One-sided Dialogue

Dialogue is used as an introductory teaching technique to present English grammar and facilitate conversation. Using Plotagon will stir students’ interest when they watch the other pairs’ dialogues at the end more than if they were to enact the scene themselves.

Age/Level:

(young) adults/ CEFR level A2 onwards

Steps:

– ask the students to work in pairs or small groups to write a short dialogue based on a topic

you’ve dealt with in class (e.g. at the doctor’s/restaurant/hotel for lower levels, or a debate on

capital punishment for a higher level)

– tell them how long the dialogue should be, and any information they should include

– make sure they write down the dialogue on paper first; circulate to help where necessary

– hand out the tablets

– students create their dialogue, but only write in the words for one character!

– when they’re ready, have them swap tablets with another group

– they now complete the one-sided dialogue given to them

– have them compare their version with the original paper version; this allows for plenty of practice

of vocabulary

Another way of using this exercise is

– write a one-sided dialogue yourself (see example below) and ask students to complete it

– give students a dialogue they have read in class and ask them to modify it; the other students

listen carefully and try to find the differences

Model dialogue (from The Cambridge English Course 2 Workbook – Cambridge University Press

1988)

At the doctor’s

Doctor: Good morning. Now, what’s the problem?

Patient: …
Doctor: I see. When did it start?

Patient: …
Doctor: Does it hurt all the time?

Patient: …
Doctor: Where exactly does it hurt?

Patient: …
Doctor: And have you had this problem before?

Patient: …

Doctor: Have you had other illnesses in the last year or so?
Patient: …

Doctor: All right. Now I’m going to examine you. I’d like you to take your clothes off and lie down please.