Loops are short dialogues that can be repeated over and over again without stopping, like this one:
They provide a great exercise because they combine drill with creativity and emotion. In order for the repetition to work and for the dialogue to make sense, the students have to say the lines differently every time, using different gestures, movements, volume, and intonation. Since the dialogues are short, they can be easily memorized; The students can quickly become fully involved in playing without needing to read from them.
The ambiguity of the dialogues allows for their use in different contexts, both prepared and improvised. The students can also improvise or write endings as well as beginnings, they can perform them for each other, they may add stage directions for other groups, or they can vary the dialogues by substituting words in them. However, the target language point we want to drill should stay unchanged, and it may even be emphasized visually to help the students see the purpose of the exercise.
By clicking the button at the bottom of this page, you can access a continuously updated bank of loops. It contains material I have created for my students, as well as a few dialogues written by other teachers. If you have written and tested your own loops and you would like to have them included, please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Some ideas on how to write loops and how to work with them are described in my article HERE.
I usually write Loops in order to help my students unlearn a certain mistake, or to practice specific words, lexical chunks, or structures we encountered or needed in free speaking activities. I often try to combine several of them in one loop. You will see the original target language points in bold, but you are welcome to highlight different parts of the loop if you want your students to focus on those.
Please note that this material is copyrighted. You may use parts of it to teach English, you may change the dialogues to suit your students’ needs, you may copy the loops you select for a specific lesson into a separate document, print it and distribute it to your students to use for learning, but if you wish to share this material or any parts of it with anyone else (such as other teachers or education specialists), please only refer them to this website.