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INTERACTIVE PHASE

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INTERACTIVE TASK
This phase provides the opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their ability to initiate and take
control over the interaction through the use of questioning techniques and functions associated with
requesting information, seeking clarification and encouraging further detail.. In addition to general
functions such as requesting information, the language functions listed for the particular grade
should arise naturally from each task prompt.
In this phase, the emphasis is placed upon the candidates ability to use functional language rather
than upon the accurate use of the grammatical structures listed for the grade.
It is important that, once the examiner has set up the situation, the candidate takes responsibility for
the interaction. The interaction will take the form of multiple turns, with the examiners turns being
much shorter than those of the candidate.
In some cases this may involve role-play but the examiner and candidate are free to be themselves
so as to create as authentic an exchange as possible.
At the Advanced stage, the actual tasks have been designed to provide the candidates with the
opportunity of demonstrating not only their ability to express the functions of the grade but also
their control of the grammatical items listed for all grades up to and including Grade 9. (See
Grammar Reference)
Sample exchange in the Interactive phase at Grade 10

Examiner: -. The situation my friends in with her eighty-year-old mother is quite difficult.
(Possible functions: developing an argument, defending a point of view, expressing
beliefs, expressing opinions tentatively)

Candidate: - What is specifically the problem she or hes having in?


Examiner: - She lives with her mother who has decided to get married.
Candidate: - How does she feel about that? Has your friend raised any objections to that marriage?
Examiner: - I must say that her supposed future step-father isnt with good intentions.
Candidate: -..........

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Grade 10 - Sample Interactive prompts


Below are some sample Interactive Prompts for Advanced Stage. Please note these are
samples and will not be used in an actual examination.
The examiner will introduce this phase by saying:
In this task, I'll start by telling you something. You'll have to ask me questions to find out
more information. It's your responsibility to maintain the conversation. Are you ready?
1. The situation my friends in with her eighty-year-old mother is quite difficult.
(Possible functions: developing an argument, defending a point of view, expressing
beliefs, expressing opinions tentatively)
2. Sometimes Im not sure if some of the surprising things that keep happening to me are a result
of chance or whether there is more to it.
(Possible functions: expressing beliefs, deducing, summarising ideas, expressing opinions
tentatively)
3. I remember reading a story about an old woman having just a few coins stolen from her home.
The story ended in a very surprising way.
(Possible functions: deducing, expressing beliefs, summarising information,)
4. Recently I had to take an examination. I hadnt been in that situation for years so it was a really
strange experience, but not altogether unpleasant.
(Possible functions: deducing, summarising information, developing an argument, expressing
opinions tentatively)
5. My daughter wants to go to school in this country but is not sure how much help she would get
with choosing a career.
(Possible functions: summarising information, ideas and arguments, expressing beliefs, expressing
opinions tentatively)
6. Recently I made a decision that I may live to regret. I invested quite a lot of money in a scheme I
don't know much about.
(Possible functions: deducing, expressing opinions tentatively; developing an argument)
7. I've never believed that dreams were related in any way to reality but after the one I had the
other night, I'm not so sure.
(Possible functions: deducing, expressing beliefs, defending a point of view, expressing opinions,
summarising ideas)
8. There's a plan to close down our small village post office. We've started a campaign to stop this
from happening.
(Possible functions: developing an argument, defending a point of view, expressing beliefs,
expressing opinions tentatively, summarising ideas and arguments)

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9. My nephew had a serious motorbike accident last spring and how he was treated made me
change my opinions of the health service.
(Possible functions: developing an argument, defending a point of view, expressing beliefs,
expressing opinions tentatively)
10. I'd never been inside a prison before - last year was the very first time.
(Possible functions: expressing beliefs, expressing opinions tentatively, deducing, summarising
ideas)
11. I went to a party the other week. I'd been looking forward to it for ages but it didn't quite turn out
as I'd expected.
(Possible functions: deducing, expressing opinions tentatively, summarising ideas)
12. A boy I know can't decide what job to do so he's thinking of joining the army for a year or two.
His parents were asking me what I thought about it.
(Possible functions: expressing beliefs, expressing opinions tentatively, developing an argument,
summarising arguments)
13. A local newspaper is offering a prize to the person who can give up their mobile phone for the
longest period of time. I'm thinking of having a go.
(Possible functions: deducing, summarising ideas and arguments, defending a point of view,
developing an argument)
14. My neighbours' 16 year-old son has just got a job, with no experience, as a waiter in a very
smart restaurant and they've invited me for a meal there.
(Possible functions: deducing, defending a point of view, summarising ideas, expressing opinions
tentatively)
15. My brother's changing his job and has to move to another part of the country which means the
children changing schools. I told him I didn't think it was a good idea but he does have his job to
consider.
(Possible functions: summarising ideas and arguments, defending a point of view, developing an
argument, expressing opinions tentatively)

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USEFUL FUNCTIONS FOR THE INTERACTIVE TASK


A.- DEVELOPING AN ARGUMENT
Example of a non-debatable thesis statement:
Pollution is bad for the environment.
This thesis statement is not debatable. First, the word pollution means that something is bad or
negative in some way. Further, all studies agree that pollution is a problem, they simply disagree
on the impact it will have or the scope of the problem. No one could reasonably argue that pollution
is good.
Example of a debatable statement:
At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on limiting pollution.
This is an example of a debatable thesis because reasonable people could disagree with it. Some
people might think that this is how we should spend the nation's money. Others might feel that we
should be spending more money on education. Still others could argue that corporations, not the
government, should be paying to limit pollution.
Another example of a debatable thesis statement:
America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars.
In this example there is also room for disagreement between rational individuals. Some citizens
might think focusing on recycling programs rather than private automobiles is the most effective
strategy.
Example of a statement that is too broad:
Drug use is detrimental to society.
There are several reasons this statement is too broad to argue. First, what is included in the
category "drugs"? Is the author talking about illegal drug use, recreational drug use (which might
include alcohol and cigarettes), or all uses of medication in general? Second, in what ways are
drugs detrimental? Is drug use causing deaths (and is the author equating deaths from overdoses
and deaths from drug related violence)? Is drug use changing the moral climate or causing the
economy to decline? Finally, what does the author mean by "society"? Is the author referring only
to America or to the global population? Does the author make any distinction between the effects
on children and adults? There are just too many questions that the claim leaves open. The author
could not cover all of the topics listed above, yet the generality of the claim leaves all of these
possibilities open to debate.

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Example of a narrow or focused statement:


Illegal drug use is detrimental because it encourages gang violence.
In this example the the topic of drugs has been narrowed down to illegal drugs and the detriment
has been narrowed down to gang violence. This is a much more manageable topic.
Narrowed debatable statement 1:
At least twenty-five percent of the federal budget should be spent on helping upgrade business to
clean technologies, researching renewable energy sources, and planting more trees in order to
control or eliminate pollution.
This statement narrow the scope of the argument by specifying not just the amount of money used
but also how the money could actually help to control pollution.
Narrowed debatable thesis 2:
America's anti-pollution efforts should focus on privately owned cars because it would allow most
citizens to contribute to national efforts and care about the outcome.
This statement narrows the scope of the argument by specifying not just what the focus of a
national anti-pollution campaign should be but also why this is the appropriate focus.
Qualifiers such as "typically," "generally," "usually," or "on average" also help to limit the scope of
your claim by allowing for the almost inevitable exception to the rule.
Types of Claims
Claims typically fall into one of four categories. Thinking about how you want to approach your
topic, in other words what type of claim you want to make, is one way to focus your opinion on one
particular aspect of you broader topic.
Claims of fact or definition: These claims argue about what the definition of something is or
whether something is a settled fact. Example:
What some people refer to as global warming is actually nothing more than normal, long-term
cycles of climate change.
Claims of cause and effect: These claims argue that one person, thing, or event caused another
thing or event to occur. Example:
The popularity of SUV's in America has caused pollution to increase.
Claims about value: These are claims made about what something is worth, whether we value it
or not, how we would rate or categorize something. Example:

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Global warming is the most pressing challenge facing the world today.
Claims about solutions or policies: These are claims that argue for or against a certain solution
or policy approach to a problem. Example:
Instead of drilling for oil in Alaska we should be focusing on ways to reduce oil consumption, such
as researching renewable energy sources.

B.- DEFENDING A POINT OF VIEW


Well, the things is,

First, then, lastly

Let me explain

, thats why

The main reason why is that


They are quite a few reasons why
C.- EXPRESSING BELIEFS
I believe that

I shall

Dont you think the colour

According to my beliefs,
I would say that

Im thinking of

Wouldnt you say that?

Im determined to

I have heard that

Im planning to

It is rumoured that

I really mean to

I feel suspicious about

Im definitely going to
Ive decided to

D.- EXPRESSING OPINIONS TENTATIVELY


I strongly agree/
strongly disagree

I dont agree that

it is undeniable that

I couldnt agree less

Im certain that

In my opinion, I would
Say that

You are incorrect

I would argue that

Do you really think that..

This cant be true

I feel that

The way I see it,

I hold the view that

As far as Im concerned,

Id say that

My impression is that

I agree that

What I think is

I have the feeling that

I reckon

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You are right in saying

It seems to me that

I have no doubt

That seems to be correct

To my mind,

I support the view

E.- SUMMARISING ARGUMENTS


all in all
as has been said
finally
in brief

in essence
in summary
that is

as a result
certainly
hence

in short
on balance
to conclude

Might be

Cant be

Could be

F.- DEDUCING:
Must be

Janes light is on. They might be training for a tournament


It might be a pet pit. The cart must be too heavy.
She must be at home. It cant be August.
She cant be out It must be in America
It could be a local fair. It must be very frightened
They must be at school.
OTHER USEFUL FUNCTIONS TO HELP THE CONVERSATION GOING
A.- STARTING A DISCUSSION
Why dont we start by ?

Shall we first?

Lets begin with (shall we?)

We could start by talking about

B.- INVOLVING THE OTHER PERSON


What do you think (about) ? Do you agree with that? What would you say?

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C.- STALL FOR TIME (WHEN YOU'RE ASKED A DIFFICULT QUESTION)


That's such a good question

That's tricky one

Let me see...

That's a difficult question

I'd have to think about that

Well

D.- BE VAGUE AND / OR IMPRECISE


Once in a blue moon

From time to time

More or less

In a hour so

Loads of.. (mistakes)

About (eight)-ish

Bits and pieces

That kind of thing

Sort of / kind of

In a way
E.- GIVE ADVICE / MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ABOUT PLACES
It's a must / a must see

Don't miss... /Make sure you go to .....

It's good value for money

You should try -ing....

It's a bit overrated / overpriced

I suggest going..../ that you go there

It's not all it's cracked up to be.

Watch out for

I found it a bit dull /touristy

One thing to be wary of is

If I were you I'd go to ....


F.- SUGGESTING THINGS TO DO
I hope you will You could go to the
You really must / You absolutely have to
How do you fancy ? What / How about ?
G.- SUGGESTING WHAT TO BRING
It would probably be a good idea Dont bother
H.- REFERRING TO QUESTIONS

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As for (X) itself You asked about You wanted to know whether
I.- TALKING ABOUT POSSIBILITIES
You will be able to You should manage to We might be able to
J.- APOLOGISING
Im very sorry but Im afraid there wont be Unfortunately, I dont think
K.- BRINGING THE DISCUSSION TO AN END
So lets decide which Shall we make a decision? Anyway, we have to decide

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