TESOL/Conversation strategies

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Conversation strategies in ESL

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  • Debate: Any type of discussion where partners have opposing views.
  • Speculation: Discuss a situation where the outcome is unknown.
  • Consensus: Partners must reach the same view.
  • Information gap: One partner must ask questions to discover some secret information, e.g. 20 questions.
  • Ranking or Rating: Arranging in some order (ranking) or assigning a value on some scale (rating).
  • Simulation or Role play: Acting out a situation as oneself (simulation) or as an imaginary character (role play).

These methods are especially useful for a broad range of mid-level students but can often be used for beginners or advanced students.

As always, key techniques to use with these are to:

  • scaffold
  • model
  • personalize
  • start with examples
  • introduce kick-start phrases if necessary