Is it dialog or dialogue? If you’re teaching phonics, I’d say go with the former. But that’s not important to today’s tip. In pre-service training I encourage tutors to try dialogs for their learners who are beginner to intermediate level speakers of English. Here is one that might prove very useful both in and out of your classes:
Learner: Hi. How are you?
Tutor: Fine, how are you?
Learner: Good, thanks. What’s your name?
Tutor: My name is [insert name] . What’s yours?
Learner: I’m ___________. What’s your last name?
Learner: How do you spell that?
Tutor: That’s a good question. M . . . C . . . G [and so on]
Here is another dialogue that I strongly recommend for tutors who want to make sure their learner knows how to confirm or cancel a lesson:
Tutor: [outgoing phone message] Hi, this is Tutor. I can’t come to the phone right now, so please leave a message. Thanks! [beeeep!]
Learner: Hello. This is _______ . I want to confirm that we have a lesson at
7:00 tonight in the library. See you soon!
Learner: Hello. This is _______ . I have to cancel our lesson for tonight. The reason is that my car won’t start. Can you call me at ___ - ____ so we can make a new time? Thanks.
If you have a cell phone, bring it to the lesson and let the learner practice calling your home e-mail using a written dialog that prepares them for what your outgoing message sounds like. After they have mastered that one, try leaving a message at a different voice mail system, such as your work number or some third party.
This week's Favorite Tutor Award goes to Isa Dolski, who added her own dialog tips to the mix:
Isa's cell phone message (608-555-_____):Your message:
"Hi, you've reached Isa's phone. I'm not able to take your call right now so please leave a message and I'll call you back."
"Hello, this is Jesus. I am sorry I cannot meet with you this week, but I will be there next week. See you then."
"Hello, this is Jesus. I wanted to let you know that I will be _____ minutes late today. I'll see you soon. Bye."
Person answering the phone: "Hello"?
You: "Hello, this is Jesus calling. May I please speak with Isa?"
Other Person: "Who?"
You: "I'm sorry, I think I may have called the wrong number. Can you please tell me what number this is?"
Other Person: "This is 555-____ ."
You: "Thank you, I'm sorry for the inconvenience."