The use of dialogues in language teaching

The dialogue as an introductory teaching technique to present English grammar and facilitate conversation

1. Grammar-demonstration dialogues.
Aim 1: inductive recognition of the rule or paradigm.
Aim 2: grammar explanation.
Aim 3: intensive practice (structurally correct yet functional English)

Why dialogue?
1. Provides a context - contextualization
2. Ss are practising directly - direct use of language
3. Strong link between language and situation e.g. physical setting.

2. Conversation-facilitation. A
Aim 1 to provide Ss with a stock of useful expressions (& their rhythm & intonation) e.g. the cliches of conversation, frequently used expressions, greetings, rejoinders, expletives… for recombination.
Aim 2 to produce them quickly in new situations in new combinations rather than to know all segments by heart in their original sequence.

Why dialogue? It's the nearest the coursebook can get to face to face conversation. Memorization / recall can be aided by visuals, flashcards, stick figure drawings. Avoid Q & A formats and undue length.

The language of dialogues can be natural, appropriate, sufficiently redundant, giving plenty of scope for practice of weak forms - conversational English.

Dialogues provide scope for recombination, development e.g. re-enactment, parallel production, skits.

3. Recreational dialogues or skits.
*Adapt situational element (character/place) of the original
*One-sided (e.g. tel conversation)
* Response pair beginning or middle - Ss extemporize completion
*Punch-line but no lead-up given
*List of words as guide.
*Ss use word list to thread together basic elements of character, situation and plot.
*Puppet plays using particular settings of previous dialogues
* Picture based dialogue creation: cartoons with captions * dialogue invented to illustrate particular differences.

4. Dialogue Presentation
(a) Set the scene: arouse interest / anticipation - mime, pictures, slides, maps, preparation of semantic area through a competition or game.
(b) Focus on meaning of exchange (global) pre-questions
(c) Familiarization with actual utterances (intensive) e.g. through dialogue reconstruction or vanishing prompts.
(d) Formal manipulation - substituting items.

Exploit useful expressions in conversation or useful syntax / morphology in grammar presentation.
Directed dialogue / Guided conversation - Lift lines from the original dialogue and prompt them.

5. Creation of new utterances and new dialogue.