Telephone conversations are a necessity for all of us. No matter what employment your students obtain, daily conversations using English will be a fact of life. Learning how to carry on a conversation in English when it’s your second language, however, presents a new set of challenges to learning. For one thing, there are no visual aids to help make sure you’re doing it right.
Play phone messages in class and have your students repeat them. Then, using whatever devices you can gather, divide your students into groups or pairs and ask them to send each other messages.
Once they have that mastered, have the pairs role play, taking turns being the language learner caller and the one called. The person called then asks the learner to repeat him/herself. Do this until everyone has had the chance to play both roles at least once.
Role Play Different Common Situations
Ordering a pizza, providing personal details, making appointments… these are all common conversations we have via telephone everyday. The use of these situations will not only help teach your students conversational techniques, it will also provide them with real-world practice for conversations they are guaranteed to have in the future.
Play recordings of common telephone conversations for your students and ask them to mimic what they hear by repeating segments. Ask them to try and copy the same intonation and rhythm used in the recording.
What Comes Next?
Write out common questions one might be asked during a phone conversation and ask students to provide the responses.