Mime Activities to Improve, Practice & Test in the ESL Classroom

Using mime activities in the foreign language classroom, students can show understanding, express communication through movement, and can be tested.

Activities to show understanding of a new language can often be expressed through body movement. The language experts from the essay writer service state that it is obvious improvements are heard via the speech of learners, but latent understanding is developing constantly that may not always be observable in oral expression.

Fun Mime Activities to Practice New Language in ESL Lessons

The ideas below enable students to enjoy expressing themselves in the new language, while not using the words verbally.

The teacher reads the sentences: The teacher can read out one sentence to each of the students, and they have to act out, in mime form, the meaning of the sentence.

Here are some sentences, using the present tense:

  • I am eating.
  • I am feeling full because of the big meal.
  • She is sad because her boyfriend is not here.
  • The thin man is looking through the window of the car.
  • The dog is looking at me. I am afraid of him.

After teaching the past tense, the following sentences could be used for the same exercise:

  • I woke up.
  • I felt sick.
  • My head hurt.
  • The phone rang. I picked it up and said hello.
  • I listened to her talking.
  • I said goodbye and sat down. Then I got up, drank a glass of water, and went back to bed.

The sentences can range from simple to more complex structures. They can be serious or amusing, work on basic ideas, be used to practice new vocabulary or grammar points, or be taken from complex texts.

More Ideas for Mime Activities in the Language Classroom

An alternative or expansion of the exercise explained above, follows.

Students write sentences: This idea is to have each student write 10 sentences, either based on a grammar structure just completed, or a theme recently studied. Following the writing part of the lesson (or this could be a homework task), students can become the leaders and read out their sentences to class members who mime out the action. This activity, therefore, includes writing, reading aloud, and miming by another student; it is therefore very interactive, inclusive, and interesting for everyone.

Alternative Methods of Testing in the ESL Learning Room

Testing can come in many forms. This activity can be used as a substitute for a written comprehension test. The teacher can create a fun-filled, though intensive activity, to check the understanding of his or her students. Acting out through this task may relieve stress in many students and does not demand real acting or dramatic skills.

If such activity were to be used as a means of testing, ensure that students have done many similar tasks in the classroom. Alternatively, Essaypay suggests that the teacher can carry out the activity to ensure that learning is taking place without the students knowing it is a test. This is an excellent method for teachers to be doing a self-evaluation of their teaching.

A Fun Activity for Toefl Learners

Ideas such as these can also be used in the Toefl classroom wherein the texts from the reading can be used as the basis for miming. While this is very difficult to do, it adds a light, fun break from the hard, complex texts found in the test. Even if it means that just some of the words in the sentences are acted out, it helps students realize that they did understand something within that sea of difficult sentences.

Miming, while not an essential skill in language learning, can certainly be a means to show understanding, and give students the ability to prove their knowledge. These ideas add fun and enhance communication in the classroom.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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