We, humans spend much of our lives organizing the world around us. We sort, separate and catalog until somehow everything makes sense. This desire to classify everything is the same natural desire to understand the world. There are many things that influence our way of classifying things or events in the world. We classify according to our personal, academic, social, economic, religious experiences, etc. It could be said that the way we classify the world is the cultural expression of the group to which we belong. However, personal experiences are very important in the way we organize and understand the world.
As children we do classification exercises in school that aim to speed up our mind. We classify according to color, the matter of which something is composed, of the function an object has or in many more ways.
The value of doing this classification exercise in the foreign language class, in addition to developing oral expression, is to help our students understand how and why we see the world in a certain way.
By comparing their views after establishing an X classification, students will understand what the main influences in their lives have been.
Second language acquisition only happens when we propose real and interesting activities in which the student sees that the use of L2 has a purpose in life.
1- The teacher prepares groups of 10 or 15 cards with photos of things or everyday situations. (As many groups as you need for each class knowing that students will work in groups of two or three students). You can find images of everyday objects and situations HERE and HERE or through a simple Google images search in the TL.
2- The class is divided into pairs or groups of three students. Each group is given a package with the cards (each group has the same images on the cards).
3- The teacher asks the students that after observing the images carefully, they should classify them into three groups. In other words, students will be classifying images according to how they understand the world.
4- After 10 minutes each group will show and explain their classification.
5 – The teacher will take note of those common aspects that he saw in the different classifications and analyze with the group the reasons why different groups classified the images in different or similar ways.
Variation for lower language levels:
This classification activity can be done at initial language levels if in a specific subject, for example sports, we ask students to classify the vocabulary according to different aspects: outdoor sports, sports in which the legs are used, sports in which the hands are used, etc.
For the theme of the house objects can be classified according to their function, material, location, cost, etc.
Each group will make their list according to the teacher’s instructions. It is worth the clarification that at this level the activity is presented only as a way to practice the vocabulary of a specific unit.
Hope you liked this activity, please feel free to include a kind comment and let me know if you have any questions.
I´D BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHARE MY SUCESSFUL SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION TEACHING APPROACH THROUGH ONE OF MY ONE DAY WORKSHOPS, PLEASE CONTACT ME HERE
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