with your students? It is an activity where Student A whispers a message to Student B who then tries to whisper the same message to Student C, so on and so forth. Or another one where the first student says "Last weekend, I went to the shopping centre", then the next student repeats the first sentence and adds one more sentence? We adapted these activities using the recording feature of Whatsapp.

These are the steps we followed:

1. I recorded the first sentence saying "Last weekend, I went to the cinema."
2. Then, I asked students to make their recordings for homework. Before they made their recordings, they would have to listen to the last recording, repeat all the sentences and add one more.

It was amazing how fast they started making their recordings as they knew the later they did it, the longer their sentence would be.

3. In the following class, I asked all the students to get their cell phones ( the ones who didn't have a device, sat with someone who had one) and listen to the last recording, which was the longest one, in order to write it down. It was great to see how involved they were listening to the sentences, repeating them, until they were able to write everything down. Similarly to Chinese Whisper, the last student to record the sentences ended up getting a few words wrong as he misunderstood what the previous student had said. As a result, students had to go back and listen to previous recordings to see where the mistake started. We heard quite a few laughs.

4. After most students had written all the sentences down, I asked them to dictate the sentences to me as I wrote them on the board. I used the opportunity to correct mistakes and practice the right pronunciation of words and verbs in the past.


In the initial phase of the activity, students had to create their own sentences with verbs in the past. As more sentences were used, they had to think of different verbs and their collocations to make new sentences. They needed to take special care pronouncing the sentences clearly so that their classmates would understand their sentence and continue the game. The longer the sentence became, it was necessary for them to write the words down in order to make the recording. Step 3 was a great way to practice listening and writing again. In a way, it was a dictation created by students themselves. During the feedback moment, I tried to focus on the right forms of the verbs they had chosen and their collocations.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This activity was really fatastic, I like to much the way that teacher encoraged students to participate and practice the topic studied by using technology that students actually use in their daily communicative interactions.