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Conversation Flowcharts

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 1 month ago

Conversation Flowcharts


Chris Birchall


SKILLS: Speaking, Listening, Reading
TIME: 45-50 minutes (one whole lesson)
PREPARATION: 20-60 minutes (depending how eager you are!)




1. To practice speaking in a more interactive way


Are you bored to tears with the New Horizons Speaking Plus and Let’s Chat activities? Well guess what, so are your students! Here’s a simple way to liven things up a little.


The idea is that instead of giving the students a fixed script with a couple of blanks to fill in, you give them some more freedom using a ‘conversation flowchart’. Every time student A says something, student B has a choice about how to reply, and vice versa. Thus, amongst the class you end up with a variety of different conversations, which makes things much more interesting when you get to the ‘present to the rest of the class’ stage at the end of the lesson. To increase the variety even further, you can quite easily make two or three different flowcharts and let each pair choose their favourite one. I find that it only takes about 20 minutes to make each conversation.


Of course, the idea of this activity is freedom! So you should explain to the students that these flowcharts are just a guideline and they are free to alter them however they want, and even carry on the conversation beyond the end of the flowchart. Of course, most students won’t bother, but it’s worth explicitly giving the higher-level students a licence to be creative.





Explanation of the goal of today’s lesson (e.g. “asking a favour from a friend”). If JTE has been through the relevant Speaking Plus page in the previous lesson, might want to do a five minute review of that.


Give out the flowchart(s) to each student

Explain what it is and make sure they understand how a flowchart works (the students may be a bit shocked at being forced to make decisions rather than following a script!). Go through the conversation(s), with the students repeating the English after you and the JTE translating into Japanese.


Get the students into pairs

Give them a few minutes to decide which conversation to do, and fill in all the blanks.


Practice time

10-15 minutes to practise the conversation in pairs. During this time, you and the JTE wander around the class and find the best few pairs (preferably pairs whose conversations are quite different from each other).


Present to the class

Get the best few pairs (and of course anybody who volunteers) to present their conversations to the class.




Power Point files illustrating this activity can be found:

here for New Horizon 2 p.37, and

here for New Horizon 2 p.90-91

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