© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Common Core Standards: ELA

Grades 9-10

Speaking and Listening SL.9-10.6

SL.9-10.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Communication is a two-way street. Speakers hope the audience will understand them, and the audience hopes to understand the speakers. One way that speakers can improve these chances is to speak in the same basic idiom or dialect that the audience uses. Vocabulary, inflection, and even entire parts of speech change when a speaker moves from one group - say, his or her peers - to another, such as a courtroom. Knowing when to adapt speech to the people one is talking to, and when to use standard English, is an important part of being understood and taken seriously in college or a career.

Example 1

Sample Activities for Use in Class

1. Charades Out Loud

Make two sets of notecards. On one set, list several short, common topics of conversation, like: “Ask how someone is feeling,” “Say that it’s raining outside,” and “Wish someone a happy birthday.” On the second set, list a number of people whom the students might talk with in their everyday lives, such as: “A teacher,” “Your mom,” “A group of small children,” and “Your best friend.”

Shuffle the decks separately and have each student pick one card from each pile. Then, have the students say what they would say on that topic and to that person. For instance, if a student pulls the cards, “Wish someone a happy anniversary” and “Your best friend,” the student might say, “Happy anniversary, you two! Hey, that’s awesome!” If the student chose “Your boss,” on the other hand, he or she might say, “Happy anniversary. I hope it’s great.”

The class can then discuss whether the student’s response was appropriate and the types of responses that would be appropriate or inappropriate in that situation. The students can also make their own cards in small groups or as a class.

Example 2

2. How Would You Speak If....

Have students form pairs or small groups. In each group, give students the following list. Have students practice greeting one another, giving a gift, and saying goodbye the way they would in each of these situations. Then, bring the class back together and discuss how their use of words, structure, language and gesture changed in each situation.

How Would You Speak If You:

    • Were at a job interview?
    • Had just arrived at your family’s holiday dinner?
    • Were at the movie theater on a first date with your crush?
    • Were at the movie theater with your best friend?
    • Were talking to a small child you are babysitting?
    • Were sitting on a bus next to someone you know, but don’t really like?

Quiz 1 Questions

Here's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.

  1. Where would it be appropriate to use standard English?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above

  2. Where would it be appropriate to use more casual language or slang terms?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above

  3. Where would text abbreviations or Internet slang be appropriate?

    Correct Answer:

    All of the above

  4. How would you begin an interview using standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    Say, “Hello, how are you today?”

  5. An appropriate way to begin a letter written in standard American English is:

    Correct Answer:

    Dear _______,

  6. Which of the following is more likely to appear in standard American English, and not in a text message or casual e-mail?

    Correct Answer:

    All the words and phrases are fully spelled out.

  7. Where are you most likely to hear the greeting, “Hey, 'sup?”

    Correct Answer:

    At the movie theater where you run into an old friend.

  8. Which of the following words helps make a spoken request more formal?

    Correct Answer:

    “please” and “thank you”

  9. Which of the following is the best answer to the question “Tell me a little about yourself” if you want to answer in standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    "Well, I graduated from high school in June, and I love animals.”

  10. Reading which of the following can help you improve your standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    The newspaper

Quiz 2 Questions

Here's an example of a quiz that could be used to test this standard.

  1. Why would you want to use standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    To demonstrate in a job interview that you can communicate with other people who can speak standard American English.

  2. Why would you want to use slang terms or words borrowed from languages other than English?

    Correct Answer:

    To show that you understand what other people are talking about when they use those words in conversation.

  3. Where would it be appropriate to use text abbreviations?

    Correct Answer:

    To make sure you stay under Twitter's character limit.

  4. How would you end an interview using standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    Say, “Thank you for meeting with me. Will I hear from you soon?”

  5. Which is an appropriate way to end a letter written in standard American English?

    Correct Answer:

    “I hope to hear from you soon.”

  6. Where are you most likely to see or hear the greeting “Hello, may I help you?”

    Correct Answer:

    When you arrive for an interview

  7. Where are you most likely to get the message “idk brb?”

    Correct Answer:

    In a text message from a friend.

  8. If you need to know the standard American English word or phrase for something, which of the following resources might help?

    Correct Answer:

    any of the above

  9. Where would a casual answer to the question “Tell me about yourself?” be most appropriate?

    Correct Answer:

    When on a blind date

  10. Which of the following, if you saw it in a letter, would tell you the letter was written in text-speak or Internet slang?

    Correct Answer:

    Some of the words have numbers in place of letters.

Aligned Resources

More standards from Grades 9-10 - Speaking and Listening

Advertisement