Dialogue Puzzles

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school third year to senior high school teach dialogues in a fun way, make students think, use real English, accomplish a task without translating EVERY word. Interrogatives and sundry other forms. 10 mins dialogues, cut into strips, paper-clipped together

Have the students form groups of four, and give each group a muddled up dialogue which they must put into correct order. Sample titles include: "At the train station / shoe shop / department store / chemist (drugstore).", but you can easily alter these to cover situations at: the Post Office; Customs; booking a hotel room / air plane ticket etc., etc.. While the students are occupied, you and the JTE wander around helping where necessary. When the groups have arranged their dialogue, they start to practice role-playing it. Give them a time limit in which to do this (about 5 minutes is generally enough) and them have each of the groups perform their dialogue/skit for the rest of the class. When these activities have ended, you might set them to creating their own dialogues, although you'll have to give them topics, or the rest of the lesson will be spent deciding that.

Hints and cautions:

* Colour code each dialogue and note how many strips it consists of - make S/s check they have a complete set BEFORE they start.

+ Use a guillotine and not scissors to cut the strips, or crafty S/s will have fun with jigsaw, not dialogue, puzzles!

* Less able S/s will need help from both you and the JTE. The main thing is that these S/s participate, don't worry if they are comprehending the activity; other S/s are, and are also spurred on by the slower S/s successes and enthusiastic involvement. However, if there are a lot of slower S/s you might like to reconsider using this activity. Use your best judgement.

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