Using Zoom Chat to Facilitate Speaking Activities

Challenge – In a classroom discussion can easily be facilitated by the provision of speaking prompts (e.g., a sheet with questions). When sent into smaller groups online however, students will often forget the focus of the speaking activity and discussion will often run-out-of-steam. An easy way to overcome this is for the teacher to paste discussion questions in to the chat of each break-out room.

Tools Used – Zoom Breakout Rooms

Discussion Questions Saved in a Word Document

Activity Outline

In this example lower level students were given discussion questions aimed at helping them practice the past simple.


Before the Lesson:

1 –  Make sure to write out your discussion questions / topics in a format where the text can be copied (See above).


1 – Introduce the lesson theme and discussion questions.

2 – Put learners in break-out rooms (3 is an ideal number for online discussion).

3 – Enter each break-out room and paste the questions in the zoom chat. You can do this by clicking ‘Chat’ and then pasting your text into the chat-box (see below).

Note: You cannot enter text in the chat so that it reaches all breakout rooms simultaneously, which is why you must enter each breakout room individually. Similarly, if a learner is not in a given breakout room when the text is entered into the chat they will not be able to see it.

To move between breakout rooms simply click ‘More’ – ‘Breakout Rooms’ followed by the ‘Join’ button next to the Breakout room you wish to join. (See below)

4 – Close break-out rooms and feedback as a class.

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