Last time, I shared an idea about how to create dialogues that allowed learners of mixed abilities to talk together in a meaningful way. After that, I practiced using the dialogue cards, and soon discovered that while I had hit upon a great idea, I still needed to refine the process of creating these cards. I went back – twice – until I finally figured out a better way to create interchangeable dialogue cards. Here’s how to make your own differentiated dialogue cards:
- Create or find a basic dialogue you want your learners to practice. Many textbooks have a ready-made dialogue for each unit, in which the new grammar and vocabulary is practiced. Below is an example I plucked from a textbook from a Dutch Publisher.
- The next step is very important: change each line in the conversation into a function. Here is an example:
- In the next step, you work back toward the original conversation. Change the functions into sentences with a number of choices.
- Check if your dialogue with “variable notions” matches up with the Original dialogue. You may need to make a few changes here.
- With some luck (and a few tries), you now have dialogues with various levels of difficulty. Now you can print these out for your class.
Please note: it’s important to check that the dialogues actually match up before making copies for your learners. (I didn’t, and found out the hard way during a class)
Last step: have fun!