How was the room arranged?
We arranged the chairs so the fortune tellers were seated around the room by the walls facing two chairs. The two chairs would be filled by pairs of students who were to be two newlyweds desperate to know what the future holds for them. My highly skilled psychic fortune tellers were hand selected by me as I wanted to use those with the best level of Spanish so they had a chance to show off what they know whilst also subconsciously teaching the pair of newlyweds. They were instructed to come up with the wildest, craziest, weirdest futures they possibly could.
My 'newlyweds' all composed of at least one person who was a 'mega rich billionaire' who had paid over $350,000 (figure the kids came up with!) for 15 minutes with this world renowned fortune teller. At these extortionate rates it was vital the fortune teller gave lots of information and spoke continuously for the 15 minutes. If he or she didn't do this then it was the role of my 'billionaires' to give out and say 'I am paying you a lot of money. Give me more information'. Some of my recently married couples were also in very modern relationships containing two men, two women or in some cases even 3 people. (This is a lovely way to tackle head on those kids who laugh or complain when placed in a 'modern' couple... challenging and questioning openly their stigmas towards homosexuality if they had any).
Any specific language based instructions?
The only specific language instruction was that the future tense "you will" had to be used. In addition the couple were instructed that they must repeat in utter shock every detail they are told. So it sounded like this "aha... yes I see, you will both go to Jamaica next year" to which they had to respond "What?? We will both go to Jamaica next year". I modeled this with a student at the front of the class before the activity and it served to ensure the entire class was laughing, smiling, enjoying class and most importantly... speaking the target language.
I chose to set it up like this rather than 1 on 1 as in their feedback last week the students had stated that they felt comfortable with the singular forms of the future tense (I, you, he/she/it) but struggled and needed practice with the plural forms (we, you plural, they) etc. After about 5 minutes of laughing and repeating these shocking things that were going to happen I quietly went to each group and role played being their boss. I told them they had a phone call. The fortune teller came to me and I whispered "we have a problem, we have told them the wrong future. We mixed it all up. This couple will actually have a great life, it will be happy and filled with joy. You have to go back now and apologise and then tell them their real future".
The final piece involved getting the fortune tellers to stand up at the end and say what their clients will do in their future. Here the class is now listening to and practicing the 'they' form. I would interrupt every so often at this stage using the TPRS technique of circling - repeating the phrase with a question that I know is false so the class then had to respond together and correct me: "What? They will go to France"... "No Sir, they will go to Jamaica"... "ahhhh, yes, that is right. They will go to Jamaica". Or asking an 'either/or' question like "Will they go to France or will they go to Jamaica?".... "Ahh, yes, I remember, they will go to Jamaica". Once again here this is all in order to increase the repetitions and the comprehensible input.
The students absolutely loved this activity and some of them mentioned it directly in their class feedback at the end of the week, stating how much fun it was and how much it helped them to learn. In addition, I also loved my day at work that day. I laughed so much and had such a fun time with them listening to their crazy creative minds being let loose on someone else's future! So much so that I will definitely do it again... see what I did there huh huh? "Will" definitely do it again? Ahhh... never mind! Until next time! Please leave me your comments!