Common Core Standards: ELA
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.
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Using this Standard
- 1984 Teacher Pass
- A Rose For Emily Teacher Pass
- A View from the Bridge Teacher Pass
- Animal Farm Teacher Pass
- Antigone Teacher Pass
- Beowulf Teacher Pass
- Brave New World Teacher Pass
- Death of a Salesman Teacher Pass
- Fahrenheit 451 Teacher Pass
- Fences Teacher Pass
- Frankenstein Teacher Pass
- Grapes Of Wrath Teacher Pass
- Great Expectations Teacher Pass
- Hamlet Teacher Pass
- Julius Caesar Teacher Pass
- King Lear Teacher Pass
- Lord of the Flies Teacher Pass
- Moby Dick Teacher Pass
- Narrative of Frederick Douglass Teacher Pass
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Teacher Pass
- Othello Teacher Pass
- The Aeneid Teacher Pass
- The As I Lay Dying Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales General Prologue Teacher Pass
- The Canterbury Tales: The Miller's Tale Teacher Pass
- The Cask of Amontillado Teacher Pass
- The Catch-22 Teacher Pass
- The Catcher in the Rye Teacher Pass
- The Crucible Teacher Pass
- The Great Gatsby Teacher Pass
- The Iliad Teacher Pass
- The Metamorphosis Teacher Pass
- The Old Man and the Sea Teacher Pass
- Their Eyes Were Watching God Teacher Pass
- Wide Sargasso Sea Teacher Pass
- Wuthering Heights Teacher Pass
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.
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?