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“What Is This Animal Thinking or Saying (If It Could Talk)?” Is A Fun Language Development Exercise

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'Totally Tweet.' photo (c) 2010, SEO - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Having English Language Learners put words in the mouth (or thoughts in the mind) of puppets, animals, or photographs of people is a common activity in the classroom. It can be fun and less-threatening when it’s something/someone else who’s talking (or, at least, it can feel that way to the student).

You can learn specific strategies to use at:

The Best Resources For Using Puppets In Class

The Best Sites For Online Photo-Editing & Photo Effects, which includes a number of sites where you can choose photos and add “speech bubbles” to them.

The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English, which includes sites you can use online to actually provide audio to images or animations.

Another engaging strategy is show short animal videos and have students develop a dialogue or a series of sentences the animals might be thinking.

There are lots of suitable videos online, and you can start at The Best Video Clips Of Sneaky Critters. Students can simply act them out when showing videos on a screen with the sound turned-off, or you can be more sophisticated and dub the videos themselves.

Here’s an example that an environmental campaign created (several others will play through if you want):

Do you have any suggestions of similar good animal video collections?

I’m adding this post to The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL (& How To Use Them).

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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