1. At the beginning of class, have copies of the terms and
definitions associated with various language registers
from the first website listed above under “resource
websites”. Or, if you prefer, you may compose
a handout of your own with this information.
students enter the classroom, have the following situations
posted on the board:
teacher, principal, or boss
parent, relative, or guardian
friend or sibling
boyfriend or girlfriend
stranger on the street
shop clerk or librarian
scientist or mathematical expert
Ask the students to think about the following situation:
You are taking a stroll through
the mall when someone approaches
you. It is one of the persons described in the list above.
What do you imagine this person will say to you? Will all
the above people speak to you in same way?
After allowing the class a moment to ponder, divide students
of 3-4. Ask each group to write down
think each individual will say to them and more importantly
how they will say it. Give the class about 10 minutes
or so to finish this activity.
Ask each group to report on their thoughts and ideas.
Go through each of the various
people in the above list,
students to identify how each person would generally
speak to them. Ask students to think about what kind
the person might use, for example, would this person
terms in their conversation? What about sentence structure?
You may wish to create a chart on the board
listing each individual and the ways in which the person
use language in different situations.
Have a short class discussion in which the
and contrasts how they would speak to each of the
people in the previous list.
students write down as many differences in their ways
of speaking as they
present the class with the handout you have prepared
the different language registers. Discuss each of the
of conversation (static, formal, consultative,
Ask the class to think about the situations in
which you would use each of the language registers.
If time allows, a fun closure activity to
do with the kids is to create several short conversations or
skits in which they act out all the different language registers
in various situations. For example, the casual register could
be demonstrated by a conversation between friends, the formal
register could be acted out as a graduation speech, the intimate
register could take place between girlfriend and boyfriend,
the static register could be a recitation of the Pledge of
Allegiance, and the consultative register could be represented
by a conversation between an employee and his boss.
write a story, or re-write a common fairy tale or fable (such
as “Little Red Riding Hood”), in the style of one
of the five language registers. Students usually have fun writing
students can be assessed at several stages during the lesson,
especially when students present their findings during group
work, during discussion, and at the end of class if you decide
to do the skits. See if students can characterize each of the
five language registers and determine the situations in which
they should be used.