Applied Linguistics

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Applied Linguistics

Applied Linguistics


Using dialogues to help students develop their conversation skills is common practice in most English classes. One of the main advantages to using dialogues is that students are given a rubric as a basis on which they can then build. Once they have become comfortable using a dialogue, students can then go on to have related conversations building on their familiarity with the dialogue and the vocabulary specific to the situation.

Dialogues can be used in many ways in a classroom. Here are a few suggestions for using dialogues in the classroom:

•To introduce new vocabulary and help students become familiar with standard formulas used when discussing various topics

•As gap fill exercises for students as a listening exercise

•Use dialogues for role-plays

•Have students write dialogues to test key vocabulary and language formulas

•Have students memorize simple dialogues as a way of helping them improve their vocabulary skills

•Ask students to finish a dialogue

Here are links to various dialogues which can use in the classroom or on your own with a partner. Each dialogue is presented in full and focuses on a specific topic. Key vocabulary is listed at the end of the dialogue. The first set of dialogues is for beginners. Dialogues for other levels will be introduced over the next few weeks (Bauer and Benedict, 1997).


1.Hello. My name's Peter. What's your name?


1.Where are you from Janet?

2.I'm from Seattle. Where are you from?

1.I'm from Madrid.

2.Are you American?

1.Yes, I am. Are you Spanish?

2.Yes I am.

-Key Vocabulary

My name is...

What's (is) your name ...

Where are you from?

I'm from... Are you (Spanish, American, German, etc.)

Hello and Goodbye - Three Short Conversations


1.Hello, Peter. How are you?

2.Fine, thanks. How are you?

1.I'm fine, thank you.


1.Goodbye, Janet. See you tomorrow!

2.Bye bye, Peter. Have a nice evening.

1.Thanks, you too!


-Key Vocabulary

Hello... How are you?

I'm fine, - OK, - well, thank you

Goodbye, - bye bye

See you tomorrow

Have a nice evening, - day

Teaching English grammar is tricky as there are just SO many exceptions to rules, irregularities of word forms, etc. that, even if you do know your grammar rules, you are probably going to need some help when providing explanations. Knowing when to use a certain tense, word form or expression is one thing, knowing how to explain this rule is quite another. I highly recommend getting a good grammar reference as quickly as you can. Another point to consider is that a good university level grammar guide is really not appropriate for teaching non-native speakers (Bolton and Kwok, 1990).

One problem that teachers often encounter is that of trying to do too much, too quickly. Here is an example:

Let's learn the verb "to have" today. - OK - So, the verb "to have" can be used in the following ways: He has a car, He's got a car, He had a bath this morning, He has lived here for a long time, If I had had ...
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