Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language Resident Name:

Marie Segura

Day and Date:

Week 1, Fall 2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):


Class theme/topics discussed:

Getting to know each other

Goal of the class:

  • Dealing with the administrative aspects of the class
  • Assessing the students’ technical capacities
  • Introducing myself
  • Getting to know the students and their needs/interests/feelings about the class

How did you structure the class?

Setting up Zoom

  • Ask students to make sure they put the name they want to use as their username or to change it accordingly (maybe add their pronouns)
  • Brief explanation that the videos should be turned on as often as possible (except if discussed before or if impossible) because it makes conversations more natural. The mic will be off to start with/during instructions but students should feel free to interact before the class starts/after instructions/in breakout rooms. If a you have a big group, maybe ask them to raise hand or signal themselves before speaking (but it truly depends on the size of the group, it may be easier to just jump in).

Activity 1 – Where are you joining us from?

  • Depending on the size of the group, it may be useful to use a word cloud
  • Ask students where they are (city, country…)
  • Start introducing yourself by explaining where you are + where you are from, then ask students to introduce themselves: name, where they join from, where they are exactly, what their workspace looks like (if they have the video on) or what their virtual background represents for them, why they chose it etc.

Activity 2 – Introducing myself, Jeopardy Style

  • In pairs, students are asked to think of two questions they would like to ask to get to know me. Pair them up orally and ask them to come up with two questions in a private chat or use the breakout rooms.
  • Then, they are shown information about the LR on a powerpoint presentation (for instance dates, colors… that are answers to questions you may ask to get to know someone). To be allowed to ask the questions they have just prepared, students must, in pairs, try to find the question that might match the answer. 
  • Eg: on the screen, write you birth date. Students should ask you “When were you born? “, “When is your birthday?” etc. If they find the right question, they can ask you an extra one that they had prepared.

Activity 3 – Speed dating

  • Split your students into groups of 3 or more and allocate them to breakout rooms.
  • Ask each group to write down as a list on an online whiteboard or virtual sticky note all the interesting things that they all have in common (ask them to avoid obvious things, such as all being students or taking a conversation class) and something unique to each participant. They will have 5-10 minutes for this task. (online tip: set a timer for your breakout rooms + send a message 2mn before the end to warn the students that their time is almost over).
  • At the end of the 5-10 minutes, ask each group to share their list to the rest of the class via an online whiteboard.

Extra-activity 1 – New Academic Year’s Resolutions

  • Share with your students a google doc with a table showing different resolutions. 
  • (If the class is big) Students are separated into groups of 3/4 and sent in breakout rooms. In turn, they randomly pick a number (can use an online tool/Siri for that or just choose randomly) and discover their new year’s resolution. Then, they have to convince their skeptical friends that they are actually going to keep their resolution this year and to explain why it is so important to them.

Advanced: Besides explaining why it’s an important resolution, students have to explained how they plan on doing it. The others, the skeptical friends or relatives, can ask questions about the resolution.

Extra-activity 2 – 2 truths 1 lie

  • Ask one participant to write three statements about themselves: 2 true and 1 false.
  • Ask the other participants to vote on which statement is true and which is false.
  • After the first person has shared their statement and the group has decided which statement is false, the first person will reveal the truth.
  • Move on until each person in the group has shared their statements.
  • The participant with the most incorrect votes wins.

Online tools you can use:

Resources used:

  • Breakout rooms
  • Online whiteboard, chat board, other collaboration tools such as Padlet or Lino.
  • Google doc to share with the class in the chat
  • Ppt presentation