Practising key phrases #1


The students have been exposed to some key phrases, grouped by function, in a coursebook section on Meetings or Telephoning etc. Perhaps they then did a role-play, but when they spoke they didn’t use the phrases at all, or tried to and got the form wrong. Now it’s the next lesson and you want to revise the phrases. Here are three quick activities.

Activity 1

Elicit phrases to board before the next task of the same type

Very simple. The next time you do a Telephone or Meetings role-play that requires the same kind of phrases, don’t just refer the students to the language box in the book and hope for the best (again). Instead get them to try to remember the phrases, as a heads-up elicitation to the board.

They have their books closed, but you have yours open to refer to. Say: Who can remember a telephoning phrase for ‘Asking for repetition’? Then they try to remember, and you write up any phrases they suggest, reformulating as you go if necessary. If the students come up with other phrases, not from the original list, fine.

You may or may not want to write up the functional headings. I don’t think it’s necessary this time round (your question was enough).

Continue until you’ve revised all the phrases from the original list.

Activity 2

Reorder words to make a phrase

Write up all the phrases on the board, with jumbled word order. The students work in pairs to write them with the correct word order. This is an improvised classroom version of a workbook favourite.

Activity 3

Match phrases to functions

Prepare a worksheet with the phrases listed randomly at the top, and the functions as column headings below. Students have to write the phrases in full in the correct columns.