Learn English, Paraphrase Quotes

Learn English, Paraphrase Quotes

In this pair work or small group discussion, students have two tasks: paraphrase the meaning of quotes and then debate the merits of the ideas. In this way, ESL students can improve their English communication skills through negotiated meaning and develop their listening and speaking skills as well.

  • Focus: learn English by paraphrasing quotes to understand meaning, practice discussing ideas
  • Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Level: intermediate and up


Step 1. Explain the two language objectives of this speaking and writing activity:

  1. improve vocabulary comprehension by paraphrasing famous quotes;
  2. develop speaking and listening skills by expressing about the meaning of the texts.

Step 2. Form small groups and handout quotes to students. Student A and B worksheets)

Step 3. One student reads a quote. The group works together to create meaning by paraphrasing the text in one or two written sentences. After meaning has been established, discuss and debate the ideas.

Step 4. Allow time for students to complete tasks.

Step 5. Debrief by asking some students to write a few paraphrase sentences on the board.

Get the quotes worksheet here.


Looking for other language teaching ideas?



The image in this post comes from Hernán Piñera and its use complies with the owner’s creative commons licensing terms.

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