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Introduce yourself

You are meeting your new professor. Get acquainted with him or her and get to know him or her a bit better.

Thinking

  • Think about different forms of greeting.
  • Consider the right form to approach your new professor.

Talking

  • Say hello to your professor.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Ask about his or her name.
  • Ask how he or she is doing.
  • Say goodbye.

Optional

  • Include some further information on your country of origin, age and your current occupation.

Finding your way around

Your professor is a taxi driver who is very interested and helpful but speaking a bit too fast for you. But don't worry: just ask him to speak a bit slower. This will probably become one of your key survival phrases.

Thinking

  • Think about how to politely ask somebody to speak slower.
  • Consider the right form to approach a cab driver.

Talking

  • You enter the cab and ask the driver to get you to the bus station.
  • Inquire also how to get from the bus station to the bank which is supposed to be around there.
  • Given your strong accent the taxi driver becomes very curious and asks you where you are from, how old you are and what you are doing in your country. You answer and also ask him (or her) about her (or his) age.
  • As you arrive thank him (or her) and say goodbye.

Optional

  • You might include some small talk on how you like the city in which you are being driven around.

Dinner Party

Your professor is somebody you meet at a dinner party. Please introduce yourself and tell him about your family.

Thinking

  • Take a minute to think about some adjectives that describe your family.
  • Consider the appropriate forms to hold small talk at a dinner party.

Talking

  • Get acquainted with your conversation partner at the dinner party.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • Tell him or her about your family.

Optional

  • Hold some further small talk about the host.

Time Management

Your professor amazingly turns out not only to be a language teacher but also a time management coach. As your language learning takes up more and more of your time you decide to give it a try and ask him for help. In a first step he assesses your current day to get a better idea of your lifestyle.

Thinking

  • Take a minute to think about the things that you do every day.

Talking

  • Tell your coach know when you get up, when you have your breakfast, when you go to work/ university, when you have lunch, when you return home, when you go to meet friends, etc.
  • Being very superstitious you decided a while ago never to do things on full hours and everything that you do in a day has to begin on a different minute of the hour.

Optional

  • Think about three things that you would like to include in your daily routine.

Making new friends

You are in a new city and a friend wants to introduce you to a number of people. In order to do so he wants to know about your hobbies. As you might imagine your professor is this friend.

Thinking

  • Think about the things that you currently enjoy doing for leisure.
  • Also think about some hobbies that you would like to try out.

Talking

  • Tell your friend about the things that you currently pursue as hobbies.
  • Include some further information on your likes and dislikes.

Optional

  • Describe the typical day that you have in the new city.

Moving

Having lived in a Bed & Breakfast for a few weeks in your new country of residence you finally decide to move to your own place. While the landlady of the Bed & Breakfast is generally a very pleasant person she is also very moody and sometimes happy, sometimes sad.

As you already found a great furnished apartment that you will move into in a few weeks you get in touch with an agency to help you move. They ask you about all the items that you have and intent to move as well as their characteristics (whether they are big or small, old or new, heavy or light). After having gone through all the items you start chatting a bit with the owner of the agency and start complaining about the lady of the Bed & Breakfast.

Thinking

  • Take a minute to think about all the items that you would probably have to move if you had just relocated to a new country.
  • In case you did not consider to bring your huge TV, your old CD player and a large collection of books to your new country, you just redecided and have these items amongst the things to move.

Talking

  • Tell the agency owner about all the items that you intent to move.
  • Gossip a bit about the owner of the Bed & Breakfast that you are currently staying in.

Optional

  • Describe the owner of the agency the way to your new address from the Bed & Breakfast.

Travel Arrangements

Your professor is a travel agent whom you are visiting to plan your next vacation.

Thinking

  • Think about a destination that you always wanted to travel to.
  • Furthermore make some plans on how to travel (biking, hiking, renting a car, public transport, etc.) and things that you want to see.

Talking

  • Tell the travel agent abour your plans.
  • Ask about prices and availability or various modes of transportation (bus, plane, ship etc.) as well as available rooms in ho(s)tels.

Optional

  • Start bargaining about the prices.

Party on!

Your are hosting a party for your birthday next Saturday and meet an old friend in the street. He invites you over to his place for the same night that you are celebrating your birthday. Yet, you have already invited some other people that he knows and with which he is not on good terms. So, you decide to not invite him to prevent having a bad atmosphere. Then, he remembers also that your birthday is coming up and asks you how old you become this year.

Thinking

  • Think about a good excuse to not meet him (without telling him that you celebrate your birthday).
  • Furthermore think about some alternative event to invite him to in order to catch up with him.

Talking

  • Decline his invitation with a good excuse.
  • Invite him for some different future event.

Optional

  • Tell him about some plan for the future that you have at the moment.

Time Management II

Your professor takes up his role as time management coach again. After having gotten a first insight into a typical day of yours in chapter 4, he wants to dig deeper now to find more time for your language learning.

Thinking

  • Take a minute again to think about the things that you do every day.
  • Also think about the things that you do on a weekly, monthly or annual basis.
  • Compare this lifestyle to the lifestyle of a travelling language student.

Talking

  • Tell your coach about your current daily, weekly, monthly and annual routines.
  • Contrast these with the routines of the traveller.

Optional

  • Think again about three things that you would like to include in your daily routine.

Renting an apartment

Your professor is a landlord from whom you would like to rent an appartment. Yet, the rent is a little too high for you. So you point out various shortcomings around the appartment hoping that you might be able to lower the price.

Thinking

  • Take a minute to think about the things that are important for you in an apartment.
  • Think about two or three shortcomings that the apartment that you are about to rent has.

Talking

  • Show your interest in the apartment to the landlord without becoming overexcited about it.
  • Negotiate about the price by pointing out various shortcomings (and potentially some personal things, like being a student etc.).

Optional

  • Discuss whether you could share the apartment with two friends of yours.

Get a reservation

You want to get a table in one of the hottest restaurants in town for Saturday night. You are lucky and get a reservation. After the dinner even the chef comes to your table and asks you about your opinion of his signature dish.

Thinking

  • Think about the right kind of table (are you two persons looking for a quiet table or a group of friends who need a large table in the smoking area, etc:).
  • Already think about some good arguments to convince the receptionist to give you a table in case he says the restaurant is booked out.

Talking

  • Make your reservation.
  • Ask about additional information such as how to get there, parking possibilites and whether you can pay with credit cards.

Optional

  • Have an after-dinner conversation with the chef (were you happy with the service, did you like the food, etc.).

Talk about a recipe of your grandma

After the dinner of the previous lesson you and your friends have a conversation about your favorite dishes. You remember that one place where you always went with your parents which served a dish which you liked incredibly back then.

Thinking

  • Think about the dish that you liked.
  • Also think about how it was prepared.

Talking

  • Share the story of your favorite dish with your friends (make sure to use the past).
  • Also tell them about the way in which it was prepared.

Optional

  • Describe the kitchen of the place in which you grew up (again of course, use the past).

A weekend in the countryside

You and some friends plan a trip for the weekend. You discuss ideas of what to do and who does what.

Thinking

  • Think about ideas of what one could do for a weekend in the country whose language you are learning.
  • Consider the right words to express as well as disagreement.

Talking

  • Propose your ideas and discuss them with your friend, the language teacher.
  • He /she offers to help with organizing the trip but you decline.

Optional

  • Discuss different options for good and bad weather.

The week after

It's the week after you were on the road with your friends. You are on the phone with one of your friends who hasn't been with you and who is a little mad because you forgot to invite him (about which you are very embarassed).

Thinking

  • Think about a good excuse.
  • Consider the appropriate way to tell him about the weekend.

Talking

  • Make your apologies to your friend.
  • Tell her/ him about the weekend but play things down a bit (also remember to use the past).

Optional

  • Plan some sports event together with your friend.

On the flea market

You are going to a local flea market and very excited about a second hand jeans that you find there. Bargain with your professor to also get some perfectly fitting other items that are also on sale.

Thinking

  • Consider the culturally appropriate way to bargain.
  • Think about which other items you also want to buy.

Talking

  • Point out your interest in the jeans.
  • Start to bargain to get it cheaper and some more items on top.

Optional

  • After you bought the stuff you might get into small talk with the vendor about how you used to go shopping on flea markets when you were young.

Walking versus driving

You are having a discussion with a friend on the advantages and disadvantages of pedestrian city centers versus cities that are easily accessible through cars. What do you think?

Thinking

  • What is your opinion? Do you prefer city centers without cars or do you like the convenience of being able to reach by car.
  • Think about good arguments.

Talking

  • State your opinion and your arguments.
  • Counter the arguments that your friend/ language teacher might have.

Optional

  • Discuss the rhetoric habits of the culture of your teacher (would people easily state disagreement, how are arguments introduced,etc.).

Annual Check-Up

You have to go for your annual check-up and your doctor asks you about your health.

Thinking

  • What medical issues could you have while being abroad?
  • Further consider what kind of treatments your prefer: do you rather trust traditional/ herbal treatments or modern/ pill-based medicine?

Talking

  • Give your doctor an overview of your physcial status.
  • Name particular issues/ body-parts that you have problems with.

Optional

  • Discuss your preferences in terms of treatments.

Instant Karma

After your visit at the doctor in the last lesson you decided to also give your spiritual well-being a check-up. You have a chat with spiritual guru on your Karma status.

Thinking

  • How happy are you with your current job and family situation?
  • How to you feel about your eating, drinking and sports habits?

Talking

  • Give your guru an overview of how you currently feel.
  • Outline a few things that you do to relax from work (sports, eating, meeting friends, etc).

Optional

  • Consider ideas for habits that you would like to pick up.

A conversation with HR

You have your annual meeting with your boss and as you feel that you performed very well in the past year you want a salary raise.

Thinking

  • Think about good arguments to propose for your raise.
  • Consider a good strategy to convince your boss to give you that raise (do you want to threaten to quit or do you want to rely on your arguments only).

Talking

  • Describe your performance in the past year and your satisfaction (or unsatisfaction) with the current work situation.
  • Convince your boss to give you a salary raise.

Optional

  • Negotiate whether there would be opportunities to move to another position abroad with your current employer.

Job interview

After the raise you were negotiating for in the last lesson never materialized you decided to quit. And the interest in you is very high, so that you have a job interview straightaway.

Thinking

  • Think about the important milestones in your career so far.
  • Consider the appropriate way to conduct job interviews in the language that you are learning.

Talking

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Convince your interview partner that you are the best candidate for this job.

Optional

  • Negotiate salary, bonusses and benefits (such as health-insurance, vacation days or pension).

Customer Service

You are on the phone with the customer service of a larger computer producer because your computer breaks down all the time.

Thinking

  • Think about typical computer problems you have.
  • Consider the right way to conduct a professional phone call.

Talking

  • Describe what has happened before your computer broke down the last time and discuss solutions to the problem.
  • Ask about upcoming new computers from the company.

Optional

  • Tell the customer service about features that you would like to see on their computer.

The news

Consider a recent issue in the country whose language you are learning and discuss it with your language teacher. Also consider how the media was presenting the issue.

Thinking

  • Think about an issue in the country that recently caught a lot of attention.
  • Think about your opinion on that matter and reflect how the media reported on it.

Talking

  • Discuss the matter itself with your language teacher.
  • Discuss the way that the media reported the issue with him/ her.

Optional

  • Consider the way in which the media should have picked up the issue and how the public might have reacted differently then.

Arts

You are discussing the picture below which you have recently seen in an art gallery with a friend and drift of into a discussion of arts in general: is art important for you, which arts do you like?

Thinking

  • Think about your opinion of the picture below.
  • Consider how history would have been different if there wouldn't be any artists.

Talking

  • Discuss the picture with your language teacher.
  • Give him or her your opinion on how history would have been different without artists.

Optional

  • Further discuss how the future would look like if there was a sudden increase in the number of artists.

Eco-Volunteering

You are volunteering as a guard in a national park over the summer. One evening you encounter a group of youngsters slightly drunk who are about to pitch a tent (which is strictly forbidden) and light up a BBQ (which is even stricter forbidden). You give them a lecture about the degradation of nature.

Thinking

  • Think about how to express your anger.
  • Make a mental list of the things that could happen if the fire spreads.

Talking

  • Express your anger and scold the youngsters.
  • Tell them about all the things that could happen because of their irresponsibility.

Optional

  • Throw them out of the national park.

At the UN

You are the representative of a small human rights NGO at the UN and are trying to convince the UN staff that you should be given access to a meeting where issues will be discussed for whom you have special expertise and local knowledge.

Thinking

  • Think about ways to convince the staff member to give you access.
  • Consider how the meeting might me different if your expertise is heard there.

Talking

  • Discuss the matter with the staff member.
  • Point out to him what effect your insights would have.

Optional

  • Discuss the human rights issue with your teacher that you internationally consider most pressing at the moment.

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