Examples

Writing and Producing Conversation Builder Tasks

Creating the prompts that make up a task starts with knowing how you want to lead a conversation--what you want to talk about, what you expect the student to say in response. Start with a script containing the written prompts spoken and use it as your guide as you record.

Below are some sample scripts that are representative of the language that the teacher might write, record, and assign to students. Note that each is accompanied by the various attributes that you will be asked to provide as you create content.

Sample 1

Name: Small Talk
Description: Conversation between two people meeting for the first time.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Personal and Family Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Personal and Family Life, Small Talk, Introductions
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Introduce yourself and ask the person's name.
  2. Ask to speak your language.
  3. Say something about yourself and ask a question.
  4. Say something else about yourself and ask a question.
  5. Talk about something you like and ask the person what he/she likes.
  6. Say something about the weather where you live and ask about the weather.
  7. End the conversation and thank the person for talking to you.

Sample 2

Name: Summer Activities
Description: This conversation takes place within the Novice range. Talk about summer and summer vacation.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Personal and Family Life
Standard: Communication and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Middle School, High School, Summer Vacation, Summer Activities
Guiding Goal: Interpersonal Conversation Checklist

I CAN

YES

WITH HELP

NOT YET

Talk about weather.

 

 

 

Use words for activities.

 

 

 

List vegetables.

 

 

 

List some jobs.

 

 

 

  1. Here, summer is warm. I like to swim, go camping, plant flowers, play in the park. What do you like to do in the summer?
  2. Interesting. What is summer weather like where you live?
  3. I see. So what kinds of clothes do you wear in the summer?
  4. What time do you wake up in the summer? What are some of the first things you do?
  5. We have a garden. I work on it every day. I grow fresh vegetables. Do you get fresh fruits and vegetables? Where? What do you get?
  6. Some students have summer jobs. Do you have one? What do you do?

Sample 3

Name: Allowance
Description: This conversation focuses on household chores and resulting allowances and how one might spend an allowance.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Personal and Family Life, Money
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Allowance, Money, Chores
Guiding Goal: Interpersonal Conversation Checklist

I CAN

YES

WITH HELP

NOT YET

Talk about money.

 

 

 

List household jobs that I do.

 

 

 

Say things about my routine.

 

 

 

  1. Hi! Can we talk about money? I do small jobs around the house and my parents give me money. What happens in your house?
  2. When I wake up, I clean my room. I make my bed. I pick up clothes. What do you do?
  3. On Monday and Friday, I help wash dishes--usually after dinner. The other days, I help cook! How do you help with the meals? (open it up more? make it more about chores - so you don't get "I don't.")
  4. Saturday is cleaning day. We clean the whole house. Do you do that? My job is vacuuming. What do you do? (same as above)
  5. For this work, I get $8 per week. I use it to buy things. Do you get money? What do you do with it?
  6. My sister is 14. She babysits for money. My brother washes people's cars after school. What kinds of jobs do teenagers do where you live?

Sample 4

Name: Swimming
Description: This conversation deals with the subject of swimming, swimming pools, and activities surrounding swimming.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Community Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Swimming, Swimming Pool, Games, Rules
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Hi! Let's talk about swimming. I love to swim. Do you like to swim?
  2. I love to swim. I swim in at school. Does your school have a pool?
  3. Where are some other places that people can swim?
  4. Sometimes I throw the ball in the pool. Or play other games. Do you? What do you do at the pool?
  5. At my pool, you have to cover your hair in the water. What's the rule where you live?
  6. Oh, you also have to take a shower before and after you go in the water. What do you have to do?
  7. I like warm water. Even if the air is hot. It feels good to jump in warm water--like a hug. What do you like?
  8. After swimming, I sit on a chair and read a book. What do you do?
  9. Usually we stay two or three hours. How long do you stay?

Sample 5

Name: Sleep
Description: This conversation focuses on issues related to sleep, one's bedroom, and sleeping hours.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Healthy Choice and Balanced Lifestyle
Standard: Communication and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Sleep, Bed, Bedroom, Blanket
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Hi! Can we talk about sleep? It's something I care about a lot.
  2. I sleep 8-9 hours a night. How long do you sleep?
  3. I like my bedroom cool and dark. How do you like yours?
  4. I sleep well with a lot of blankets on top of me. You?
  5. Oh, I need six pillows. Some under my head, my knees, elbows, and one over my eyes. What about you?
  6. What time do you go to bed?
  7. What time do you get up?
  8. Do you share a bedroom? I share one with my brother.
  9. My bed is small--only enough for one person. What about yours?
  10. My blanket has a picture of my favorite soccer player on it. What does yours have?

Sample 6

Name: Lineage and Traditions
Description: This is a conversation about a person's lineage and family traditions.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: Personal and Family Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Family, Background, Traditions, Holidays, Birthdays, Food
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Families always have interesting stories. My father's family is from Italy. My mother is French. Tell me about 3-4 people in your family and the different countries they are from.
  2. In my family, we celebrate lots of holidays. Can you list the holidays that are special in your family?
  3. Families often have special foods for celebrations or holidays. My grandmother cooks with lots of tomatoes, olive oil, spices, and pasta. What are some of the foods that your family likes and uses for cooking special meals?
  4. My family celebrates birthdays in a special way. How do you celebrate birthdays?

Sample 7

Name: Things You Like
Description: This is a conversation about things you like in and out of school.
Language: English
Level: Novice
Topic: School Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Art Class, School, Vacation, Friends, Family, Travel, Drawing, Painting, Clubs
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. My favorite class is art. I really enjoy the class. I draw and paint. Tell me some things about your favorite class--what do you like most about that class?
  2. I know you study a lot and are busy in school. Are there any interesting clubs or activities in your school? Tell me about any clubs, sports, drama, or anything extra at your school.
  3. When I don't have to go school, I like to spend time with my friends. There are so many things we like to do when we are not in school. How about you? Tell me about what you do with your friends when you are not in school?
  4. I really like vacation days, don't you? My family and I don't travel very much or not very far. We like to spend vacation days with my grandparents. When you have 5 or 6 days with no school, do you travel? Do you stay home? What do you like to do?

Sample 8

Name: TV Shows
Description: This conversation deals with television shows and genres of television shows.
Language: English
Level: Intermediate
Topic: Personal and Family Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Middle School, Elementary School, High School, Television, Shows, TV
Guiding Goal: Interpersonal Conversation Checklist

I CAN

YES

WITH HELP

NOT YET

Describe a tv show.

 

 

 

Talk about things at home.

 

 

 

Talk about house rules.

 

 

 

  1. Hi! I'd like to talk about televisions shows. I love to watch television. What about you?
  2. I mostly watch TV at night--usually with my family. We have a big television in our family room. What about you?
  3. My parents like police shows. They are suspenseful. Usually there is good music with it. What kinds of shows do you like?
  4. I like different shows--my favorite is called "Jessie." It's from Disney. It's about a rich girl who lives in New York. It's funny. Tell me about your favorite show.
  5. My parents say that I watch too much television. For every hour I watch television, I am supposed to read a book. What rules do you have for watching TV?
  6. I turn off the sound during television commercials. My sister wants to hear them--even if they are dumb. What happens in your house?
  7. Sometimes TV commercials are funny. Tell me about your favorite commercial. What happens? What is it selling?

Sample 9

Name: Things to Do Where I Live
Description: This is a conversation about things to do in the town where you live.
Language: English
Level: Intermediate
Topic: Personal and Family Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: (Depends on language)
Keywords: Hometown, Library, School, Movie Theater, Allowance
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. I live in a very small town and there are not many activities for teenagers. We have a movie theater, parks, and a sports club. Tell me about the town or city you live in. What are some things to do? What are the popular places to visit?
  2. There is more to do in your city than in my city. So tell me about your favorite place to go in your community and how you spend your time there.
  3. A new library just opened near my house. I like living close to the library because I can meet friends there and we study together and even play video games there. How about you? Where do you go with your friends? How do you and your friends spend time together when you're in school? How about when you're not in school?
  4. How do you get the money to go out and do things? Do you have a job or do you get an allowance? Tell me about how you pay for the things you like to do.

Sample 10

Name: Immigration
Description: This is a conversation about immigrating from one country to another and how to start life over in a new country.
Language: English
Level: Intermediate
Topic: Global challenges
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Immigration, Immigrants, War, Acculturation, Welcome, Newcomers
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Throughout history people leave their country and go to another country. Many people have come to the United States for different reasons, like war or other bad things. What are some of the reasons why people leave where they are living; why do people move to another country?
  2. When people move to another country, they often cannot bring many things with them. Talk about some of the things that people take with them to a new country and why, and some of the things they leave behind. Why is it hard to leave those things behind, why is it difficult to not take certain things with you?
  3. When people arrive in a new country, their life is not easy. For one thing, the language may be new to them and maybe do not know it very well. What makes it difficult (Why is it difficult) to start a new life in a new country?
  4. Think about students in your school or community who have recently moved from another country. What are some things your school does to make them feel welcome' what can your school do to help them be part of their new community?

Sample 11

Name: Elections and Campaigns
Description: This is a conversation about campaigns, their advertisements, and ultimately elections themselves.
Language: English
Level: Advanced
Topic: Contemporary Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: Elections, Politicians, Candidates, Political Advertising, Issues, Advertisements
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. Before the recent elections, there were a lot of ads on television and radio about candidates and issues. Can you describe in detail a specific ad? How was the information presented? What did you like (dislike) about the ad? Tell me about the ad in as much detail as possible.
  2. Advertisements are designed to inform you and to influence your vote. The message is usually short and quickly tells you why one candidate is better than another candidate. Describe in detail an ad that you saw. Tell what was said about each candidate that was either positive or negative. Here is a political ad from the recent election in _______ (view 30 second ad). What information did the ad tell you about the candidate? How did this ad try to persuade you? Do you think you want to vote for this candidate?
  3. Nowadays news comes all the time, all day long, from many different sources.. Tell me about how you get news. How often do you check what is going on in the world or in your community? Compare how you get your news today with how your parents (grandparents?) got the news when they were your age?
  4. Many candidates talk about issues of immigration. Here is part of a candidate's website and what she said about immigration. You have been studying a lot about immigration issues. How much do you agree with this candidate's opinion? Why do you feel that way?

Sample 12

Name: The News
Description: This is a conversation about how you get the news and what kinds of news stories you know about.
Language: English
Level: Advanced
Topic: Contemporary Life
Standard: Communications and Cultures
Gender: NA
Keywords: News, Television, News Stories, Video Cameras, Internet, Celebrity
Guiding Goal: (none)

  1. I've always followed the news. When I was little I watched it on television at 5:30 in the evening and my family got a daily newspaper. That was it. Now news is on all the time and everywhere. Tell me about how you get the news. Is it different today than when you were young?
  2. There's a big difference between serious news and entertainment news. But people seem to like both! Tell me about a story that you consider entertainment or celebrity news. Who did it involve? What happened? Give me lots of details
  3. One of the big news stories that isn't going anywhere is climate change. Tell me what you know about it and what you think will happen if the earth continues to get warmer.
  4. These days so many people have video cameras on their phones and they can upload the video for nearly anyone in the world to see. That really makes everyone a reporter. Tell me about a story that you've seen that was filmed with someone's phone. What happened?

Once you are satisfied with the content of the script, you would then use production tools included within the Conversation Builder to produce the task.

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