(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)
Most of us have had experience like this with an ESL student: Someone is talking for a half a minute or more, and the student is just looking at the person. When the person stops, the student just nods his/her head. The speaker isn’t sure if the student really understood.
There is a technique which students, both the listener and speaker, can uses in conversations to avoid that type of situation.
The technique expands on the one introduced in Part 1. Discussion Technique to Get Quiet Students Involved (Part 1) Instead of asking a clarification after each paragraph, in this one, the listener summarizes in one sentence what s/he thinks was said.
By doing this, the speaker is able to feel confident that s/he is being understood correctly and the listener can confirm his/her understanding.
Just as with the technique introduced in Part 1, after students have used the two attached handout-activities, they usually find the technique to be a “tool” that they can use not only in group discussions but also when interacting with teachers and others outside the classroom.