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Monday, February 02, 2009

ESL Teacher Blog: Valentine’s Day Activities - Are Your Students Comfortable Talking About Love?

The stores have turned red and pink and it’s time to prep for our Valentine’s Day lesson. It’s largely assumed that topics related to love, romanticism, dating, courtship and partnership are the ones to discuss on that day. Some books suggest activities like ‘finish the sentence: ‘love is...’ or ‘interview your partner about his/her most romantic thing to do’. While these may be fun activities for younger audiences, adult learners often feel intimidated or reserved when asked these types of questions, considering them personal. After all, how easy is it to finish the sentence: “Love means... to me’?

Topics related to parents-children, people-pets relationships and friendship are failure-proof and will guarantee everyone’s participation and good level of comfort. The following ideas may be adopted to complement readings about the origin of Valentine’s Day, serve as warm-ups or transitions between the chosen activities:

1. Talk about chocolate as the most common edible gift presented on that day. Discuss students’ chocolate preferences and talk about popular North American food or dishes that are chocolate-based. A sample worksheet can be viewed here. Wrap up your class with passing around chocolate kisses, truffles or Kit-Kats!

2. Read a fairy-tale. ‘The Frog Prince’ or ‘Snow White’ make a good choice as they talk about the universal values of love, ‘inner beauty’, mutual respect and loyalty. This is an indirect way of bringing up discussions of personal nature. Rewrite the story in your own words, cut up into strips and ask to arrange in chronological order, role-play it or simply retell the story focusing on the new vocabulary.

3. If you’re lucky to have a computer lab available, go over the pictures and commentary posted by Time. This photo gallery called “Wildly in Love” won’t leave you unmoved! Students are sure to be more comfortable talking about animals and nature facts than about themselves.
Find an ESL Valentine's Day related lesson here.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 6:35 PM
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