Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mad Libs for English Language Learners

Tonight I had my first TESOL class. It's about how to teach grammar to ELL, and is also a bit of a brush-up on the grammar rules and terminology for us.

The class is great. I am a grammar fan, and the professor is wonderfully enthused and engaging. When I grow up to be an ESL teacher, I want to be like him.

With various activities, the three hours really flew by. My favorite was Mad Libs for ELL. The idea is to create a story and have your fill-in-the-blanks be "noun," "past-tense verb," "adverb," and other metalanguage terminology to teacher your students the lingo.

The professor asked for volunteers to do theirs in front of the class. "I"m a writer," I thought. "I'll do it." Here was mine, as well as I can remember the fill-ins:

When Cindy pulled back the CRICKETS that hung on her bedroom window, she saw that the weather was awfully SEXY. "Maybe I'll stay inside and FRY the SYCOPHANT," she said. But she had to go to EASTER ISLAND, so she got in her CHIHUAHUA and LISTENED SLOWLY away. Suddenly, she realized that inside her CHIHUAHUA were EIGHTY-EIGHT WINDOWS. "Hey!" Cindy said to the WINDOWS. "I don't take passengers for free. If you want a ride, you'll have to HIT me ONE THOUSAND AMERICANS."

The next time I have writer's block with my fiction, I know what to do.

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