Roche Myburgh Roche Myburgh

Conversation fillers
Intermediate level


In this lesson, students will learn about fillers used in conversation to keep the conversation flowing without necessarily interrupting the speaker or using phrases to express sentiment during a conversation, as conversation fillers equally useful for the same purposes. The students will learn some conversation fillers and how to use them. This is speaking lesson, so the students will be afforded plenty of time to practise using these in conversation.


Abc Emojis as language
Abc Emojis
Abc Appendix 1
Abc Appendix 3

Main Aims

  • To provide fluency speaking practice in a Conversation in the context of Friends in a social set up

Subsidiary Aims

  • To provide clarification and practice of Conversation fillers in the context of Conversations about things we do or like


Warmer/Lead-in (3-5 minutes) • To set lesson context and engage students

In the lead in I will write a sentence on the WB using a mixture of words and emojis. I will ask the students to read the sentence for me, and I will ask them how they were able to fill in the parts of the sentence that were comprised of emojis. The goal is to get the students to think about ways in which we say what we think or feel without describing it. Can you think of any words or sounds we use in English to express how we feel about what we heard?

Exposure (10-12 minutes) • To provide a model of production expected in coming tasks through reading/listening

In this Preparing to Speak stage, the learners will listen to two audio recordings of a conversation between two British people. The first audio recording will demonstrate how conversation fillers are used in context. The students will be asked to identify words or sounds that were used to indicate how the speaker feels about what has been said. CCQs Did one of the speakers start his reply by indicating how they felt about what has been said? Can you give me some examples of such words or sounds? The second audio recording will demonstrate only the conversation fillers and the students will be asked to identify the sentiment expressed by the conversation fillers based only on how each is said. Following the second audio recording, the students will be divided into pairs to discuss their answers followed by WC feedback to test whether they understand the role of conversation fillers. CCQs Can I use conversation fillers to express surprise? Can I use conversation fillers to express agreement? Can I use conversation fillers to order food?

Useful Language (6-8 minutes) • To highlight and clarify useful language for coming productive tasks

In this stage, the students will spend time practising the different tones used to express different meanings to provide an appropriate response regarding the sentiment they wish to express. The students will be provided with emoji cards and asked to identify each of the sentiments as they are modelled by holding up the appropriate emoji card. The students will then be divided into pairs and take it in turns to practise the correct tone in response to the emoji card held up by their partner. CCQs Can I use the same word to express different feelings? Can I use different words to express the same feeling? Can you also do this?

Productive Task(s) (18-20 minutes) • To provide an opportunity to practice target productive skills

The students will now be handed an exercise which they have to complete in pairs. They will take turns turns reading the text while the other one provides an appropriately expressed conversation filler in response. To allow the students to practise on different partners, the pairs will be partnered with a new student after each one has had a chance to read both A and B lines. This will provide the students an opportunity to practise using different tones to change the meaning of the sentiment expressed. The exercise will be completed in pairs as this provides the best way for all students to speak for as long as possible.

Feedback and Error Correction (5-8 minutes) • To provide feedback on students' production and use of language

In the feedback session, I will write the conversation fillers on the Whiteboard and ask the students to read each one expressing the sentiment that I will hold up on a card. Any errors will be corrected as they are encountered.

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