Activity 1: Ice-breaking activity related to reading preparation for The Role of Language

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Activity 1 is an icebreaker. It has the purpose of (i) getting participants to relax and warm up for the topics of the session and (ii) bringing the issues to the forefront of everyone’s mind.


Please refer to slides 3-6 of the Power Point presentation of this module.

  • Each person has a card with a sentence starter relating to the role of language in the international classroom.
  • First of all, the participants reflect individually on how they would complete the sentence (1 minute silent).
  • Then they mingle with other members of the group to see how others would complete the sentence and try and remember the different ideas they hear (10 minutes).
  • They can finally pair up with the member of the group who had the same sentence starter as them and discuss / recap the ideas they collected (5 minutes).
  • Finally, debrief as a plenary on a selection of sentence starters of the facilitator’s or the participants’ choosing.

The facilitator can end the debrief by focusing on the sentence starters “What counts in lingua franca contexts is…” and “All teaching and learning involves…” to lead into the Mauranen (2007) and Airey (2012) quotes on slide 6. Allow the participants some time to read and reflect on these two quotes individually. How do they position themselves in relation to this slide? Do you agree? Do you disagree? Discuss as a plenary.

Resources needed

Activity 1 worksheet: cut up into cards, 1 for each participant

Room / space needed

The room, participants stand up and mingle

Time frame

20 minutes

Possible variations of the procedure

  • classifying into relevant/irrelevant statements – small group discussion
  • drawing on real classroom situations/experiences to illustrate/counter the statements


Airey, J. (2012). I don’t teach language. The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review25(25), 64-79.

Mauranen, A. (2007). Letter to the Times Higher Education Supplement, 21 September 2007 quoted in Jenkins 2011, p. 932.

Jenkins, J. (2011). Accommodating (to) ELF in the international university. Journal of Pragmatics43(4), 926-936.