Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Telephone Skills for ESL Students

"I am Jung. I call you to ask ...." This is a typical beginning of a voice mail left for me by many of my students. This sounds strange to any native speaker. We know that we say, "This is Jung." And then we most likely use a Present Progressive follow up.

Identifying oneself is such a basic telephone skill that I often forget to teach this to my ESL students. It's usually not until a get a message like this, or a phone call, from one of my students that I remember to teach this basic telephone skill. And since many ESL speakers feel uncomfortable using the phone, most of my communication with my students is through email.

Identifying oneself and other basic telephone skills should be a part of the basic survival skills we teach our ESL students.


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