Happy New Year!
I’d like to take this opportunity to do some fun practice that I hope will help keep up your holiday mood.
Check out this link for a word cloud (or ‘Wordle’) made of winter and holiday-related terms. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, word clouds take some sort of input—either a list of words (like from survey responses) or a text—and show the most common words. The larger the print, the more often the word appeared. We’ll do some other activities with word clouds in upcoming posts, but for now, let’s stick to a simple (and hopefully entertaining) speaking activity. Since this word cloud was created as a classroom activity, there are some strange words in it (people’s names, for instance). You can ignore those or, if you’re feeling creative, try to work them into your responses, too.
After taking a good look at the word cloud, read through the questions below. Give yourself 15-20 seconds to think before responding to each question. How many words from the cloud can you incorporate into your answer and still have it make sense? Leave a comment below with your “high score.”
1. Tell me about some of your family’s holiday/winter traditions.
2. What holiday tradition has never made sense to you?
3. How do you stay warm on a cold day?
4. What is the best thing about winter?
5. Think of your favorite season or time of year. What about that season do you wish you could have all year round?
As with other speaking activities, you can record your response at vocaroo.com and send it to me as a comment so I can review your answer. Remember—you don’t have to publish your answer on the blog in order to get feedback, as long as you leave me an e-mail address.