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Erase the dialogue

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If you have students that aren't very confident or happy about speaking this is a good activity to try.

Author: 
Sadie

Make up a dialogue about six or eight lines, for example a dialogue on making arrangements:

A What are you doing this evening?
B Nothing much, why?
A Would you like to come and have a cup of tea with me in the cafe?
B Yes, I'd love to. What time?
A Hmm, shall we say 6 o'clock?
B That'll be great. See you then.
A Great, see you later!
B Yes, see you later. Bye!

This is relatively simple English but the aim is to make it as lively and realistic and as natural as possible.

Procedure

  • Write the dialogue on the board and then drill it. Get the whole class to repeat each line after you a number of times until they sound very natural.
  • Once you've been through the dialogue a few times, erase a few of the words from each line. For example, in the first line What are you doing this evening? you could erase the words 'are' and 'doing' to focus on the grammar point.
  • Then go through the dialogue again, this time with the class trying to remember the complete lines without prompting and drill it again.
  • Then erase some more words from each line and before remembering and drilling again.
  • Finally, you will end up with perhaps just one or two words in each line as prompts. The final practice could be done in pairs and the students should then write the dialogue down.

As the students try to remember the lines each time, they start to become less inhibited about speaking as they are concentrating on remembering and it's become a bit of a game. Of course, they are not allowed to write anything down during the drilling - that would be cheating!

You can use any dialogue you want, for any situation. It could also be the beginning of a conversation, which the students practise in this way, and then have to continue from their imagination.

Language level
Language Level: 
Beginner: A1

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