Activity – Backchannel Bingo

Here’s a conversation analysis task for learners which might form baseline information for teaching ‘active listening’, backchannelling and body language. It was inspired by this post by Olya Sergeeva (hat tip to @eilymurphy) that I didn’t have time to implement fully so tweaked to my own needs.

Update (10 October 2016): There are two leveled sheets, one for elementary/pre-intermediate (MS Word or PDF) and one for intermediate levels and up (MS Word or PDF).

One student observes two or more students having a conversation about a given topic or one of their own choosing, checking the boxes each time one of the conversation events occurs. Use a set time for this; I’d say 3 minutes at least and certainly less than 10.

At the end, observing students report which boxes were not checked. This can then be taught/coached. You could collect the information from the sheets and repeat the activity after a certain number of classes to monitor improvement (or lack thereof).

I hope this is useful. If you do try it, let me know how it went in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Activity – Backchannel Bingo

  1. Hi Marc,

    That’s a great idea! Will definitely use it! I find active listening to be fiendishly difficult to teach – great to have a task up your sleeve that’s so focused and structured.


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