Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language Resident Name:

Marie Segura

Day and Date:

Week 1, second class, Fall 2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class):


Class theme/topics discussed:

Getting to know each other #2

How did you structure the class?


Use a very short poll to start your class, eg:

  • What’s the strangest thing you did while attending an online meeting? (Multiple choice)
    1. Ate breakfast
    2. Wore pajamas
    3. Brushed my teeth
    4. Cooked lunch/dinner
    5. Watched Netflix
    6. Other but my lips are sealed
  • What’s your best personal remote work hack? (Open text)
  • In one word, how are you feeling right now?

Activity 1 – Interviewing each other

  • Pair up participants in twos.
  • Give them a list of questions to ask each other.
  • Ask each pair to interview each other, either via email or in breakout rooms.
  • When all the participants convene together in the same virtual room, each participant will introduce the participant they interviewed.

Activity 2 – Thumbs-Up or Thumbs-Down?

  • Students should choose a view that allows the entire class to be seen at once. They can also use a voting function if one is available in the virtual tool. Students take turns stating something they like/dislike or something they’ve done. For example, “I like shrimp.” or “I’ve visited Washington, DC.” Classmates indicate their similarity or difference with the person by showing a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down (or by using the voting function).
  • To personalize the activity even more, challenge students to offer an activity or accomplishment that they think is rare or unique about themselves, and see if anyone shares it. For example, “I cleaned out my refrigerator last night.” or “I was born on February 29.”

Activity 3 – ‘One Random Object’ Virtual Training Activity

  • Ask a student to pick one random object that is in their room and not tell anyone what it is.
  • Explain that the other participants will have to guess what it is, by asking questions that require a yes or no answer.

Online tools you can use:

You could use a chat board for this, but it is not necessary. You could just run the activity by speaking and maybe use a virtual board to record the scores.

Activity 4 – ‘Take a Picture of Something’ Class Activity

  • Ask participants to take a picture of something.
  • Typically, you choose a specific theme. For example, ask participants to take a picture of their shoes, or a picture of something that is on their workstation or the view outside their window.
  • Remember to ask participants to take the picture and upload it before the training session starts, as otherwise it might take too much time out of the training session if they were to do it in real time.
  • Ask participants to share the picture on a virtual board.
  • Start a discussion. For example, you could ask why they chose that particular item on their desk, or what they like the most about the view they can see from the window etc.

Online tools you can use

Online whiteboard, chat board, or a shared google doc.

Activity 5 – Find someone who

  • To run the activity online, create a 5 by 5 table with interesting facts, one for each box of the table. For example, you could write things such as: speaks more than two languages, has been to Argentina etc. Or, it would be a good idea to tie the facts with the topic of the class.
  • Share the file with the table with your participants, either in advance or during the session. You can share by email, through the file-sharing feature of the web conferencing system or with an online sharing tool such as a Google doc. Alternatively, you could do the activity in real-time using a tool such as Padlet.
  • Depending on the size of your class, send students into breakout rooms or do it as a whole class. Ask participants to write their name under each of the statements that apply to them.
  • Ask them to share the answers and discuss.

Activity 6 – Would you rather

  • Send students into breakout rooms in groups of 3/4.
  • Send to every room a series of “would you rather question” and ask students to discuss and defend their opinion.

Resources used:

  • Shared google doc
  • Zoom chat
  • Breakout rooms

Some comments:

There are too many activities in the class, but depending on the group, some may work better than others, I think it’s always better to have a variety of activities at hand, and some can also be used to start any other class.

Potential technical difficulties: students may not be able to take a picture, so activity 4 may have to be skipped. Having too many breakout room changes can take a lot of your class time, maximum twice in one lesson should work.