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Dialog - working with Dialog in class


To be able to teach a dialog in such a way that the student can enact the dialog in a role play with classmates.

Purpose: There are two main purposes for teaching the dialog. First, it will provide the student with a bit of language that will help him perform in a particular setting (writing a check, buying a stamp, etc.).

The more specific you can be in adapting the dialog to the students' immediate circumstances, the more meaningful the dialog will be and the more likely it will be that the students will learn and use it.

The second purpose of the dialog is to introduce certain high-frequency patterns of the language which will be practiced further in the dialog expansion activities.

NOTE: If the students do not have text materials where they can see the written dialog, the teacher can write it on the chalkboard.

It is usually helpful to adults to be able to see the written form. If the teacher notices certain sounds being pronounced incorrectly because of the students' native language pronunciation, he may want to focus their attention on the letters and their correct pronunciation.


Step 1: Think about the kind of situation you want the students to enact after they have finished the dialog. Be as specific as possible.

For this lesson you might imagine a student introducing a friend during a break. At the end of the lesson you may want the students to pretend they are introducing a fellow classmate to another friend.

Step 2: Break the dialog into pairs of lines or exchanges (these we will call cycles) and personalize it. If you want the students to be able to enact the dialog or parts of it, it is best to break it down and personalize it, i.e. change its characters to members of the class. .

For Lesson 1 the dialog could be broken down as follows: .

a. Roberto: Hello, my name's (TEACHER'S NAME). Sara: (I'm) glad to meet you. .

b. Sara: This is my friend, (STUDENT'S NAME). Roberto: (I'm) pleased to meet you. .

c. Roberto: Where are you from? Lily: (I'm from) Thailand.

Step 3: Write the dialog on a 3" x 5" card.

It is necessary for the teacher to be able to walk around and listen to and interact with each student.

Having to carry a textbook around can reduce your mobility. After you have taught a few lessons you may be able to leave the book on the desk and refer to it periodically and not have to make cards.


Step 1: Explain to the students using pictures, gestures, their native language, or whatever means necessary the context and purpose of the dialog.

In the case of Lesson 1 the purpose is to enable them to introduce themselves and others, and to tell where they are from.

Step 2: Enact the first line of the dialog as you say it and have students listen. (Repeat several times).

Lesson 1: Hello my name's (TEACHER'S NAME).

Step 3: Have students repeat in chorus after teacher until their pronunciation is fairly accurate.

Ex: T. Hello, my name's __________ .

S. Hello, my name's __________ .

Step 4: Have students repeat individually personalizing the line. Student: Hello, my name is (STUDENT'S NAME). Step 5: Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the next line of the dialog.

Step 2: T. (I'm) glad to meet you. (students listen)

Step 3: T. (I'm) glad to meet you.

S. I'm glad to meet you. (student repeats)

NOTE: In normal conversation Americans say "meechuh" for "meet you" so that the t plus y becomes ch. Students should be encouraged to pronounce it this way.

Step 6: Teacher says line one and students respond with line two, first in chorus and then alone.

Teacher: Hello, my name's (TEACHER'S NAME). Student: (I'm) glad to meet you. My name's (STUDENT'S NAME)

Step 7: Have students pair off and take turns introducing themselves while the teacher circulates, listens and helps.

Student 1: Hello, my name's __________ .

Student 2: Glad to meet you. My name's __________ .

Step 8: Repeat steps 2 thru 7 with the next two lines of the dialog.

Step 9: Have students enact the first four lines of the dialog.

Break students into groups of three (for the three persons) and have them enact the dialog.

Student 1: Hello, my name's __________ .

Student 2: (I'm) glad to meet you. My name is __________ .

Student 1: This is my friend __________ .

Student 3: Pleased to meet you.

Step 10: Repeat steps 2 thru 7 with the next two lines of the dialog.

Step 11: Repeat step 9 with all of the lines of the dialog.

Additional Activities:

Have students follow along in their TEXT as the teacher reads the dialog.

Have students pair off and read alternate parts of the dialog while the teacher circulates and listens.

Have students pair off and show pictures of their family and tell who they are. For example: Student: This is my ________ .