Today we offer you a lesson about messaging. Decide together with your students what is more preferable nowadays: text or voice messages?
Level: Intermediate and higher
Age: teens and adults
Time: ∼50 minutes
Task 1. Warm-up
Look at the picture. What do you think our lesson is going to be about?
Do you often send messages to your friends?
Task 2. Lead-in
Discuss the questions:
- Do you tend to send text messages or voice messages?
- Why is it more convenient to send a voice message over a text message?
- Do you think it is convenient for other people to listen to voice messages?
- What are some advantages and disadvantages of both of these means of communication?
- Are there some people you would never send a voice message to? Why?
- Do you think voice messages prevent us from calling each other? Why (not)?
- Do you re-listen to your voice messages after sending them? If not, does it annoy you when others do it?
- Do you re-listen to someone else’s voice messages? Can you re-listen to them more than once? If so, why do you like doing it?
Task 3. Pre-reading activity
Match the word or phrase with its meaning.
Key: 1 – f; 2 – j; 3 – g; 4 – i; 5 – h; 6 – b; 7 – e; 8 – c; 9 – a; 10 – d;
Task 4. Reading
Read the text and answer the questions below.
Voice messages have become the dominant mode of communication in some parts of the world. On WhatsApp, over 200 million voice messages are reportedly sent every day.
There are ups and downs to using the feature. On the one hand, it adds a level of depth and emotional meaning to your messages which could otherwise come off as cold or passive-aggressive if you’re not familiar with the receiver’s texting style.
But the “modern walkie-talkie” trend may be catching up in the western world. The Wall Street Journal’s personal tech columnist David Pierce recently penned an article declaring Phone Calls Are Dead. Voice Chat Is The Future.
He argued that voice messages are “faster than a phone call”, but “warmer and more human than a text message”.
“In the swing from calls to texts, we lost the warmth and humanity that made the phone work in the first place,” he argues. “We need a way to preserve our most salient mode of communication but strip away all the cruft.”
Not to mention, you can speak at least twice as fast as you type.
Of course, how long the trend can last in this day and age is another question altogether. Once upon a time, sending 140-character texts for 25 cents was the exciting thing to do. Before that, it was playing Snake II. Before that, it was using your kitchen landline.
- According to the text, how many voice messages are sent on Whatsapp every day? Are you surprised about this number? Do you think the number was the same just a few years ago?
- What’s the author’s position about voice messages? Do you agree with this point of view?
- What are the ups and downs of communicating via voice messages that the author mentions? Can you add more points to those already mentioned?
- Who is David Pierce? What do we learn about his view on voice messages? Do you support or reject this point of view?
- What’s the conclusion the writer makes in the last paragraph?
- How many voice messages do you approximately send every day? How many of them do you receive?
- Do you think that voice messaging is a trend? How long do you think it will last?
- What communication trends can replace voice messaging in the future?
Task 5. Watching a video
Discuss the questions:
- Do you have a voicemail set up on your phone? How does it sound?
- What do the generic voicemail greetings sound like?
- If you were to set up a voicemail greeting, what would you say?
- Have you heard some interesting or extraordinary voice mails? What are they?
Watch the video and discuss the questions:
- What do you think about this voicemail?
- Would you have it on your phone?
- What kind of person could have such a voicemail greeting?
Task 6. Working in groups or in pairs
Work in two groups: one group prefers text messages to voice, the other one holds the opposite position. Look for as many positive sides of using your means of communication as possible. Write the key points down. Confront the other group.
Which do you prefer: texting or voice messages?
Speaking activities are, obviously, essential for English language speaking classes. A lot of students join classes particularly to develop their communicative competence, become more fluent, versatile, adaptable, and confident communicators in English. However, designing speaking activities might be time-consuming and nerve-wracking for any teacher. We have prepared a memo with superb ready-made speaking tasks that will make your student talking. Download it here.