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The Economic Crisis. Interaction 1 (B2, C1) - Students' Oral Performances with Teacher's feedback - Speaking
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Here is an example of an improvised interaction on The Economic Crisis by three Avanzado 2 students, Alberto, Eva and Eduardo. The topic is complicated, interacting about the topic is sensitive (the topic arouses passions!), and it's three people instead of two, which makes turn-taking harder. Do students comply with the time limit of 9 minutes? (roughly 3 min each). Do students give their conversation a structure? -- beginning, progression by clearly changing the topic, ending? Are students good at turn-taking and signalling they're listening? This last point can be improved.

Students have a good level (notice all the good things about their English, because I have just jotted down the mistakes) but there are two communicative events which, if avoided, would have clearly increased their marks!:

  1. 1. not finishing one's sentences & not allowing other speakers to finish their sentences (this lowers your marks). Remember that interruptions and speaking at the same time are disruptive, an obstacle in communication and make it very hard for examiners to follow and take notes (of good things, too).
  1. What can you do if somebody is interrupting? Politely, state you would like to finish your sentence. Politely, not with hostility! "Excuse me. Allow me to finish, please" (polite, semiformal, formal) "Just a sec, please. Let me finish" (polite, informal). Brainstorm on / List some Useful Language for scenarios where you could have communication problems.

  2. 2. not offering the kind of comments that indicate you're listening (notice the woman's performance -- she's better at this, including little questions we use in this way too)

I would like to record a second attempt to hold this conversation by these students. So we can all compare their progress! Would you be willing, Alberto, Eva and Eduardo?

Read this feedback as you listen to the audio

listen! Listen!

Beginning: Eva asks "Who would like to begin?" Alberto, you could've answered "I will," for instance. That'd make it more interactive and more natural! :)

responsible for the CURRENT economic crisis (not "currently" - that's an adverb, so that modifies verbs, not "crisis")
WHO do you think is RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT?

The first responsible = is not an option!
The MAIN PARTY responsible for this situation is… The MAIN CAUSE of the crisis is GLOBALIZATION (omission of "the")

A company in the USA can HAVE AN IMPACT in Spain (not "can influence")

Yes, I AGREE WITH THAT

(They have the most responsibility about this problem - good!)
I think (THE MOST POWERFUL) GOVERNMENTS SHOULD ALSO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE CRISIS
I think GOVERNMENTS HAVE ALSO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS CRISIS (if you add the explanation of how they have, you should use "by + -ing") (A different idea, opposite, really, but good for this kind of discussion is: Governments have a vital role to play in the crisis)

I don't think they'RE DOING GOOD PROPOSALS to cope with (excellent) the real problems…
Don't you think so?
Yes, SURE. And what do you think about WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAID: that people have lived over…

* What do you think about THE GOVERNMENT SAYING people have been living over…?

a big excuse BY the people who ARE IN power
but people HAVE been living over their possibilities BECAUSE (not "due to") bankS LENT money to people who WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO GIVE IT BACK…
some part of THOSE people could BE BORROWING MONEY THEY COULDN'T AFFORD TO GIVE BACK (lend/borrow mistakes are confusing!)
Many of US WORKERS like myself.
I'VE been working FOR A LONG TIME (not "ago")
Not everybody HAS SPENT MONEY THEY DIDN'T HAVE
many people ARE / HAVE BEEN responsible FOR MAKING their own decisions
And the bank GIVES you more money than you need
With credit -- Eva here you should've allowed Alberto to finish, also because this is a Key Idea.
But many people ARE responsible…
If the bank gives you more money than you need - Edu, here you should've allowed Alberto to finish his sentence.
Eva here
They increase THE LOAN SO THAT PEOPLE CAN BUY A CAR… then they TELL YOU...
Governments HAVE THE GREATEST responsibility HERE. (Explain?: THEY COULD'VE DEVICED LAWS TO REGULATE THIS)
They only want that people get down their power - I don't understand this sentence.
And I think they only want PEOPLE TO DO what they SAY.
I think the government SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS CRISIS

* In which ways…?

It's affecting PEOPLE IN ALL KINDS OF WAYS

A lot of people ARE without jobs
Edu, try to interact a bit more giving signals to the other speakers that you are listening to them.
can't work - CAN'T FIND JOBS
And the ones OF US that can work, WELL, WE'RE GETTING less money for more work
WHEN you go to the supermarket you NOTICE ARE EARNING less money
I think THAT's another / A DIFFERENT problem
In my opinion, the main problem is UNEMPLOYMENT (omission of "the")
If people can'T work -- all the CAN'T's that come now are heard as CAN's: you should pronounce the T really clearly or pronounce the "a" as a "a:" (long a, the one that sounds so British). Or you can use "cannot," instead.
People DON'T HAVE work, DON'T HAVE money
Even more when the government doesn't (US American English; the government don't, UK English) create proposals to avoid / ALLIEVATE this situation
isn't it? - A. & E.: you could say a little "Yes, yes" It sounds as if you were shunning her now

Today I heard SOME news about
the clients who HAVE lost their houses
It / THIS INITIATIVE comeS from a bank, one of the PARTIES responsible for this crisis.

As individuals, what can we do?
helping OTHER people, volunteering
good: self-correction: child/children! The first and only instance!!
coping with health? / HELPING OUT people with health problems?
We can vote different politicians. (We need to change the Election Law.)
We can create an NGO /en dzi ou/ a POLITICAL PARTY, OR TEAM!!
If I WERE a politician… I'd be (the conditional here) a better politician than...
Money is POWER
Politicians SHOULD WISH TO GOVERN a country only for the PEOPLE, not to earn money/for the money
Governments don't want to deal with the problemS

To sum up, we can get some money and help other people!!!