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From my experience with beginning or intermediate students who have just arrived in the States, I have found that they lack confidence in dealing with real situations outside the ESL classroom and in interacting with Americans because of their inability to speak or understand normal spoken English. They need some preparation and encouragement to ease the cultural shock they will encounter.

In this project, I have used a series of dialogues to prepare the students for the most common situations they will experience almost immediately, such as opening a checking account or eating in a restaurant. Another purpose of these dialogues is to improve the students' listening comprehension. They have to identify key words that are missing from each dialogue. As a result, they have to concentrate while they are listening. At the same time, they gain confidence in their ability to understand normal spoken English. After this, the students have to answer the questions about each dialogue. This leads into cross-cultural discussions in which students can compare their way of life to the American way of life. The students also learn valuable vocabulary that they should know in order to adapt to their new environment. I have recommended a set procedure for teaching these dialogues in the ESL classrooms, but the ESL teacher can select which dialogues and exercises he or she thinks are most suitable in the classroom. ESL teachers can also develop their own exercises to supplement the ones in this project.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | Education