Saturday, August 4, 2007

Using the Telephone in the U.S.A.

A basic survival skill that my students of English as a Second Language need to learn when they come to the U.S. is how to use the telephone. I know from my own experiences traveling abroad how difficult this very simple, yet important, task can be!

In the U.S., we have so many variables to consider. For example, is the phone call in the same area code? What is the area code? Do I need to dial the area code? Why is the area code different from one street to the next? Do I need to dial "1"? If so, why isn't the phone number written with a "1"? What number do I dial for emergencies? Are there differences when I use a pay phone, a land line from a home, from an office ("dial '9' to get an outside line"), or a cell phone? Etc, etc.

I'm not going to try to answer all of these questions here. This is just a reminder to teachers and tutors of ESL that this is a basic survival skill we should be teaching our students.


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