This idea is based on a Grammar Auction. I originally got the idea from the teaching book that accompanies Face to Face. I have used it with my adult and teen groups but the most excitement and laughter came from my 11 year-old learners.
To start with I let them listen to a few minutes of John Korrey the famous auctioneer. You can access a range of his clips on youtube.
I don’t show them the video image at this stage, only the audio. They have to listen and predict what they think is happening. I remind them that they are listening to English. I like watching the look of bemusement on their faces before I show them the video.
We then define the words AUCTION, BID and LOT.
I divide the class into teams. Depending on the size you can have 2 or more teams. Each team has £20, 000 to spend IN TOTAL on 5 lots (these are prepared sentences with a mix of correct and incorrect structures). Students have to bid on the sentences with the aim of getting the most correct sentences at the end of the game. I don’t tell them if the sentences they have are correct or incorrect until the end of the game. I simply write the number of the sentence in their column and the amount of money deducted from their £20, 000.
I like to begin the bidding by presenting the sentence and opening the bid at a certain price, say £100. I then say ‘Do I hear £100 for lot number 1?’ When I sell the sentence, I like to say ‘Sold to the lady/gentleman in red’ etc… When it’s been confirmed I write the corresponding sentence number in their column rather than writing out the sentence.
You can remind students to play tactfully. So if they think a sentence is wrong, they can try to outbid an opposing team so that team ends up spending more money.
At the end we go through the sentences in their columns that they have purchased and I put a tick or cross next to the sentence number. We can then go through why the sentence is wrong and how it needs to be corrected.
A completed table may look like:
|Marta and Pablo £20, 000||Jose and Adrian £20, 000|
2.) -12, 000