Teaching Telephoning: Interactive Classroom Activities

Telephoning is one of the most challenging things to do in a foreign language, with difficulties like not being able to use body language, sudden changes in formality when you realise who someone is, and many fixed phrases that can cause confusion if they are even slightly changed. However, the many fixed phrases make telephoning eminently teachable, with the right kind of presentation and practice of key phrases leading to instantly smoother communication. In fact, enough of the right kinds of activities could get students to the point where telephoning becomes easier than the infinite variations of face to face communication. 

Teaching Telephoning: Interactive Classroom Activities provides over 300 pages of photocopiable materials to make sure that students fully understand and memorise the most important telephoning phrases and get loads of truly communicative and varied practice. It can be used for everything from a one-off lesson to prepare elementary students for this stressful future experience to a whole course for students who spend most of their working life on the phone. 

To keep students interested and motivated until they become confident, fluent and accurate communicators on the phone, Teaching Telephoning includes stimulating activities such as:

  • jigsaw activities
  • memory games
  • coin, dice, board and card games
  • guessing games
  • pairwork information gaps
  • discussion of cultural differences
  • a huge range of different roleplays, including personalised practice

Contents include:

  • over 70 pages on starting and ending calls
  • over 40 pages on taking and leaving messages
  • making arrangements on the phone
  • telephone enquiries and requests
  • dealing with problems and complaints on the phone 
  • ordering and booking on the phone
  • personal phone calls
  • 50 pages of reviews of telephoning language and practice 
  • over 40 pages on typical difficulties such as common errors
  • a 10-page list of useful telephoning phrases
  • detailed indexes by language point and kind of activity

Language covered includes:

  • grammar for telephoning including Present Simple, Present Continuous, Past Simple, Present Perfect, future tenses, preposition and determiners
  • politeness and friendliness/ formal and informal phone calls
  • requests and offers
  • small talk in phone calls
  • politely asking people to wait
  • checking/ clarifying
  • difficult to pronounce words and numbers
  • giving bad news
  • discussing documents
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