Engaging learners in conversations

Hello colleagues, What strategies for encouraging learners to engage in conversation are working for you? I'd especially appreciate hearing how you are supporting conversations during remote instruction.

Thanks for sharing your ideas and any useful resources.

Take care Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition


Hello Ms. Miller,

Currently we have 2 conversational classes: low intermediate & advanced. 

Our tutors are conducting class via Zoom. 

They use Whatsapp to communicate and a few days prior to class the students receive a vocabulary list with the Spanish translation or sometimes videos. 

The list includes words they can use to converse during class based on the topic.

For example, this week they covered going shopping to the grocery store. Then they have words relating to food, cashier phrases, and etc.

The last 25 minutes they read a chapter of the book chosen and then converse about their findings. 

These websites help our tutors. 

Thanks so much for sharing these useful links! It's wonderful to hear that volunteers have been able to have conversation classes using WhatsApp.

I know a lot of teachers, including myself, are using Zoom. The breakout rooms work well for conversation. It is helpful for the teacher to provide a structure (such as sentence starters) for the conversation, especially for learners at the lowest levels. Learners at higher levels benefit from the teacher providing sentence starters that feature academic language. 

It would be great to hear from others about how you are supporting conversation during remote instruction.

Take care, Susan