This blog has gained many new readers over the past year. Because of that, I thought it might be worth sharing a daily “A Look Back” where I share a best post from the past twelve years. You can also see all of my choices for “Best” posts here.

This post originally appeared in early 2018:

Most ELL teachers know that 90% of dialogues for students to practice are terrible – it’s like textbook writers are in a contest to see who can write the most boring ones.

But dialogues can be so much fun – and such a great language acquisition tool!

I utilize the strategy by writing my own – making them funny and engaging.

For example, today we practiced this one for Halloween:



KOU and KAO: Trick or Treat!

ADULT: You scared me! What do you want?

KOU: We want a treat!

ADULT: I only have one piece of candy left and there are two of you. Will you share?

KAO: No, I want it!

KOU: No, I want it!



ADULT: Since you can’t share, I’ll eat it.

KAO and KOU: We don’t like you!


We’ve been studying Halloween for a couple of days, so students had some prior knowledge of the holiday.

I modeled the dialogue a couple of times, handed out copies of the dialogue, and divided students into groups of three.  They had five minutes to practice and then perform in front.

But that wasn’t all.

I also recorded them, posted the recordings on our class blog, and played them afterwards.  They were uploaded there within minutes of students doing the role-play. Plus, students could listen to themselves later and play it for their parents at home.

Here’s an example of one (you can listen to all of them at our class blog):

I’ve written before how I use the Audio Copy app to record and then immediately upload it to SoundCloud. It literally takes seconds.

You can read about how I’ve used these apps for speaking activities in previous posts:

Simple & Fun Lesson For ELLs Of All Ages: Writing & Recording A Letter To Santa Claus

Singing, Recording & Authentic Audiences For English Language Learners

You can also download other dialogues for free here:

All The Figures In Our ELL Book Can Now Be Downloaded By Everybody

I’m adding this post to The Best Sites To Practice Speaking English.