Before telling you about the activity I’ve made up, I’m going to tell you where I found this:
I came across this video through Elvira Lindo’s fabebook fan page. Don’t you know Elvira? She’s a famous writer, screenwriter, actress and many other things. You can visit the Wikipedia to read what they say about her or just visit her official website.
The video is just a sample of things New Yorkers tend to say everyday and she compares it with things Spaniards say, well, she just said every region has a list of things people tend to say. Here on the Canaries we would say “It should rain”, “It seems it’s never going to rain”.
After watching the video, I wanted to find out where it came from and I’m not completely sure. It can be found on Eliot Glazer’s channel on Youtube, but I can’t find if it belongs to a collection. Reading the information about the video, the people starring are himself and his sister, Illana Glazer. The previous links are both their personal blogs, but they have both another site each with where they have their own web series.
But let’s see what I’m going to do with the video.
Level: B1 and above.
Skills: speaking, pronunciation and intonation.
Timing: 35-45 minutes, depending on the number of students you have.
Materials: The video above, paper, pen.
5′: Introduce the concept “small talk’ and ask them where they think it usually happens (lift, queues, etc.). Try to obtain examples of common small talk.
5′: Now explain that they are going to see a video with lots of examples of small talk, with the characteristic that they all take place in New York. Tell them that they are giving examples of things people say in New York and ask them to write down as many examples as possible.
10′: Now write down on the whiteboard the examples they have collected and ask them to watch the video again and pay attention to the intonation of the expressions mentioned.
5′: In pairs, ask them to write down a short dialogue including some of the expressions. The more, the merrier.
10′: Time to play their dialogues, highlight the importance of intonation and ask them to repeat if they don’t get it right. Exaggerating usually works.
What do people say in your town? Why don’t you share it with us?