Here is an activity to challenge the students' reading skills at intermediate level and give them controlled speaking practice in a role play. The learners have to put a jumbled conversation into the correct order and can then act it out in pairs. The conversation takes place in a Travel Agent's.

Materials

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.

Preparation

  • 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.

Procedure

  • 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.

Variations

  • 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

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Aiden Broderick
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Comments

Thanks for sharing nice and informative post with cool comments. Really love your work. Keep up the good work coming.

Very nice idea, I think it could even be adapted for a class of French kids learning English, I would have to adapt it order to have them use some vocabulary that we would have already seen in class in the previous week or so, that would make it a fun way of putting lessons into practice. Thanks again.

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