Functional Language Dice Game

A LESSON PLAN FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS

Level: Intermediate
Topic: General
Grammar Topic: Functions & Text
Type: Lesson Plans
Submitted by:
Published: 7th Nov 2014

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Lesson Plan Text

Telephone, email or face to face functional language dice game

Throw the dice three times to decide the function, the situation/ topic and the means of 
communication, then roleplay that situation (just saying what you would write in your 
emails and your partner’s replies if you get a 1 or 2 with the third roll – there is no need to 
write anything). 

Number

on the

dice

First throw – 

Function

Second throw – 

Situation/ Topic

Third throw – 

Means of

communication

1

Complaint

Dinner

Email or SMS

2

Arrangement/

Invitation

Hotel

Email or SMS

3

Giving instructions/

Giving directions

Work

Telephone (including

leaving messages)

4

Asking for

information

Studies

Telephone (including

leaving messages)

5

Changing/

Cancelling/ Giving

bad news

Product/ Service

Face to face

6

Ordering/ Booking/

Applying for

Transport/ Journey

Face to face

If you are successful in doing the thing above (successfully ordering something etc), play 
passes to your partner. If you are unsuccessful, roll the dice just one more time and 
roleplay the same situation with the means of communication that the dice shows now. 

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

Continue the game above, but making up your own situations and just throwing the dice 
once
 to decide the means of communication. 

Possible functions:
-

Apologising

-

Asking for advice/ Asking for feedback on something

-

Asking for permission

-

Asking to put in contact with someone

-

Chasing something up/ Checking the progress of something

-

Correcting wrong information

-

Giving advice/ Giving feedback/ Recommending/ Suggesting

-

Giving information

-

Introducing yourself

-

Negotiating

-

Offering a product or service

-

Offering help

-

Passing on someone else’s opinion

-

Quitting something

-

Requesting (= Asking for something or asking for help)

-

Thanking

-

Warning

Report back to the class about which roleplay and means of communication was easiest 
and most difficult. 

Homework
Choose three situations from either of the two pages above and write an email exchange 
for one, a telephone exchange for one and a face to face conversation for the other.

Written by Alex Case for UsingEnglish.com © 2014

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