How to Use the Silent Conversation Strategy in Your Classroom


A silent conversation is used to get learners to communicate without having them speak up in front of the class. Learners write their responses to a prompt on sheets of paper but cannot speak while doing so. They must then also write answers to one another’s points so that they are “conversing” through writing.


  • Learners who do not like to speak in class can write down their responses.
  • It is sometimes easier to respond in writing than speaking because learners have time to reflect and think about the wording of their response before writing it.


  • Only one learner at a time can write their response. Consider what other learners will be doing during this time.
  • Learners must be competent writers.


  1. An alternative way to facilitate this activity is to place a sheet of flip chart paper on a wall with a discussion prompt written at the top. Have learners walk up to the paper intermittently during a learning experience and write responses to the prompt. After the first few learners write their responses, the rest of the learners must respond not to the prompt but to the answers written by previous learners.
  2. Another way of facilitating a silent conversation is to pass a piece of paper around the class and have learners write their responses to conversation chains on the paper.
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