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SKITS

Skits are quite simply the smallest possible form of role play and can be used to introduce and drill words and expressions which are meaningless when devoid of context. Thus "excuse me", "just a minute", "hold the line please" need at least some suggestion of a situation to justify their use. Usually the most economical way to do them is by first playing yourself the role of the person who uses the expression and then changing over.

For example if the new expression is "just a moment" and the students level is elementary the teacher can proceed as follows.

T "Ask me the time."
S "What time is it?"
T "Oh, my watch is in my pocket." (He makes a show of fishing through his pockets) "Just a moment .... It's 3 o'clock."
" Now ask me my telephone number."
S "What's your telephone number?"
T" It's 398, No, 397 .... Just a moment, I have it in my notebook." (He gets out notebook) "Ah, here it is, 45653218."
"Now ask me if I have any appointments tommorrow."
S "Do you have any appointments tomorrow?"
T "That's in my notebook too." (he has of course put it back in his pocket but now slowly extracts it again.) "Just a moment. Ah, yes I have one."
"Now ask me at what time?"
S "What time is your appointment tomorrow?"
T "Just a moment ..... " etc.

Then, or perhaps after a few more examples, the teacher tells the student:

T "Now, your watch is in your pocket; right?"
S "Yes, it's in my pocket."
T "So is your notebook. Where is your notebook?"
S "It's in my pocket too."
T "Good. What time is it please?" (then, if necessary, he prompts) "Just ...."
S "Just a moment ..... It's five past three."
T "Good. What’s your telephone number?"
S "Just a moment. It's .........etc."

You can ask your student a lot more questions than you asked him because it is clear what you want and after the first few examples you will be able to concentrate on pronunciation, intonation, timing, etc.

Mark Yates 2000

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