an artifact

 In Emotional Intelligence in ESL classrooms

Once upon a time when I was an English student myself in Jane Austen´s Bath (South West England) we were asked to bring in an artifact to this Multicultural training course where we would mix with interesting students from other European countries to discuss cultural issues.


Our «Introduce yourself » session was presented as a Monologue in which we were to tell our classmates about this object from our countries that we had brought with us. Some time later I used The Artifact activity as a speaking task for my Intermediate to Advanced students in mixed-culture groups.


Invite your students to bring in an object that has a meaning to them because

  • they represent something,
  • they have been made by someone special or
  • hide an interesting story.


Organise the class in small groups of three or four students, who will take turns to present their objects and explain why they brought it in today. Every student will speak for about three minutes allowing extra time between one and another for follow-up talk if needed.






The engagement in this activity is big as not only are the students sharing fascinating stories at times of the objects but also connecting bits of their more personal bubbles to the open classroom, which always provides «food for talk» when it comes to something one is really fond of. It is also perfect to enlarge vocabulary lists of descriptive words, expressions and grammar usage.









Having learners of Spanish as a foreign language next door that you can invite will really enhance this activity as the stories being told can be amazing.   


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