Ellen Hutchby Ellen Hutchby

smal talk - formal/informal
All level


To have a look at the differences between formal and informal small talk.


No materials added to this plan yet.

Main Aims

  • To be able to understand the different types of small talk and have a basic understanding how to do them.

Subsidiary Aims

  • To help them understand when it is the right time to have small talk.


Warmer/Lead-in (8-10 minutes) • Working out what Small talk is.

Put all of the students into groups and hang them a sheet of paper that has Formal/informal? in the middle and get them in there groups to think about what small talk is and what is formal small talk and what is informal small talk. Once they have discussed in there groups, become a big group again and ask them to share there ideas on what they thought. This should take 10 minutes.

Exposure (13-15 minutes) • Whats good and bad

Now put them into pairs or groups of three, give them a set of cards and ask them to to put them into piles of which is a good topic to talk about and which is a bad topic to talk about. This should take 5 minutes After this talk about why it is a good topic or bad topic and get there opinions. This should take 10 minutes

Useful Language (18-22 minutes) • When do we use it?

Now get them to go back into their pairs or threes and get them to think of times that we would need to use small talk, Think about; Where? Situations? With who? After this come back together and discuss everyone's opinion. This should take 20 minutes

Productive Task(s) (10-15 minutes) • Role play

They will get into pairs and they will pick a topic and they will have a go in there pairs and talking about that topic and having small talk.

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