Use of Culturally Appropriate Conversation Practices


  • You maintained appropriate eye contact with your interviewer during your OPI ☺
  • You spoke appropriately loudly, both when interacting with your interviewer during your OPI and during your TEACH exam ☺
  • Good job using “uh-huh” (one of several “backchannels” common in English) to communicate that you’re listening and understand what your student has said so far (as well as to communicate that you’re willing for him to continue) when he paused in the middle of asking his question ☺
  • You did a great job of interacting in a natural way with your OPI interviewer, including in the role play (Actually, one rater commented regarding your role play, “[He] did quite well with a topic that he apparently had little or no experience with” ☺)


  • You spoke a little too quietly during your OPI
  • FYI: You’re right that English speakers often begin with talk about the weather, but you may want to know that it’s usually the very first topic — it’s a little unnatural in English to talk first about who the student is and where the student sits and then the weather — make sense?
  • X, when your student came in and started to ask her question, you interrupted her several times in just a few seconds — while you’re right that English-speaking listeners do make sounds to show that they follow what a speaker is saying, they don’t do it as frequently as you did it at first
    • Practice speaking appropriately loudly for the American context by doing 4/3/2 in a large classroom, pretending you’re speaking to someone in the back of the classroom who is very interested in what you’re saying but is a little deaf ☺

Use of Conversational Repair Strategies

  • Whenever you had trouble communicating something in both your OPI and TEACH exams, you were usually able to effectively rephrase / repronounce / add visual support / etc., so your listener(s) ultimately could understand your meaning ☺/ you did a good job of rephrasing / repronouncing / adding visual support/ etc., so your listener(s) ultimately could understand your meaning ☺


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