Activity 9: Keyword Dialogue

▶ Duration:  5 min
▶ Aim:  Oral fluency practice
▶ Summary:  Students roleplay a dialogue, guided by a handful of keywords.

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Roleplays typically need some sort of guidance to avoid them falling flat, such as carefully designed roleplay cards as in Activity 7: Short Roleplays. In this case, the guidance is a set of keywords written on the blackboard. The students are free to use these words in any way they can think of.

Each student in the group has a different set of keywords, which forces all the students to participate in the conversation. Since their partner's keywords are visible, the activity is quite cooperative: ideally, students guide the conversation so that their partner has an opportunity to use their keywords.

The keywords should guide the students to certain topics of conversation, but be open enough so that the students can use their own knowledge to flesh out the discussion (obviously, the topics should be about something which the students are familiar with). Since the first sentence is often the most difficult, you can give the students a push by also writing an opening sentence for one of the students. If the topic can be chosen to follow on smoothly from the previous activity or topic, then the interest already established by the students can be preserved. For example, the following set of keywords (and one opening sentence) were used immediately after the students practised a dialogue in their books where two people were talking about popular foods in America.

Visitor to China: "You have so many different kinds of cooking in China."; chili; favourite; American.
Chinese friend: North; rice; famous; South.

Obviously, the idea is for the two students to roleplay a conversation about food in China, including discussing the differences between Northern and Southern cuisine, the use of chili, some famous dishes, and so on.

Before the activity, write the keywords on the blackboard. I suggest writing them in a cloud rather than a list, otherwise students might try to use them in the same order as the list, which cuts down the opportunity for creativity and spontaneity.

Explain the roles, and the rule that each person should use each keyword in their column at least once. But that's during the whole conversation—there's certainly no need to try to fit more than one keyword into the same sentence!

Afterwards, you might invite one or more groups to perform their roleplay.
Rating: 4 stars

Personalised, not very difficult to plan, and no sheets to hand out.

I need some oral english so that i can take to learn how to pronounce a word acurately.
James Shashi []
27.02.2005 , 02:54