Hand out How to board game to each team/pair or simply display it on the screen if you are working online.
Before you start the game go through expressions to describe a process e.g. first, once, having, the next step is, next, then, finally etc.
The teacher or a student throws the die twice – the first throw indicates which column they should use, and the second throw indicates which row, to obtain the question.
Now student(s) describe a process using the expressions provided. Encourage students to use passive voice and especially the Present Simple Passive. It will instantly make them sound more capable and in control.
Monitor and make sure students use linking expressions throughout their description. I would also encourage them to use the linking words in the middle of the sentence as well as at the beginning to avoid sounding repetitive. You want your students to sound fluent and natural rather than robotic so discourage them from peppering the entire description with linking words. I have some students who love doing that and it doesn’t always elevate their speech 😉
Monitor students throughout the activity, correct mistakes and feed them new vocabulary.
At home ask students to choose one example from the board and do a piece of writing. I have asked my students to do the same and they very kindly allowed me to share their creations on my blog. Feel free to have a look and use the pieces as sources of inspiration because that’s what they are…inspiring 😉
The art of conversation is an activity to practise functional language and discuss a variety of topics. The expressions I have used in this activity have been “extracted” from a variety of podcasts I listen to daily. I actually found the task of fishing for these expressions quite fascinating as I don’t normally pay much attention to functional language when I am not working. I have come to realise just how rich some people’s functional language is and how helpful it is (especially) for language learners to know how to use it with ease. One of my students told me that these expressions, once assimilated and automated, served as stepping stones or mini pauses, that gave him more time to think and formulate his next idea. Thank you for your feedback J.
I have also asked two students to record a short conversation where they used the expressions provided to give you an idea of how to do it with great flair and passion 😉 A massive thank you to C&G for sharing the recording. You are a dream team.
Time: 30 minutes, but it can vary depending on the number of students and of course on how talkative they are
To revise and practise using expressions to: start a conversation, express your opinion, agree and disagree, get back to the point and round it all off
To practise fluency by discussing a variety of topics
Materials (Click on the worksheet below to download the PDF file):
In pairs ask students to brainstorm expressions to: start a conversation, express your opinion, agree and disagree, get back to the point and round off a conversation.
Go through the expressions together and when the students run out of ideas, hand out The art of conversation to each team/pair or display it on the screen.
Write a debate topic on the board and give students a few minutes to prepare. The expressions are color coded and each colour corresponds to a different category (the ones listed in point 1). During the conversation/debate students should use at least ONE expression from each category. Encourage them to use NEW expressions or ones that they like or are likely to incorporate into their existing vocabulary.
For a list of debate topics feel free to use my Yay or Nay board game. You will find the link in Related posts section at the bottom of the page.
Switch to the new topic if the students have lost momentum or once they have each used at least 6 expressions. Ask students to tick off the expressions as they go.
Of course as always, correct mistakes and feed students new vocabulary.
At home, you could ask students to record a similar dialogue to the one my students have recorded for you. It was a great opportunity for them to use the expressions again and by the looks of it… they had a whale of a time. Thank you again C&G.