Line Talking is a simple way to get your students listening and speaking carefully. It can be used with any type of speaking activity where an exchange of information is necessary.
Divide the class into pairs. Each pair will need to exchange information between them. For example, one student may know the first half of a story and the other student may know the second half; they need to work together to find the whole story.
Get each pair to stand opposite each other in a line; they should be about 3 meters apart.
Now they can talk to each other – the entire class at the same time. But make sure they do not shout; they must use their own normal speaking voice!
As each students tries to listen to their partner on the other side of the room, they need to focus extremely well and concentrate 100% to firstly hear and secondly understand what is being said.
The speaker, on the other hand, needs to enunciate carefully to make sure what they are saying won’t be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
There are different ways this method of talking can be used:
- Giving instructions. One student gives a set of instructions to their partner on the other side of the room who has to follow them, e.g. with a city map guide their partner from the town hall to the bus station (and of course other pairs in the room have different destinations to make it that much more difficult!).
- Mix and match. One student has a list containing a few half-sentences; their partner has a corresponding list of half-sentences in a different order and they have to match them:
It was raining and I didn’t have my umbrella…
On Thursday night…
She had lived in New York…
…for twenty-two years.
…I stayed in and watched television.
…so I got wet.