This activity is great for last lessons of a course, but could be used in other contexts too. It is influenced by an idea from Headway Pre-Intermediate.
No preparation is really necessary for this activity. However it might be useful to have the situations below prepared on the board in advance. There is also a worksheet of how to say goodbye in different languages which you could print and copy.
Elicit ways of saying goodbye. How do people say goodbye in different countries? Complete a matching activity of goodbyes and countries (see worksheet).
Now present the situation that is likely to occur in the next hour or so. That is, you will say goodbye to each other. Elicit language from the students in order to build a dialogue between you and a student that climaxes in goodbye (or a variation).
Now write up different situations on the board. These could include the following but also encourage students to add their own:
- A mother saying goodbye to her daughter on the first day of school
- A man saying goodbye to his wife as he goes to fight in a war
- A prisoner saying goodbye to his cellmate before he is released
- A president saying goodbye to another president after an important meeting
- A boy saying goodbye to a girl after they’ve just broken up.
Now put the students into pairs and ask them to choose a situation but not tell anyone. Students then write a short dialogue for their situation. Monitor and help with language where necessary.
Students can then act their dialogues out in front of the class. Encourage the other students to guess which situation they are acting out. It may be better to get them to write it down the situation they think is being acted.
Ask learners to share their dialogues with each other in order to act out more situations for further practice. You could also ask students to record their dialogues and create gapfill activities or jumbled dialogues.
By Derek Spafford