If you have students that aren't very confident or happy about speaking this is a good idea that always works for me.

Author: 
Sadie

Make up a dialogue of say about six or eight lines, say, for example, a dialogue on making arrangements. So the dialogue would go something like this -

A 'What are you doing this evening?
B 'Nothing much, why?'
A 'Would you like to come and drink 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 'OK. See you later. Goodbye.'
B 'See you later.'

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

Procedure

  • So, the first thing I would do is to write this dialogue on the blackboard and then I would drill it. I get the whole class to repeat each line after me a number of times until they sound very natural.
  • Then once we've been through this dialogue a few times I would begin to erase a few of the words from each line. For example, in the first line - 'What are you doing this evening?' - I would perhaps erase the words 'are' and 'doing' to focus on the grammar point.
  • Then we would go through the dialogue again, this time with the class trying to remember the complete lines without me prompting them and then we would drill it again without those words.
  • Then I will erase some more words, so this time the first line might be 'What ..',
  • Of course they're not allowed to write anything down during this - they're not allowed to cheat and it becomes a bit of a game.
  • Finally, you end up with more and more of it being rubbed off until you have the dialogue with just perhaps one or two words in each line as prompts. Then all the students try to say it all together and it's become fun and they're now concentrating on remembering and they're losing their inhibitions about speaking. The final practice could be done in pairs and the students should then write the dialogue down.

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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