Vocabulary Teaching Using Student-Written DialoguesAlice Dana Delaney Walker
Last ESL employer: International Trade Institute (Hsinchu, Taiwan)
aiw [at] speakeasy.org
- Model the exercise, you and the class writing a dialogue together. In lower-ability groups, the teacher may write the dialogue; in advanced classes, volunteer students may do this.
- Pair students, let them do the same. (4 or 5 minutes)
- Have the pairs of students exchange dialogues. (1 min.)
- Have the new pair practice the dialogue, making any changes to correct grammar or improve the dialogue. (3 minutes)
- Have the second pair present the edited version to the original writers. (2 minutes)
- Have the four discuss the dialgoues, process, feedback, etc. in English (2-4 minutes)
- A few options may then be discussed and one chosen:
- pass the dialogues around the room for students to read (5 min.)
- collect the dialogues to use in another creative way, (basis for quizzes, a Dialogue Book for the semester, suggestions from students, etc.), or
- rip them up and have the students basket-ball toss them into the garbage.
- The teacher does not grade, review, or correct.
When doing such exercises, it is often wise to time each step. Short time allotments discourage timidity. Vary the suggested times, according to the students' levels of comfort and production.
I owe the basic idea of this exercise to Ms. Ibtisam Ali who gently suggested it when she was my student at the United Arab Emirates University. She is now an English teacher herself in the UAE.
The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. 1, No. 2, December 1995