The following is a basic chatroom lesson you can use with your CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) class.
Ideally this is best with a class who all know each other fairly well.
First off, prepare a list with all the names of the students in the class. Then, before the students arrive, set up a private chatroom (see Instant Messaging & Chatrooms for English Teaching on how to do this if you do not already know). Get all the computers turned on and make sure they’re ready for chatting.
You may need to go over the basics of using a chat room and explain some of the etiquette. Once this is done get each student to choose a nickname which they’ll use in the chatroom. They mustn’t tell anyone else their nickname – this is important so stress this!
Then let them begin on the chatroom.
As the coordinator you should try to keep the conversation flowing, asking open ended questions and making sure everyone is getting involved. You may also want to establish a few ground rules such as English Only, no abbreviations and so on. This will depend on the age and abilities of the class. In addition, you may want to establish a theme for the chat.
Set a specific time for the chat, e.g. 20 minutes. Once this is up it’s time for people to start guessing: they need to put real names to the nicknames and work out who everyone is in the chatroom. This can either be done in “real life” or in the chatroom itself.Image © Annie Mole