High Frequency Spoken Expressions

I was in Austria earlier this week presenting a session about Developing Oral Communication. Although we may know 60-75,000 words in our mother tongue, we don't actually use anywhere near that many in our day-to-day exchanges. In fact, a lot of our spoken language consists of formulaic chunks, which can easily be taught, practised and used.

I presented the following activity for classroom practice. Cut up the cards and distribute one to each student, then ask students to mingle, read out their phrase and see if they can create an exchange with the two utterances.

Once they have a partner, the students can expand on their dialogue by adding a few more lines to create more of a story.

You must be joking!

That’s not my fault.

Wow. That’s amazing!

I can’t believe it!

That’s very kind of you.


I’m so sorry.

No, thank you.

Yes, of course.

That’s so sad.

That’s interesting.

That’s wrong.

That’s ridiculous.
I have ten children.

Would you like a coffee?

I’m getting married next week.

You’re welcome.

I’ve won the lottery.

Superman just flew in the window.

Can you help me?

I’ve met Barack Obama.

Can I help you?

My dog died.

I collect stamps.

There are more people in Austria than China.

I’m 21 years old.

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