Sketches-Voice Worksheet

Voice, Body Language, Presence

                                                       The Dave’n’Luke Show

Me and Him

1 Fill in the gaps in this summary of the story

Episode 1

Two strangers arrive at a beautiful place after a long, tiring journey. One is dressed in black and the other is dressed in (1)_______. One comes from the east, the other comes from the (2)________ They both like the place and decide they want to live there. There is room for both of them.


Episode 2

First, they draw a line with a piece of (3)_____________, dividing the land between them. But then they build a wall, to stop the (4)_____________ from going from one side to the other: ‘Good fences make good (5)__________’, they say. They are very pleased with their wall.

Episode 3

Then the man in white goes to work; the man in black stays at (6)________ and reads the newspaper. After a while, they begin to get suspicious about the man on the other side of the wall: what is he doing? Why is he so (7)________? Perhaps he is planning something bad? Perhaps he is wicked?

Episode 4

They both decide it is dangerous to live next door to each other. One of them must (8)________. They fight; they pull down the wall; they (9)__________ the land. Everything is in ruins.

Episode 5

They decide to (10)_______ the land and go somewhere else. It’s too late now. The problem was the (11)__________ They think they should have built in stronger, thicker, (12)_______, longer. ‘It was the wall’.

2  Put these quotations from the play in the correct order.

1. place my this is:________________.

2. it’s thing to agree good always a:_________________.

3. good neighbours good fences make:__________________.

4. chickens go they want to go where:___________________.

5. good good neighbours walls make:____________________.

6. make stand on your hair end:______________________.

7. send shivers your down back:____________________.

8. the iceberg tip of the:_____________________.

                                         The Bank Robber


1 Which of the following would you say when robbing a bank?

(a)    Would you mind giving me all your money?

(b)   I wonder if you could possibly put your hands in the air?

(c)    Stick ‘em up!

(d)   Reach for the sky!


3 Which of the following does the bank robber need to rob the bank?

(a)    A pen (b) A gun (c) A passport (d) Good English


4 Complete the following, according to the sketch:

(a)    I will lend you my pen if….

(b)   Unless you promise to give me my pen back…

(c)    If you don’t give me all your money now, I’ll….

(d)   If you come back tomorrow with your wife we will….


5 Rob or steal?

(a)    A car (b) jewellery (c) jeweller’s shop  (d) old lady


6 Up or down?

(a)    Do you speak English? (b) Is it a bomb? (c) Why are we doing this? (d) What is the name of your wife?

The Water Bill


1 Are your water bills…?

(a)    big  (b) small (c) too big (d) just right

Which of the following do you use water for everyday?

(a)    coffee (b) tea (c) swimming pool (d) washing


2 Put the following questions in the correct order,  according to the sketch

(a)    do you have a leak?  (b) do you drink tea? (c) are they registered with the Ministry? (d) do you have a hobby?


3 Complete with the simple present, simple past,  present perfect


pay be put take

(a) You ______ the milk into the hot water.

(b) I think there ______ a mistake.

(c) But I only paid 5,000 euro last year!

(d) I _____ a shower everyday


4 Which words are stressed? Are the words spoken Loud or Soft?

(a)    Next please (b) I can’t pay, I won’t pay (c) These are hard times (d) These cups of tea are made with hot water?


Luke PRODROMOU, currently writes for ELI, Italy, and is an item-writer for the Greek State English Examinations. Luke graduated from Bristol University, has an MA in Shakespeare Studies (Birmingham University), a Diploma in TEFL (Leeds University), and a PhD (Nottingham University). Founder-member oif:

David GIBSON, teacher, teacher trainer, Team Leader and Inspector for Cambridge ESOL, founder-member of TESOL Macedonia-Thrace is one half of the English Language Theatre Group “Dave’n’Luke”.

Penelope PRODROMOU is an English language teacher and materials writer. She is presently a full-time English language teacher at the University of Rome “Roma Tre”.

Voice, Body Language, Presence


Effective teaching

…involves verbal and non-verbal awareness and expertise.

Think back on the show, reflect, and recall examples of these non-verbal features

Voice Comments, examples
1 Stress
2 Loudness
3 Intonation
4 Tone of voice
5 Expression of attitude (humour, irony)
6 Mimickry
7 Talking-to-the-group voice
8 Talking-to-an-individual voice
9 Signalling transitions
10 Silence (wait time)
Body Language, Visual Signals
11 Facial expression
12 Eye contact (gaze)
13 Head movements
14 Body posture
15 Hand movements (eg for emphasis)
16 Interpersonal distance
17 Use of space, position in the room
18 Miming
19 Illustrative Gesture (eg for describing sth)
20 Sitting and standing


Classroom Observation

How many of the following quotes describe lessons you have given?

Effective teachers:

1  ‘the dry content was relieved by intense non-verbal enthusiasm conveyed by intonation, gaze, gesture and head movements’

2  ‘her movement around the classroom meant the pupils needed to watch her closely, as they could not tell who she was going to speak to next’

3  ‘through changes in volume, positioning stance and gaze direction the teacher was able to get the pupils to pay attention’

4  ‘if you are uncertain you tend to avoid the gaze of the class, by looking down at the register or your lesson notes or what you have written on the board’

5  ‘even more undesirable is looking in an unfocussed way into the middle distance: subordinates avert their gaze, dominants do not’

6  ‘speaking in a quiet and pronounced tone also reinforced his control. Standing head up and chin out, making eye contact with each pupil in turn are likely to add strength and maintain control’.

7 ‘how did effective teachers convey enthusiasm? They  used a wider variety of facial expressions, gestures and tones of voice, a wide range in the tempo, pitch and loudness of the voice; illustrative gestures and animated and imitative intonation’

8 ‘effective teachers smiled more and used more joking intonation’

9  ‘your gestures give you class a second chance to receive your message; effective teachers in whole class work draw more on their theatrical skills’

10 ‘ineffective teachers tended to jump in during silences either trying to hurry the child or diverting the question to another child so that the first child was not allowed the answer’

(All quotes from: Neill and Caswell, 1993)


Look at these two surveys (a) with adults (b) with your learners. How many of the qualities of effective teaching can be realized through Voice and Body Language?

Adults say the effective teacher has the following qualities:

qualities Voice and Body Language?
1 Friendly
2 Explained well
3 Sense of humour
4 Knew the subject
5 Patient
6 Kind
7 Believed in students
8 interesting
9 Talked about other things
10 enthusiastic

Young learners say the effective teacher has the following qualities:

qualities Voice and Body Language?
1 friendly
2 Firm but not strict
3 Motivating and fun
4 involve all learners
5 Sense of humour
6 Do not burden learners
7 enthusiastic
8 Patient
9 Encouraging
10 Calm and relaxed


Empirical Research

Six of the best! How many of these qualities of effective teaching can be realized through Voice and Body Language?

Expert teachers:

1  ‘haveknowledge derived from the classroom’

2  ‘paymore attention to language issues than novice teachers….whoworry more about classroom management’

3  ‘learn to automatizethe routines associated with managingthe class; this skillleaves them free to focus on content’

4  ‘improvise morethan novice teachers—they make greateruse of interactivedecision-making… ‘

5  ‘maintainactive student involvement’

6  ‘an expert teacher is both technically skilledand emotionally intelligent..

(From: Borg, 2006).


Borg, S, 2006. Teacher Cognition and Language Education (Continuum)

Maley, A.2000. The Language Teacher’s Voice (Macmillan)

Neill, N  and C. Caswell, 1993. Body Language for Competent Teachers (Routledge).