The proliferation of commercials and advertisements can be used to an advantage in the classroom. In language learning, imitating the process of advertising requires students to also language in the same way with the same purpose. Hence, this activity can test their vocabulary, grammar and speaking skills. At the same time, this will compel them to be creative and to show confidence in public speaking. Since the main goal of advertising is to convince people, lessons that focus on how to use language in describing, informing and persuading can be planned.
Tell and Show: Writing Descriptive Words and Making Posters
Prior to the actual activity, the students must choose an ordinary object such as pens, chairs, tables and clips. They will use these objects as their product. It is important that the teacher will explain what these are for so that students can choose things within their range of interest. However, for advanced learners, it would be challenging if the teacher will assign outrageous products that do not seem necessary in everyday life.
As a preparation, the students must be able to think of words that would describe and enhance their product. The teacher can guide the students by using guide questions such as What are the uses of your product? Why do you think people should buy it? What makes it different from the other products? This part of the process can also be a writing activity or a drill for persuasive writing. At this stage, students should be encouraged to use adjectives and metaphors in describing their products. Using a dictionary or a thesaurus will also be helpful in enhancing the descriptions of their products. In the process, the students’ vocabulary will be enhanced. For low-performing students, the teacher may opt to pair them up with high-performing students to be able to help them accomplish the task. The written output in this part can serve as a guide for their spiels in the later stage. They can also memorize their lines if there is enough time.
Students can also make posters for their product and write catchy one-liners and brand names. This can also be the time to show ads of well-known products and discuss what makes these posters attractive. Take note of the by lines and the phrases to promote creative use of language in real life.
Show and Tell: Showing Products and Explaining their Uses
At the actual presentation, the students can bring the products that they are "selling." They can also dress up for the presentation to make them get the "feel" of actual advertising. For guidance on how to do the presentation, the teacher can model on how to "sell" products. A video of an effective advertising can also be used to show to the students ways on how to advertise. Students must be able to realize the importance of showing confidence when speaking publicly and at the same time to speak with appropriate volume. These two elements are the basic standards for public speaking. Add the elements of emotion, clarity and creativity for high performing students.