University English: the blog for ESL students

November 4, 2010

Unit 10: Communication

Filed under: conversation strategies,lessons — richardlstansfield @ 1:24 am

Look at the pictures. What kinds of communication are they? What can you do with them? What is good or bad about each one? Talk with a partner.

Page 98

Books closed. What methods of communication does each person mention? What is good or bad about each method?

Alma Jones

* e-mail

* good: quick and easy

* bad: lots of spam

Tim Henry

* letters

* bad: slow

* more personal

Mayumi Sato

* text messages

* good: fun, can send photos

* bad: can’t do it in class

Kayla Johnson

* video conferencing

* good: less expensive and more convenient than a business trip, don’t get jet lag

* bad: didn’t say

Paco Rodriguez

* webcam

* good: can see the person, more interesting

* bad: didn’t say

———-

Page 98, Exercise 1, Part B.

Answers

1. False

Anna says e-mail is quicker than anything else.

2. True

3. False

Mayumi thinks text messages are more fun than phone calls.

4. False

Kayla says video conferences are less expensive than business trips.

5. True

———-

Page 99, Exercise 2, Part A

Grammar: Comparative Adjectives

Answers

1. cheaper

2. harder

3. less convenient

4. better

5. nicer

6. more fun

7. worse

8. less expensive

———-

Page 99

Ask each other about different ways to communicate:

“Which do you like better, _______ or _______ ?”

* cards // cell-phones // e-mail // instant messaging // land-line phones // letters // text messaging // video conferencing // web-cams // social networking services // mobile message applications // blogs // micro-blogging services

–> Use comparatives:

* quicker // easier // slower // more personal // nicer // more fun // less expensive // more convenient // more interesting // better // worse

–> You can also use: can/can’t.

You can send photos (as attachments).

You can see the person whom you are talking to.

You can’t use it in class.

Conversation Example:

A: Which do you like better, e-mail or letters?

B: I like e-mail better because it’s quicker. How about you?

A: I like letters better because they’re more personal than e-mail.

Also, you can send a photo with a letter.

B: But you can also send photos with e-mail, as attachments.

A: That’s true.

———-

Page 100, Exercise 1, Part A

What problems does John have getting through to Sandra?

Answers

Conversation 2: Sandra is on the phone.

Conversation 3: Sandra gets another call and can’t talk.

Conversation 4: John gets the wrong number.

Conversation 5: They have a bad connection.

Conversation 6: They get cut off.

———-

Page 100, Exercise 1, Part B

What do you say when you …

… hear a lot of noise on the line?

–> We have a bad connection.

… start a voice-mail message?

–> Hi, _____ . This is _____ .

… ask to speak to someone?

–> Could I speak to _____ , please?

… call a stranger by mistake?

–> Oh, I’m sorry. I think I have the wrong number.

… want someone to return your call?

–> Call me later, OK?/Call me back.

——————–

Beginning a Phone Call

Formal: to a teacher, boss, etc.

–> Could I speak to … (Could I speak to Mr. Smith, please?)

–> This is … (This is Fred Jones.)

–> I hope I’m not bothering you by calling now.

–> I hope I’m not calling at a bad time.

–> I’m calling to … (I’m calling to see if I can meet you in your office.)

Informal, Friendly: to a friend

–> Could I speak to … (Could I speak to Tom?)

–> This is … (This is Ali.)

–> I hope I’m not bothering you (by calling now).

–> I’m calling to … (I’m calling to see if you can tell me about today’s homework.)

–> I’m calling about … (I’m calling about the assignment.)

Direct: to a store, theater, restaurant, hair salon, etc.

–> Could you tell me … (Could you tell me if you sell CDs?)

——————–

Ending a Phone Call

Formal: to a teacher, boss, etc.

–> I don’t want to take up any more of your time.

–> Thank you for your help./Thank you very much.

Informal, Friendly: to a friend

–> Thanks a lot.

–> I’d better let you go.

Direct: to a store, theater, restaurant, hair salon, etc.

–> Thanks for the information.

Other Useful Phrases (Direct)

–> I heard about you from a friend of mine.

–> I read in the newspaper that you were having a sale.

–> Could you tell me how much the charge is?

–> Could you tell me if you have/do/fix …

——————–

Page 102, Exercise 1

Books closed.

Listen and answer the questions.

1. What kind of contest did Maria enter?

2. What did Maria win?

3. Maria asks Lucy if she wants to do something. What?

4. How many times is their conversation interrupted?

[interrupt: (verb) to stop an action or activity, usually for a short period of time]

Answers

1. Maria entered a photo contest.

2. Maria won a trip to Mexico.

3. Maria asks Lucy if she wants to come with her.

4. Twice.

If your telephone conversation is interrupted, use the phrases below.

Interrupting a Conversation:

* Just a minute/second.

* Excuse me just a second.

* I’m sorry. Hold on (a second).

* Can/Could you hold on a second?

Restarting the Conversation:

* What were you saying?

* You were saying?

* Where were we?

* What were we talking about?

——————–

Work with partners. One person is Student A, and the other is Student B. Read the information, then have conversations.

Remember how to: begin a conversation // end a conversation // interrupt a conversation // restart a conversation

Conversation 1

Student A
You are a student named Ann. You are calling your teacher, Mr. Smith. You were absent from class, and so you want to know what the homework was. Begin the conversation with, “Ring, ring.”

Student B
You are Mr. Smith. You are a history teacher. You gave your students homework, which was to read Chapters 9 and 10. While you talk, your dinner begins burning. Interrupt the conversation, and then restart the conversation.

Conversation 2

Student A
You are Maria. You are a student. The teacher told you that the next test will be on Tuesday, December 1st. While you talk, your coffee spills. Interrupt the conversation, and then restart the conversation.

Student B
You are Ali. You are a student. You call your classmate, Maria. You were absent from class, and so you want to know when the next test is. Begin the conversation with, “Ring, ring.”

Conversation 3

Student A
You want to make reservations at a restaurant, for you and your spouse, at seven o’clock. You want to eat a restaurant that serves cream sauce pasta. You call The European Chef, a restaurant. Begin the conversation with, “Ring, ring.” During the conversation, your dog begins barking. Interrupt the conversation, and then restart the conversation.

Student B
You work at a restaurant, The European Chef. Your restaurant serves many kinds of salad, pizza, and pasta.

Conversation 4

Student A
You are Ji-young, a sexy girl. You like Italian food and romantic comedy movies. During the conversation, a delivery boy arrives at your door with a pizza. Interrupt the conversation, and then restart the conversation.

Student B
You are Michael. You call one of your classmates, Ji-young, to invite her to a movie and/or dinner. Begin the conversation with, “Ring, ring.”

— — — — —

Other useful phrases

– May I ask who’s calling?

– May I leave a message?

– May I take a message?

Example:

Ken’s mom: Hello?

John: Hello? May I speak to Ken?

Ken’s mom: I’m sorry, but Ken’s not at home. May I ask who’s calling?

John: This is John. I’m a classmate of Ken’s. May I leave a message?

Ken’s mom: Sure.

John: Could you tell him that John called, and that he’s wondering if our teacher gave our class any homework.

Ken’s mom: I’ll tell him.

John: Thanks a lot. Bye.

Ken’s mom: Bye.

——————–

Homework

Page 104, Exercise 1

Part A

2moro

–> Tomorrow.

Gr8

–> Great!

Thx

–> Thanks.

XLNT

–> Excellent!

ILY

–> I love you.

RUOK

–> Are you OK?

Part C

1. Most people use texting for personal communication.

A few people use it for work.

2. It needs its own language because people need to type fast.

It doesn’t use correct spelling or complete words.

3. Possible Answers

– It’s easier to say, “I love you,” in a text message than in a phone call.

– Texting is cheaper than making phone calls.

– It’s more direct. You can send or get information without having to ask and answer polite questions.

– It’s more discreet. No one can hear your “conversations.”

– You can use texting in noisy places.

– Texting encourages teen to write more.

4. Some people think it encourages bad punctuation and spelling.

——————–

Conversation Styles

bowling (Japan)

vs.

volleyball (North America)

In Japan, when people talk, people take turns (as when people go bowling).

In North America (the USA and Canada), people can “jump in” at any time (as when people play volleyball).

However, you must do this politely.

… … …

Interrupting Someone (Politely)

First, say …

–> Excuse me. (polite)

or

–> Wait a minute. (familiar or strong)

Then, say …

–> Could I say something?

or

–> Can I say one thing?

or

–> Can I ask something?

or

–> But …

Then, to return to the topic/subject, say …

–> As I was saying …

——————–

Interrupting Someone Politely — Exercises

Conversation 1

Student A
Ask Student B: “How do you get to your house from here? Please give me details.”
Then interrupt Student B and say: “Excuse me. Can I ask you something? How many years have you lived in your house?”

Student B
Answer Student A’s questions.

Conversation 2

Student A
Answer Student B’s questions.

Student B
Ask Student A: “Can you tell me about a time when you were very nervous?”
Then interrupt Student A and say: “Excuse me. Can I say something? When I’m nervous, I … … … in order to feel calm.”

Conversation 3

Student A
Ask Student B: “What were you doing last year at this time? Please give me a lot of details.”
Then interrupt Student B and say: “Excuse me. Can I say one thing? I think your life is better today because … … … .”

Student B
Answer Student A’s questions.

Conversation 4

Student A
Answer Student B’s questions.

Student B
Ask Student A: Can you tell me about your favorite vacation in detail?”
Then interrupt Student A with a question.

Conversation 5

Student A
Tell Student B: “Explain in detail how you study for English class.”
Then interrupt Student B with a statement.

Student B
Answer Student A’s questions.

Conversation 6

Student A
Answer Student B’s questions.

Student B
Ask Student A: “What are your future plans? Please give me a lot of details.”
Then interrupt Student A with a statement.

Conversation 7

Student A
Tell Student B: “Talk about a problem you have now or have had in the past.”
Then interrupt Student B with a statement.

Student B
Answer Student A’s questions.

Conversation 8

Student A
Answer Student B’s questions.

Student B
Tell Student A: “Tell me in detail what you do in your free time.”
Then interrupt Student A with a question.

Conversation 9

Student A
Ask Student B: “What are the details of your favorite book or movie?”
Then interrupt Student B with a question.

Student B
Answer Student A’s questions.

Conversation 10

Student A
Answer Student B’s questions.

Student B
Tell Student A: “Tell me about your family.”
Then interrupt Student A with a question.

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