New and Old Conversations: Making references to previous discussions

To listen to a brief introduction to this post, please click here. (If you like these kinds of intros, I can see about integrating the audio directly on this page. I’m just beginning to experiment.)

 For a printable copy of this activity,  view my New and Old Conversation_handout.

Step 1 – On the board write the following chain of related conversation topics.

Cooking > Eating Out > Favorite Foods                  

Ask students to help you create 2-3 discussion questions for each topic. Write the questions under each box. Suggestions:

  1. Favorite Foods: What is your favorite dessert? / What do you like to eat for breakfast?
  2. Eating Out: How often do you eat out? / Which restaurant has the best menu?
  3. Cooking: Do you cook at home more than you eat out? / What dish can you make very well? 

Step 2 – Have students pair up and discuss the first set of questions. Limit this to 2-3 minutes. (If necessary, some students can work in a small group of three.) 

Step 3 – Have students form new pairs to discuss the second set of questions for 4-5 minutes. This time encourage students to recall related information from their first conversation. Teach them expressions for making references to previous discussions. Challenge each student to use at least one of the target expressions. Suggestions:

  • [Maria] and I were just discussing…./ talking about…
  • [Henri] mentioned that…
  • That reminds me of something [Donna] said. /…told me.

Step 4 – Finally, have pairs form groups of four. (At least two former partners should be in the same group.) Students will now discuss the final set of questions and continue to make references to previous discussions. Allow 6-7 minutes. Again, challenge each student to use at least one of the target expressions. At this point, additional phrases can be taught. Suggestions:

  • Didn’t you say (that)…?
  • Didn’t you mention earlier (that)…?
  • If I’m not mistaken, you said before that…
  • When we talked earlier, you mentioned…
  • I recall what you said earlier about…

Step 5 – If desired, you can repeat steps 1 through 4 with new topics. Suggestions:

  • Favorite Movies > Best Actors > TV v. Film
  • Favorite School Subjects > Best Teachers > Traditional Learning v. Learning Online



One Comment Add yours

  1. Thank you for bringing this topic it seems useful!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s