Broken telephone

This is a little game I have used to help students with their listening practice and it develops pronunciation awareness.

Daphne Tan, Singapore


  • First the class is divided into a few groups, with about ten in each group. I hand one person in the group a sentence, which he or she must then memorise and pass on to the next person, by whispering.
  • The next person will pass the sentence down the line to the next and so on until it finally gets to the last person in the group. That person in the group will then have to stand up and say what the sentence is.

I find this exercise fun and a break from the normal learning routine. Teachers can construct sentences with words that may sound similar to others, like working (walking), lazy (lady), grass (glass) and so on. It's really funny hearing the sentence at the end because it is often a mad distortion of the original. The students often have a good time laughing at how ludicrous it all became in the end, and more importantly, realise the value of proper pronunciation.

Language Level


Submitted by Lucia Lu on Sat, 05/13/2017 - 22:08

I have a variation for this activity which helps to practice writing in the same way. I divide students intpo two groups, they whisper the senteces or word (depending on the level) and the last in the line has to write on the board what she or he has heard.

Submitted by Gulshan Huseynli on Tue, 05/24/2011 - 18:18

This is really fun. Once when I was a student at the university we did it with a story. At the end there remaind only some sentences which don't have any relation with the story.

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