If you don´t mind dressing
up a bit, try this one:
Living in a rural area far
from the capital, my students have very few opportunities to meet native English
speakers, so one jolly good day I decided to add a pinch of salt to my lessons
by announcing the forthcoming visit of a guest. My students were really excited!
They kept asking questions about the stranger. (To keep them on their toes,
I was quite mysterious about our visitor´s identity; all I told them was that
he was a businessman from London, most charming and kind, who was planning to
establish his firm among us...and that he spoke English only.) I suggested that
they should write a list of questions handy to interview him...and they eagerly
When the big day came, I
left the classroom a minute to go and meet our guest and returned...wearing
a pair of unusual glasses and a bowler hat. There was no guest at all...just
ME. The students laughed their heads off, of course, but accepted the joke ...and
carried on their interview as well as other tasks that I had planned.
After a few days, the students
(how clever they are!) wanted more fun, and they often asked me about Mr Platt
."Where is he?", "How´s he doing?" and, of course, "When will he come this way
again?" So I decided to "invite" Mr Platt to come and see us every so often.
Needless to say, my alter ego was more welcome than myself, but I was far from
jealous. Instead, I let our "friend" deal with part of the syllabus...in disguise.
With "him", the students
- Discussed many interesting
subjects: anything from business to travelling, including cooking, music, gambling,
urban tribes and religious beliefs.
- Used authentic materials:
newspapers, magazines, leaflets, brochures, catalogues, maps, tickets...
- Handled phone calls, cashed
cheques, ordered items, replied to letters, sent faxes and telegrams...and searched
As the course was coming
to an end, I decided to add some icing to the cake by giving the story an extraordinary
turn: in one of his trips in our country, Mr Platt fell in love with Amparito,
a girl belonging to a skinhead gang. After some exciting adventures, they ended
up in a Buddhist community, where Mr Platt lost all interest in business and
material wealth. He retired from the madding crowd and devoted his time to charities
and meditation. He even sent my students a nice amount so that they could set
up their own businesses. You bet they were thankful and happy!
Those students may forget
me, but I know Mr Platt will be in their hearts for good.