ESL Teaching and Learning Tips
I'm sorry this is belated, but I've just seen your post about "describing" in the classroom. The following ideas may still be of use to yourself or others when you start teaching in schools.
When teaching "describing" lessons in middle schools, I would first call two students to the front and ask their classmates to describe them. Then I would divide the class into groups of about five and tell them to describe their friends to each other. Finally, I would call different groups to the front one at a time where one of the group had to describe one of the other four group members (without otherwise identifying who they are),who are facing the class. The rest of the class had to guess which student they were decribing. I sometimes used to turn this into a game with two teams competing. The students really enjoyed this.
I also used to get them (after practicing in pairs at their desks), to come to the front one pair at a time and have one of the pair tell the class of the differences in appearance between her and her friend, and then the other would describe the similarities in appearance that her and her friend have.
In more advanced classes you could also encourage them to describe each others personalities. Also, instead of using the students, I sometimes used to bring in half a dozen pictures of famous celebrities, stick them on the board and let them play games describing them( guess which celebrity the student is describing etc.). I found these activities got the classes on the whole very active and interested.
All the best in your future teaching!
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- teaching speaking -- Christelle