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.

Derek Spafford


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.


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.


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.

Language Level


Submitted by K.Schot on Wed, 03/10/2010 - 22:52


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.

TeachingEnglish team


Submitted by Joanne72 on Thu, 03/25/2010 - 12:37


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.

Submitted by malitos87 on Thu, 08/05/2010 - 11:03


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!

Submitted by womens on Sun, 11/28/2010 - 22:52


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.

Submitted by Greg Guzman on Tue, 11/30/2010 - 22:38


I plan to try this exercise with my students next week. Thanks!

Submitted by comhelp on Mon, 12/06/2010 - 10:17


Thx for sharing Information. I'll come from time to time to read your informations.

Submitted by sisu on Mon, 12/06/2010 - 13:55


I love to train my rusty school english this way. Thanks.

Submitted by anisamuca on Mon, 03/21/2011 - 14:20


Today was a really entertaining class at school. I tried this game just as a warming up activity , and it was really funny watching all my students of the 9-th class , working together in groups , and trying to guess what countries were they , and their proper language! Thanks a lot!

Submitted by elsa machado on Wed, 05/11/2011 - 19:49


That's a great activity. I'm sure I'm going to use it in my last lessons!

Submitted by Gulshan Huseynli on Thu, 05/12/2011 - 12:06


This game makes students to work in pairs. Making up diologues according to the situation is awesome. I especially liked your suggestions in extension. Asking students to make their own gap fill activities and jumbled sentences is a  very good idea. I think it can be used with any level of learners. Thank you for this activity.

Submitted by agayeva shefeq7394 on Fri, 05/13/2011 - 15:31


This activity is one of the ideal activities. I've tried this activity in my class. It involved all the students to the lesson even  disruptive ones. especially they liked writing a short dialogue for the given situations. They were so creative making and acting out the dialogue in pairs. 

Submitted by Ruhiyye_M on Sat, 05/14/2011 - 09:27


I found the activity and the worksheet very interesting and I'd like to say Good Bye in my native language- AZERBAIJANI:  "SALAMAT QAL"

Thanks everybody.

Submitted by zifeiskurti on Thu, 05/19/2011 - 16:59


I hope to do it with my pupils next week.Some skills are involved and this will help pupils practise them easily.

Thank you.

Submitted by carolinagoretti on Wed, 06/15/2011 - 16:27


Wonderful activity! But in the worksheet there is a mistake in italy we don't say buona sera (good night) but  "ciao" or "arrivederci".

Submitted by jadenguyen on Fri, 09/23/2011 - 04:12


i think this game is so great. thanks for your sharing


Submitted by Michael Scott on Mon, 03/02/2015 - 04:22


This is a great lesson. Minimal prep, students working together, creating original dialogue and the results are silly skits that both the students and I are excited to watch. I tailored some of the goodbyes to my students current situation and used some of the ones provided. For one class I only had enough time to jump right in to the activity and it worked well. Thanks

Submitted by Jellyfish1990 on Tue, 04/25/2017 - 23:20


Who create this worksheet? That's no strange, we don't say buona sera to say goodbye. It is wrong

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Thu, 04/27/2017 - 13:42

In reply to by Jellyfish1990


Thank you for your feedback. Do you have any suggestions for a better alternative to buona sera? Thanks, Cath TE Team

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