[VIDEO] How to Get Students to Speak: Dialogues and Emotions

Many text books for language courses include short dialogues that students can act out.  Sometimes students prefer to read the dialogue from the book while acting, but this tends to make the activity less animated and more boring.   While it may be difficult, it is important to encourage students to speak their parts (without reading) while acting out the dialog in front of the class.

One solution for this situation is suggested in the video below, made by the Oxford University Press in the “Teach 21st Century skills with confidence” project.  I made these great tips even more thrilling with the SmartClass+ language learning platform tools. SC+ is a language lab solution for the 21st century. SmartClass+ works with PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, smart phones. You can read more about it here.

OUP Dialogue – VIDEO:

SC+ Dialogues – TIPS:

PRACTICING – Divide students in groups

Before students act out the dialogue in front of the whole class, it is recommended that they first practice their conversations in small groups. To keep students focused on a dialogue and to enhance the teacher´s monitoring and support opportunities we can use the SC+ “Pairing and Grouping activity” tool.

The teacher uses the SC+ Live Activities Dashboard to organize the students and to monitor students´ conversations.

  • TIP: There are three possible group mode options: teacher selected, random and sequential. To keep students seated next to each other in pairs/triples, etc, choose the sequential mode.
  • TIP2: Use the “Blank All” tool to blank students´ screens. It helps you keep their attention on the conversation.


  • Your students can continue the dialog in course book with four more lines to make the dialogue more interesting and filled with emotions. Teacher is giving more extra lines for each group. These should be short, natural and easy to remember: “That´s on the right. Thank you. You´re welcome. Thanks again.”
  • Deliver small piece of paper with an emotion on it: “sad, angry”. Students can express given emotion in their performance. It could especially help young learners with the performance.


When students are ready or when the teacher decides, all conversations can be recorded at once. The recording panel is mastered by teacher from the teacher´s station. Students see the recording status on their screens. Headsets are connected into groups and used to record conversations.

  • Beneficial part of this activity is the playback action. Students can immediately hear their own group conversation back and improve their performances in a second try. All conversations are automatically saved on teachers computer.

The teacher can pick up some volunteers or just the best conversations and share the recorded audio with the whole class. Recording can be used in other classes as well. The access to individual recordings is possible from students´ computers. It means that all saved work is systematically building up the students´ portfolios during the school year on student´s computers.

All these tools help us using live language more effectively. But we need to remember that the live volunteers´ performance in front of the whole class is realy enjoyable part, isn´t it?

Do you have any interesting language dialogue class experience or tips? Share with us.

Veronika, trainer, passionate teacher, blogger, member of smartclasscommunity team

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