Each student will initiate a conversation like this, “Hello, my name is Mario. I’m interested in listening to music. What are you interested in?” and the other person would say, “Hello Mario, I’m Luiji. I’m interested in dancing:. They are given two character cards, therefore they must find a good reason.
The students joined in the small talk and demonstrated command of relevant conversational conventions and degree of politeness required from the conversational partners with unequal status, i.e. teacher and students. Students were able to identify the key phrases from Unit 4 when presented with textbook CD recording. They were able to reproduce the content of repetition drill in their conversations with classmates. By the end of the role play all students found their conversational partners using conversational patterns to elicit information about things other students are interested in.
The lesson is aimed at developing speaking skills that focus on the exchange of information. In language education this function of human interaction is referred to as “talk as transaction” (Richards, 2008, p.21).
The activities suggested in the lesson shift the focus from the social function of conversation, e.g. small talk or presenting oneself, to what is said and done, i.e. the content of interaction, e.g. things students are interested in.
Following suggestions outlined by J.C. Richards in Teaching Listening and Speaking, the teacher can help students to understand the theme and objectives of the task by brainstorming ideas with the class, using pictures that illustrate key vocabulary of Unit 4 to introduce the topic. At the stage of brainstorming students can predict the content of the textbook CD recording or share ideas on the types of interests people may have. To keep track of student ideas teacher writes the words on the board. After students listen to the recording they discuss its content (in pairs or