Game Design, Gamification, Learning Design and Assorted Other Strangeness

Everyone Needs An Imaginary Friend

Most beginner level books in English language teaching start with some form of basic introductions and then move on to everyday concrete expressions. This is in line with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1 and A2. Many people will find this unsurprising, as the books often have the CEFR letter printed on the cover.

The A2 descriptor is as follows:

Can produce brief everyday expressions  in order to satisfy simple needs of a concrete type: personal details, daily routines, wants and needs, requests for information. Can use basic sentences … and communicate…about themselves and other people

With this in mind, a potential review activity of many of the beginner level books currently on the market can be designed. The concept focuses on the last part of the CEFR statement above; demonstrating with preparation an ability to communicate about other people.

In this activity, students are asked to create an imaginary friend and fill in the details of this friend in a booklet (the pdf for one version is linked at the bottom of the page). The student then uses the booklet as a scaffold in their spoken production. Students can practice asking questions about each others’ friends, and describe their own friend as a method of revising the information they have already learned in class, leading to more fluent and meaningful production.

The worksheet is an 8 page folding booklet printed on A4.

The first page provides students with a place to put their identifiers, and to sketch an image of their friend.

Page 2 has a basic description of the friend, job, hobby, nationality etc.

Page 3 has likes and dislikes.

Page 4 has daily routines using ‘go’, ‘do’ and play.

Page 5 has past tense information about an imaginary yesterday using the ‘be’ verb.

Page 6 has a personality and appearance description of the friend .

Page 7 has simple past tense information about an imaginary holiday.

Page 8 has future plans using ‘be going to’.

This provides a well rounded revision of the more common topics in beginner level books, while allowing the students to exercise some creativity and enjoy talking about an unusual imaginary friend.

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