ELT Podcast

ELT stands for English Language Teaching.

ELT Podcast - The Teachers' Lounge

Subscribe free:

Using Textbook Dialogs in EFL Classrooms

Bill Pellowe, Kevin Ryan, Dominic Marini

Podcast Notes

This is the 7th edition of ELT Podcast - The Teachers Lounge. Today's panel is:

  • Bill Pellowe, Kinki University Kyushu School of Engineering, and ELT Events Calendar.
  • Kevin Ryan, Showa Women's University, the University of Tokyo and kevinryan.com.
  • Dominic Marini, Fukuoka International University.
This week we discussed what to do with the dialogs that are commonly found in language textbooks.

First, we outlined a basic procedure that was popularized through textbooks such as American Streamlines Departures in the late 80s.
  1. Students hear the dialog, and try to understand it.
  2. Students read the dialog.
  3. Teachers lead students in repetition, pronunciation and substitution drills.
  4. Students practice the dialog in pairs.
While students are practicing the dialog, they should maintain eye contact rather than reading aloud to each other. This seems to result in better retention as well as better pronunciation and intonation while speaking.

One follow-up is for students to create their own version of the dialog. There were three options mentioned:
  1. Students do their customized dialogs at their desks while the teacher circulates.
  2. Students stand in two rows, about 2 meters apart, and do their dialogs. This increases their volume and makes it easier for the teacher to see what people are doing, especially if the classes are large or if the seating arrangements are difficult to work around.
  3. If the class is not too large, students could perform their dialogs in front of everyone.
One problem with presentations at the front of the class is that they can be a waste of time. During the long time it takes to complete all presentations, each individual does very little speaking.

However, the prospect of doing a presentation at the front of the room will usually motivate students to spend more time preparing a creative, interesting and accurate conversation.

To keep the rest of the students paying attention to the students at the front of the room, teachers can prepare a short summary sheet for the audience to fill out. The students in the audience are allowed to ask for repetition, clarification and spelling, as well as asking general questions about the dialog.

Another technique with dialogs is to have one student be the designated helper for two others. This helper has full access to the written dialog, but the others do not. The others must do the dialog from memory, and the helper provides prompts and corrections.

The books mentioned today include American Streamlines Departures (Oxford University Press), Interchange (Cambridge University Press), Side by Side (Longman), and Just Talk (EFL Press, Japan).

mp3 file
size: 11.7 MB
time: 24:12
Feb 12, 2007

ELT Podcast - The Teachers' Lounge RSS feed

© 2006 ELTpodcast.com. All rights reserved.