What It Is: The WLE Level 4 Competency Based Listening/Speaking Book is a 112-page student text for aural/oral competency with the overall theme of “Cross-Cultural Communication." As in the corresponding Grammar and Reading/Writing book, its ten (10) Chapter titles are:
Beginnings • The Body • Dealing with Problems • Eating & Drinking • Solving Problems • Communication• Social Interaction • Home & Family Life • Work & Money • Education
Why You Need It: Whether at home or abroad, people's cultural beliefs, attitudes, and habits greatly influence how they hear messages, respond, and speak--especially in the subject areas named in the above Table of Contents. Expanding their comprehension and speaking abilities will help language students cope with these, fostering success at work and in life.
What It Does: After helping learners to recognize the role of culture in social communication, the text uses a variety of activity types to increase understanding of the cultural aspects of everyday life and interaction--so that they can use these to their own advantage in fitting in and getting ahead.
Part One of each chapter presents "Cross-Cultural Conversations." These anecdotes about the interaction of people from divergent backgrounds illustrate sources of possible misunderstanding. Listeners summarize them, tell their opinions, and make relevant observations of their own.
Part Two uses "Practical Listening"segments to help learners understand and use aspects of language such as formality vs. informality; tone of voice in expression of feelings; complaints; positive vs. negative commentary, and the like. It includes explanation, tasks to complete, and discussion.
Part Three provides "Speaking Activities." These teach text users to make introductions & small talk; to understand and use gestures; to make appointments; to apologize & forgive; to exchange recipes; to keep conversations going; to register consumer complaints; to describe housing; to interview; etc.
Part Four offers "Questions & Answers" that advise people in how to show respect; use personal space; get things done by telephone; compare food habits; understand customer rights and obligations; communicate verbally across cultures; make friends; relate to families; function in the world of work; and succeed in the classroom.