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The Telephone Game

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There are many phrases and idioms used when talking on the telephone. I printed up a series of 60 idioms such as "Please hold and I will ring Mr. Smith's office", and "I'm sorry, but Ms. Jones is not in her office right now. Would you like to leave a message?" on blank business cards. The activity goes like this. The students are grouped into pairs. Each student gets 5 cards (more or less, depending on the size of the class and the number of cards you printed). In turn, they turn over the top card and have to initiate a telephone conversation with their partner, somehow and somewhere working in the idiom / phrase on their card. The partner does not see the phrase. This means they have to think of a situation, and steer the conversation in such a way as to be able to slip in the idiom / phrase. The first team to use up all their cards is the winner.

This is a lively activity that is suitable for an advanced class. You will have already introduced telephone idioms and they will have done some conversation practice before playing the game.

Gabrielle Becker
Ottawa, Ontario

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