Disappearing Dialog

This is great for A1-A2 levels. It works on vocabulary, pronunciation, phrases… The dialog should be a “typical” one, like introducing oneself, in a cafe/restaurant, asking about someone’s family etc.

  1. choose or write a dialog on the white board.
  2. Check that the learners understand the dialog (use CCQ etc.).
  3. Then practice the pronunciation with simple choral and individual repetition of each sentence as a whole.
  4. Put them in pairs and have them read the dialog with one person A and the other B.
  5. Then have them switch roles.
  6. Now, go to the board and erase about one word per line. Repeat the process.
  7. Again, erase another word per line and repeat.
  8. This continues until there is no dialog at all on the whiteboard, only A: B: .
  9. Finally ask the pairs to demonstrate the dialog to the whole class.

Tip: the dialogs can’t be too long. About 6 lines (3 per person) is good, not more than 10 lines (5 per person).

1-1: This can work for 1-1 as well just as described. The language trainer takes on one of the roles.


Whisper Down the Alley

Whisper Down the Alley

This one is good for lower levels or intermediate levels with numbers or minimal pairs.

  1. Choose a sentence or a set of numbers that illustrate a particular lexical chunk or pesky pronunciation point you would like to practice. For example, my German learners might find this one challenging: A kit with forty beds would sink quickly, I think. (the “th/f” is a challenge, the endings with t/d and the adverb as well).
  2. Explain that you are going to whisper a number/sentence/phrase into the first person’s ear.
  3. That person will whisper it to the next person and so on.
  4. The last person in the line writes the sentence on the board and it is compared to the original sentence. You might want to trace where the variations occurred (without making anyone feel bad).

Variation: Have two lines with the same sentence, they get a point for being the first finished and another point for the sentence closest to the original.