MAINTAIN A CONVERSATION 5.16
Goal: To improve social-relationship skills
Objective(s): The student will be able to sustain a conversation with peers and adults.
1. Decide if maintaining a conversation is appropriate (time and place, other person's non-verbal communication; i.e., do they want to continue).
2. Think about topics to maintain a conversation.
3. Listen and ask questions of the other person.
4. Be aware of time and the other person's body language.
5. Decide whether to continue or end conversation.
Definition: Maintaining a conversation is what we do when we want to continue to interact with a person or group. Silence can be part of a continuing conversation.
Rationale: Maintain a conversation to make friends, to express feelings, ideas, etc. and to give and get information, to share ideas.
• Discuss how a listener may feel when the speaker switches topics without warning.
• Teacher explains that after a person starts a conversation, the listener has to continue it. In order to do this, the listener must be able to make a relevant comment or ask a relevant question. (Deckert and et al, 1989, p. 78)
• Situations: Continue a conversation when it is enjoyable or necessary to do so.
• Discuss what would happen if every one talking was using a different topic. (Mayo and Walto, 1986, p. 48)
• Ask students how they feel when they want to start and maintain a conversation with someone, but the person only answers with one word and doesn't expand.
Model/Role-play with Feedback
• Students brainstorm questions to ask on a variety of topics.
• Students brainstorm comments that will continue a conversation on a particular topic.
• Students sit in a small group and take turns making statements that will continue the conversation.
• Video tape students having conversations. Evaluate performance using rating sheets.
• Teacher models with a student certain phrases that will keep a conversation going.
• Video: positive and negative examples of continuing conversation, (Walker and et al, 1988, p. 61 Accepts) answering, (Walker and et al, 1988 p. 51-52 Accepts) making sense, (Walker and et al, 1988 p. 54 Accepts) taking turns, (Walker and et al, 1988 p. 57 Accepts).
Role Play Situations:
• You talk with the coach about afternoon practice.
• You talk with your brother or sister about school.
• You discuss vacation plans with a friend.
• You talk about your favorite subject with the counselor.
• You talk about toys in a toy store with the clerk.
• You talk about plans for the weekend with your parents.
• You ask the President about current events.
• You talk about having a party at the end of the week.
• You talk about a favorite rock group coming to the area.
• You talk about the last football game.
• You talk with friends about a new movie.
• You are having a conversation about the use of drugs.
• You were talking to a friend on the telephone and were put on "hold."
Application with Feedback
• Conduct "written conversations." Working in pairs, students converse in writing by passing the paper back and forth.
• Tell a group story orally where students add to each others' storyline in a designated order, using same topic and rules of conversation.
• Play "20 Questions" to practice asking questions. (Walker and et al, 1988, p. 55 Accepts)
• Have the students brainstorm and make a list of several topics that they would like to talk about. Use these topics for a game. Have the students each pick one topic and talk for about 30 seconds. (Mayo and Walto, 1986, p. 448)
• Students watch pre-recorded video selection from television. Teacher turns off sound in the middle of a conversation, and students must finish dialogue of actors.
• Set up situation where a student or teacher approaches a student and observes if the student can maintain the conversation.
• Talk to a new student or classroom visitor.