What Did You Say?

Woman listening with her hand up to her ear

Purpose: When it comes to developing strong communication skills, strengthening listening skills is critical. This activity helps learners practice listening to both questions and answers, as well as improve their auditory memories.

Preparation Time: None

Materials Needed: Several small talk questions

  1. Have the learners sit in a circle. Turn to the first learner and ask them a question (e.g. What did you do on Saturday?). If the question and/or answer are difficult for the learner to understand, stop and practice them together as a whole group.
  2. After the learner responds, repeat their answer back to them (e.g. You went shopping and cleaned your house.) Have the learner confirm that you repeated their information correctly (e.g. Yes, that’s right/correct).
  3. Ask the next learner in the circle the same question, and repeat their information back to them. Model this with all of the learners in the group. Make a few mistakes when repeating information back so that learners are able to practice correcting you.
  4. Turn to the first learner and ask a new question. Repeat their information back to them, and have them confirm that it is correct. Direct them to turn to the next learner in the group and ask them the same question.
  5. After the second learner responds to the question, the first learner will repeat their information back, and the second learner will confirm if it’s correct.
  6. Have the second learner turn to the third learner, and repeat the question. Go around the circle until everyone has had the opportunity to ask and answer the question.
  7. Start a new question going around the circle; and repeat the process with the new question.

Variation 1: For a single learner, take turns asking questions and repeating back the information. Increase the difficult of the questions, or encourage the learner to generate questions on their own.

Variation 2: For low-level learners, keep the questions very simple and give multiple chances for the learners to practice the same question. After the question has gone around the circle, reverse the order. Use the same question, and have the learner who was last be first in the next round, with the circle going in the opposite direction.

Expansion 1: To keep all of the learners in the group engaged, after the learner answers the question, call on a random learner to repeat back the information. This ensures that everyone has to pay attention to the answers because they don’t know when they will be called on to repeat the information.

Expansion 2: After the first round, have the learners take turns generating new questions.

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