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Two at a Time
To begin your lesson plan using dialogue, ESL students in your classroom should read a dialogue prompt written on the board. This prompt instructs the students to pair with another student and begin to discuss the prompt. The prompt can be on a variety of topics, from health to language, science to culture. Have these prompts flow into the lesson of the day as seamlessly as possible.
When you have done this language prompt for a while, you will begin to notice that students begin to switch their conversations to the prompt almost effortlessly. This kind of routine is a great idea to utilize for the class from the beginning of the year, so that by the time you are observed by administration it has become habitual.
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Instead of simply holding your ESL students accountable for having a dialogue with one person, have them collect information from ten other students. Say, for example, that you are teaching a lesson on food. Have your students walk around the room speaking with the other students to figure out ten other people's favorite food. Once they have compiled a list, have volunteers share their list verbally with the whole class. Then, issue a homework assignment to interview another student in the school or a family member. This ESL dialogue activity helps students become familiar with one another while becoming more and more comfortable with conversation.
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To have your ESL students get to know one another, you can do a weekly installment of 20 questions, in which every student thinks of a question to ask the “student of the week.” This student of the week gets the spotlight and responds to questions, practicing his or her English, while the rest of the class practices a variety of questions.
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Have two students work to create a paired speech using dialogue. Give them a theme--sports, movies, science, etc.--and have them perform their skit for the entire class. You will most likely have to guide them through the editing process and help them with grammar and vocabulary. If given enough time and coaching, your ESL students will impress you with their creative dialogues. Make sure to organize your lessons well using a good ESL lesson plan template.
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Discuss Both Listening and Speaking Skills
When creating a lesson plan using dialogue, ESL students in your classroom need to practice listening and speaking well. The activities mentioned above, when used throughout the year, provide a firm platform for your students to practice their English skills in a safe and respectful environment.