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Activity 2: Fillers and backchannels in video clips

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Activity 2: Fillers and backchannels in video clips

To highlight the pervasiveness of fillers and backchannels in everyday English, the teacher can play a short video clip and ask students to count the number of fillers and backchannels they hear in the clip, using the worksheet in Table 5.

Alternatively, the teacher could give stu- dents a script in which the fillers and back- channels have been omitted and ask them to fill in the missing words as they watch the video. These video activities show students how common these words are in conversa- tional English. However, as with the ellip- sis video activity, it is important to choose authentic video clips so that students are

Instructions: Work with a partner to put the following 10 words and utterances in the correct column below. Then add at least two new words or utterances to each column.

1. oh 2. hmm 3. ah 4. um 5. I see 6. uh 7. uh-huh 8. er 9. really 10. eh

Fillers: words that give you time to think, create a pause, or indicate you’re not finished talking

Backchannels: words that show you are listening and understand what someone else is saying

Answers: hmm, um, er, eh, uh

Possible additional words: well, and

Answers: oh, ah, I see, uh-huh, really

Possible additional words: wow, yeah, yes

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