1 With a confident learner or using visual aids, demonstrate a conversation similar to the one below.
2 Encourage learners to circulate and, using the conversation as a model, to greet the other members of the group individually and introduce themselves, shaking hands as they say Enchanté(e). Ask them to tick on their list the names of the people they meet. Make sure they initiate some converstions and respond to others.
In a very large class where talking to everyone would take too long, the activity can be limited to finding, for example, 10 people on the list.
1 Give each learner a slip of paper with a name on it and a complete list of names. Set the scene by telling them that the individual name is their own name, that they are at a reception in France, and that on the list are the names of the other guests, grouped according to a table plan. Their objective is to find their name on the list and then, speaking French, to find the others on their table.
2 Practise pronouncing the names (on OHP) with the whole group then allow a few minutes for learners to practise in pairs or groups of three.
3 Learners circulate and use Comment vous appelez-vous? or Vous êtes . . . ? to find the other people in their group. They answer Je m'appelle . . . or Je suis . . . + their assumed name, depending on the question. Encourage them to say Excusez-moi Monsieur / Madame when they approach someone and Enchanté when they find the others in their group.
4 If a small group activity is planned next, learners could stay in these groups, thus ensuring the opportunity of working with a variety of people.
1 Divide learners into groups of four or five and give each group a pack of cards (24).
2 The cards are put face down on the table in a pack and each learner in turn takes a card, using it as a cue to address their left-hand neighbour who responds appropriately, e.g.
Bonsoir, Monsieur - Bonsoir, Madame.
A card with two symbols is a signal to engage in as full as conversation as possible. Below are two examples of how a conversation might develop.
4 Encourage them to build up speed as they gain confidence.
One person shows a number using his/her hands and the partner says the number as quickly as possible. Repeat ten times then change roles. Encourage them to do this quickly.