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British Council English Teachers Guide

British Council English Teachers Guide

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Published by: AdultESLjobs on Feb 29, 2012
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11/10/2012

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Dialogue-building gives students with little English a chance to practise

beyond sentence level. Making these dialogues meaningful is essential for

interest and motivation. Our approach to building the dialogues might involve

giving students prompts on cards or on the board. Contrast the two different

types of prompting below:

1A mechanical drill from a traditional textbook

Students find these very boring.

‘You are a stranger in your town and you need directions. Make up your
questions:’

Music shop. (‘Is there a music shop near here?’)

a) swimming pool b) disco c) café d) tourist office e) cinema

You can make these questions without even thinking about it. The

nonsensical prompt thingywould still produce the accurate question:
‘Is there a thingy near here?’.

2A meaningful dialogue

Students must understand the situation in order to respond and must

think about what to say. This is naturally more demanding but ultimately

more beneficial for learning.

‘You are a stranger in your town and you need some things.
Ask directions to the places.’

You need a map.(‘Is there a tourist office near here?’)

a) some toothpaste b) to change some traveller’s cheques

c) something to drink d) some stamps

39

Spot the difference

pp 75–6

Visual aids

pp 68–79

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