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ERIC Number: ED377718
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Pages: 7
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Before We Get Down to Business: Acquiring Conversational Skills in a Foreign Language.
Kaplan, Marsha A.; Stefanopoulos, Lydie
Because conventional foreign language classroom interaction is not amenable to, and can even undermine, learning of social conversational skills, the Department of State's Foreign Service Institute has created an activity to develop these skills. It involves preparation for and realization of a single event, a party hosted by State Department employees anticipating French-speaking posts abroad and interested in establishing contact with native French-speakers in the Washington, D.C. area. The activity has four parts: (1) students' analysis of their tasks as co-hosts for a multicultural party; (2) practice of interactive listening skills and conversation management devices, and establishment of a personal stock of topics and pertinent comments; (3) the party; and (4) debriefing. In the last phase, immediately after the party, teachers meet with guests to learn their perceptions of the experience and the students' skills. The next day, students discuss their experiences and complete a self-evaluation and exercise assessment questionnaire to determine needed followup skill development activities. The exercise has shown that students benefit from the preparation, everyone was able to participate despite ability differences, grammar was not a major impediment, dependence on the teacher was abandoned, the practice reflected real job responsibilities, and students were required to follow a conversation carefully. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A