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    • #8649


      As a follow-up to the controlled dialogue practice we saw in Activity 6 (building a dialogue with Alex and Bobby), what would you do?

      • Give them a new situation and ask them to write out a dialogue.
      • Give them a new situation and have them practice it orally.
      • Ask for volunteers to act out a new situation with the teacher without practice.
      • What’s a situation that you think would surely be successful for your students?

      Post your ideas in a reply below and comment on other teachers’ ideas.

    • #8672

      Steven Herder

      As for most of my forum posts, I immediately consider two factors before deciding what I would do:

      1. The context I’m teaching in.
      2. The level of the students.

      I’ll respond to each of the suggestions below within my EFL context in Japan. I teach students from CEFR A2 to B2 in my department.

      • Give them a new situation and ask them to write out a dialogue.
        Great idea if they have been trained to focus on output and it is a normal occurrence to have groups perform their dialogs in front of the class.
      • Give them a new situation and have them practice it orally.
        Great idea for a group of students who have some confidence and willingness to challenge themselves.
      • Ask for volunteers to act out a new situation with the teacher without practice.
        Risky with my current students. They lack confidence and they are still terrified of making mistakes, based on their experience in high school English classes.
      • What’s a situation that you think would surely be successful for your students?
        My first thought is finding a situation that students would like to do, and therefore my tendency would be to get pairs to brainstorm people they might meet on the street or in a train. For example, I can imagine one student volunteering if we were having this dialog with a band called EXILE in Japan. I happen to know how much she likes them because she chose them as the subject of a powerpoint presentation last year.

        The more you get to know your students, both individually and as a class, the better you can choose ways to help them improve.

      • #8693

        I like how you always start by considering the context and students, as well as highlight the benefits of getting to know students’ individual needs and interests in order to better select materials, activities, and lessons that will appeal to them.

    • #8691

      I would ask students to work in pairs (or 3’s) and create their own situation and short dialogue, which they should write down. (The level of the students should naturally determine the level of the dialogue so whilst it’s fine to look up words, they should basically use language they already know.)

      Then they could practice it and (a) use it for readers’ theatre, or (b) turn it into a skit.

      For readers’ theatre teacher tips and resources:

    • #8703

      Barbara Bujtás

      I would give them a list of body parts that can be broken and some ‘dangerous’ activities. E.g. neck, nose, toe, etc.; riding a bike, playing in the park, cleaning the windows, …
      I would ask them to write a new dialogue in pairs, using prompts from the two lists, they could have the original dialogue script displayed some not-easy-to-see place in the room (so that they have to stand up and walk there to see it).
      After a rehearsal, they could perform their dialogues in front of the class or they could record it on a video.

      • #8715

        I like how focusing on danger makes it more memorable 😉

        One other thing I like to do with an injuries lesson is to play charades. Students take turns to silently act out (a) what they broke/twisted/banged/cut, and then (b) how it happened.

        With 4 or more, this can be done cooperatively together or competitively in teams of two. Lots of fun and inevitable laughter 🙂

    • #8724

      Rhett Burton

      Alex and Bobby?
      I ask the question because I am looking for reasons why my students are invested in these names. I work hard to create a love for the characters I use by giving the an origins story. I like how Marvel does it.

      Extending the Task – Madblib

      What’s wrong?
      I broke my[body part 1].
       I was riding my [noun] when a/an [noun] jumped [proposition] me. 
      I crashed.
      It hurt. 
      That’s how I broke my [body part 1].

      Speaking Task-
      Retell the Madlib to others 

      I might provide them with several other situations that requires the same skills but changes the situation and context. I would try to use the time in the practice and production stages effectively by providing enough skills building exercises for the students to be more deliberate in how they practice.

      These types of tasks usually generate a lot of smiles and laughs because they are silly. Laughter elicits laughter. 

      I feel students could take ownership of these stories because they have enough control to make it theirs.

      • #8741

        With young adults and above, I think it’s still reasonable to have fictitious characters that the students may become invested in through the process of co-creating the dialogue. And they understand this as a teaching/learning exercise on. As you do with your characters, the teacher might well return to Alex and Bobby throughout the rest of the course and thus develop them. For example, I still remember “Claude Le Clochard” as a cartoon detective character that popped up in my secondary school French classes.

        Mad Libs is a great idea for an extension! (Here’s an overview for anyone not familiar or who, like me, might have forgotten: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_Libs)

        What modifications might you need to make it work in your context or one you would use it in?


    • #10869

      Masatoshi Shoji

      Give them a new situation and ask them to write out a dialogue.
      Give them a new situation and have them practice it orally.
      Ask for volunteers to act out a new situation with the teacher without practice.
      What’s a situation that you think would surely be successful for your students?

      I would ask students to write out a dialogue. Afterwards, they will practice it orally.
      I avoid to ask for students to act out without practice. It’s confusing and takes time.
      I will ask students in what situation they want to practice.

      • #10874

        Good choice and use of linked activities, Masatoshi. Some important questions to consider when planning and giving instructions:

        – Will you ask students to write out a dialogue individually, in pairs, or groups?
        – How will they practice – scripted and/or unscripted?
        – How long will you give the students for each task/activity?

        Lastly, what kinds of answers do you think you’ll get to your last question? If you don’t get an answer, what choices might you offer?

    • #10894

      Masatoshi Shoji

      At first, I will ask students in what situation they want to practice.
      IN group work, they will write a dialogue.
      Team A thinks about customer’s comments while team B thinks about sales clear’s comments.
      They will write a script so that we practice together.

    • #12934

      Jessica Sohn

      Normally, for my speaking classes we have a fixed textbook.
      And, there is always a short dialogue in the beginning.

      I would start by introducing a short video clip/audio with the dialogue for them to have the big picture of the context. Then have them read by themselves 2X. And then read together as a class. I would divide the class into pairs or 3 depending on the script. Have them practice in teams and give them about 7-10 minutes to practice and give them a mission to complete. I would have each group present at the end and reward them with a game related to the speaking focus + or some other reward.

      • #12944

        One of the notable issues in EFL/ESL/EAL classes is that communication is often mediated by the textbook, with little room for authentic language use. As such, this question seeks to get teachers to consider what they can do “as a follow-up to the controlled dialogue practice” and move towards freer language production. How might you further adapt your ideas to allow this?

    • #12943

      Rhett Burton

      I briefly talked about why my students didn’t like random characters in the roleplay thread. Dialogues

      I am not saying new/ different characters don’t work. Still, I think too many new elements don’t allow the students to think and internalize how a single moment changes a character arc.

      I am interested in how other professional writers tackle these challenges in their fields.

      • #13268

        All valid points, Rhett, and thank you for sharing that excellent, interesting video clip for writing dialogue.

        Returning to the task at hand, however, what would you do as a follow-up to the controlled dialogue practice?

    • #13306

      scott gray

      I have teenagers in a school situation so with the different levels I tend to practice together reading with whole class or just their parts after listening to my ad how performance of the dialogue. Then a few practices with different partners. Follow up with good groups creating their own similar dialogue while weaker groups will just replace certain targeted areas of the dialogue. The advanced group also gets the plus alpha rule where they should add something extra to it.

      with stronger students although I don’t get enough of these just give them more reign to take the conversation wherever they want. Let them change the situation or if possible rewrite using only their real experiences.

      • #13313

        I like your practical ideas for differentiated learning.

        Recently, in my mixed ability class, when reading a multipath graded reader (e.g. Choose Your Own Adventure), I’ve been trying the following options:
        a) less capable readers can choose to (i) shadow me or a friend, (ii) ask me/a friend to read a sentence first then they read, or (iii) read first then I read if they were notably disfluent and unable to process meaning;
        b) stronger readers should work on their delivery, and aim to put the corresponding emotion into the words they read and adjust the speed, etc.

        Soon, we’ll be doing readers’ theatre, which will give them more opportunities to do this in dialogues.

        It’s also fun to do repeat reading (a) as different characters or (b) with different emotions, e.g. First time read the dialogue as intended, then second time excitedly/sadly/angrily, etc, then others have to guess afterward.

    • #17007

      Rhett Burton

      I love how the teacher in Activity 6 used stick men to illustrate the characters in the stories. As a follow-up activity, I might have the students make a stickman comic strip that utilized the practiced forms and allowed for some personalization. I would have the students make a picture box for each part of the dialogue and switch out the event that caused the accident to make it more personalized.

      • #17018

        Likewise, I’m fond of using stickmen/women/animals and it often helps break down the barrier for kids who aren’t confident about their artwork.  Nice idea for a follow-up activity including personalization.

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