This activity is great for last lessons of a course, but could be used in other contexts too. It is influenced by an idea from Headway Pre-Intermediate.

Preparation

No preparation is really necessary for this activity. However it might be useful to have the situations below prepared on the board in advance. There is also a worksheet of how to say goodbye in different languages which you could print and copy.

Procedure

Elicit ways of saying goodbye. How do people say goodbye in different countries? Complete a matching activity of goodbyes and countries (see worksheet).

Now present the situation that is likely to occur in the next hour or so. That is, you will say goodbye to each other. Elicit language from the students in order to build a dialogue between you and a student that climaxes in goodbye (or a variation).

Now write up different situations on the board. These could include the following but also encourage students to add their own:

  • A mother saying goodbye to her daughter on the first day of school
  • A man saying goodbye to his wife as he goes to fight in a war
  • A prisoner saying goodbye to his cellmate before he is released
  • A president saying goodbye to another president after an important meeting
  • A boy saying goodbye to a girl after they’ve just broken up.

Now put the students into pairs and ask them to choose a situation but not tell anyone. Students then write a short dialogue for their situation. Monitor and help with language where necessary.

Students can then act their dialogues out in front of the class. Encourage the other students to guess which situation they are acting out. It may be better to get them to write it down the situation they think is being acted.

Extension

Ask learners to share their dialogues with each other in order to act out more situations for further practice. You could also ask students to record their dialogues and create gapfill activities or jumbled dialogues.

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Author: 
Derek Spafford
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Comments

I think this is a wonderful and really nice activity! ;-)
But I have troubles to open the worksheet, somehow it doesn't work! :-S Is there another way to get it?

Hi Klarina,This is a problem that other users have been having and we are currently investigating the situation. Hopefully we will find a solution soon. All I can suggest at the moment is that you try from a different computer and see if this helps.
Duncan
TeachingEnglish team 

I am going to try this activity today.  I am thinking of including differences in body language/gestures too, when people say goodbye in different countries.  Also the differences in saying goodbye face to face or by email/letter/sms/phone etc. could be an interesting topic for discussion.  Thanks for this!

Thanks for all your comments. I like the idea of introducing different gestures and body language. I have a class finishing in a week or so and will try it out then and let you know how it went.

I am going to try this activity today.  I am thinking of including differences in body language/gestures too, when people say goodbye in different countries.  Also the differences in saying goodbye face to face or by mail/letter/sms/phone etc. could be an interesting topic for discussion.  Thanks for this!

Excellent procedure in my opinion and a good game. I especially like the fact that this isn't one needing loads of preparations and still results in a lot of activity from the students. I'll try this with my class soon, I'll update you on the results, thanks.

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