Conversation 1

Unsuccessful 10-minute sample assignment #1

Assignment Name:

Conversation 1

Shared Instructions:

In this conversation, you will know and talk to a Hispanic native speaker.

Your conversation will be split into two parts. For the first part, please choose from one of the topics below:

  • Celebraciones en Latinoamérica
  • Topic of Your Choice

For the second part of your conversation, you can select any additional topic of your choosing.

  • La Comida
  • Historia de su país de origen
  • Carreras comunes en Latinoamérica

Before your conversation, please read over these conversation guidelines.

  1. The session should last 10 minutes and your partner will let you know when the time runs out.
  2. Show up on time! If you arrive late, you will lose points on your assignment grade. Your partner cannot give you extra time because they may have another conversation after your session.
  3. Your session should be in Spanish. Your partner will keep the conversation in Spanish.
  4. You can use the chat to write vocabulary that you struggle pronouncing. Do not use the chat function to write your questions and comments.
  5. Be courteous with your partner and treat them with respect. Greet your partner and introduce yourself at the beginning of the conversation and say goodbye when you end the session.
  6. You can use some of the following phrases when you don’t understand something, when you have a question or when you need to think over your response.
    • Expressions:
      • Lo siento, no entiendo: “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”
      • Me puede(s) repetir, por favor: “Can you repeat, please?”
      • Tengo una pregunta: “I have a question.”
      • Me puede(s) dar un momento, por favor?: “Can you give me a minute, please?”

Private Instructions:

La conversación debe ser en español. Mantener al estudiante en el tema y tratar de abarcar todos los temas señalados. Ser muy pacientes con los estudiantes ya que a veces toman mucho tiempo para responder las preguntas.

What makes this an unsuccessful assignment:

While there are many aspects to this assignment that would make a good 30-minute conversation, there are too many topics listed here for a successful 10-minute conversation. (See Keys to creating a successful assignment #7.) In addition, the Shared Instructions should be in the target language and only include details about the conversation assignment. Any reminders or tips for the students should be included in their syllabus or elsewhere in their classroom materials. (See See Keys to creating a successful assignment #1 and #4.) Additionally, if students are allowed to pick their own conversation topic, they should be instructed to send their conversation partner a direct message, letting the partner know and prepare for the conversation assignment. (See See Keys to creating a successful assignment #3.) Lastly, the conversation topics are too broad. By providing more specific instructions or sample questions a professor can help encourage conversation flow and provide clearly defined expectations, making the student and partner have a more successful conversation. (See See Keys to creating a successful assignment #3 and #6.) Additionally, the professor doesn’t provide the conversation partner with background information about what the students have been learning or what their level of knowledge is in the Private Instructions. This, combined with broad conversation topics, makes it difficult for conversation partners to appropriately prepare for the conversation. (See See Keys to creating a successful assignment #5.)