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A Reading Task and Role Play
The materials consist of one sheet with the jumbled conversation, each part of the interaction being numbered and a second sheet with the key, which is also numbered for ease of checking. The task sheet is attractively presented in a "call-out" format and can be printed in colour or black and white.
- Make copies for the class. One between two or even three is enough as this encourages co-operation. If you want to use the materials again, make laminated copies.
- Make copies of the Key.
- The activity can be inserted into a course at almost any point as travel and holidays are a popular theme. Initiate some discussion of planning holidays - what means are available in the country, what methods the members of the class (or their parents) use, where students would like to go for a short holiday - and if necessary, some relevant vocabulary.
- Give out the conversation sheet. Explain that it is a conversation between a Travel Agent and a customer but that it is jumbled. Their task is to put the dialogue in the right order.
- To do this they must look for links between the ‘speech bubbles'. The teacher can decide whether to get the students to write out the dialogue or just to make a list of the correct sequence of numbers.
- Circulate to deal with any textual problems.
- Ask students to read their restored conversation to each other. This will soon show up any flaws.
- Give out the Key.
- Do some pronunciation practice using the Key.
- Put the students in pairs to practise the conversation. Encourage them to read and look up to make eye contact with their partner as in a natural conversation.
- Invite students to repeat the conversation in front of the group.
- See if any students can memorise the conversation and perform it in the group.
- Invite students to make up similar conversations in a Travel Agent's using the task sheet as an example.
- Introduce a problem: the recommended holiday is too expensive; the customer wants some extra services etc
- Introduce the possibility of the customer returning or telephoning the next day to make some changes. The students are then free to prepare or improvise another related conversation.
- Introduce a third person to accompany the customer and have them agree or disagree.
- Make a video and upload it to YouTube, if that's allowed in your school.
Aidan Broderick, British Council Ukraine