74 Let's TALK! The art of teaching conversation -- Let them speak!
Teaching conversation should be fun and easy. Yet, too often it gets bogged down in explanations, side tracked into obfuscation, parlayed by prepositions and battered by THE BOOK. I have a remedy.
I try to do two things. One -- teach conversation without a book! Yes, we still use the book but the book is the book and NOT conversation time really. I try to use either cue cards or ppt prompts for conversation.
See some examples for classroom use in our SHARE area (Resources - Share - Conversation/Discussion). This really frees the student from the pencil/pen/paper/text and let's them do what most English is -- communicate. Try our conversation generators also!
Two - I try to teach conversation how it should be taught. Speak first, experiment and then do the study and focus on language structure, then focus on explanation. This inductive and upside down lesson plan
approach is essential I believe for conversation.
I have made these Let's Talk power points which can be used in the classroom with great effect. First, have the students interview you or another student -- a whole class activity. Then, let them attack in pairs, using the prompts to ask / answer questions. Make sure they know there is no right answer! Many ways to ask the questions.
Lastly, go over the prompts again. Click on each and get example questions. Interview another student again using these!
I'll be making more of these on other topics. Also see the other discussion "Conversation" in Sharing.
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