Many of you work, either in an office or a college/university. It’s pretty tiring, right? So….
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
B) stay at home and play computer games
C) stay at home and watch TV
I probably do A, B and C, probably too much! It isn’t very interesting, but it’s nice and easy. However, when students do nothing in their free time, it’s a big problem when those language students are doing speaking activities (or tests).
Ok, another question.
Why do teachers and examiners ask you about your personal life? Why do they ask about your free time activities?
A) they’re really interested in you and your life
B) they want to test your English
As a teacher, though I love getting to know my students, the main reason that I ask about free time activities is to test my students’ English. If a student replies:
“Teacher, yesterday I slept”
I only learn that my student can use past simple of ‘sleep’ and the marker ‘yesterday’.
So, here are some tactics to make your speaking activities and tests better.
- do lots of interesting things in your free time
Maybe that’s a bit tough, so let’s make it easier.
As a teacher, I don’t care if you tell me the truth or not in a speaking activity. Of course, if you haven’t done your homework and you say that your little brother ate it, that might be a problem! But, if I ask you about what you did the day before, I would prefer you told me about lots of exciting things in English. Perhaps, ‘lie’ is the wrong word – just be creative/imaginative, like you are telling a story.
When you are being creative/imaginative, remember to talk about subjects that you know about.
You are in an English test and the examiner asks you what you like to do in your free time. Yesterday, you slept but you remember Matt’s advice and you decide to be creative. What do you talk about?
A) football (you know lots of English words about football)
B) baseball (you know only a few English words about baseball).
I think you’d be better talking about A / football, but remember to learn more about baseball (in English) for next time.
Have fun being creative! No more talk about sleeping!