Course Title: Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2014

Course Code: LANG5816

Course Title: Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions

School: 360T Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C3311 - Certificate III in EAL (Access)

Course Contact : Baia Tsakouridou / Bloss Robertson

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 99254488

Course Contact /

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Jennifer Chamberlain  9925 9476 94.3.23

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit of competency describes speaking and listening performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required by adult learners with language backgrounds other than English. The focus of this unit is on listening and speaking skills in English to participate effectively in casual conversations and discussions on a range of topics, and to engage in straightforward transactions.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VU21465 Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions


1 Participate in casual conversations

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Initiate conversation using appropriate opening expressions and conventions
1.2 Contribute comments, opinions or information on a range of everyday topics.
1.3 Give detailed responses
1.4 Use a range of conversational strategies
1.5 Clarify misunderstandings and ambiguous points where necessary.
1.6 Close conversation using customary steps.


2 Participate in a range of straightforward transactions

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Initiate a straightforward transaction and make request or state problem clearly.
2.2 Give detailed explanation
2.3 State desired outcome
2.4 Respond to suggestions or solutions offered.
2.5 Clarify outcome/result or follow up action where necessary

Learning Outcomes

This unit applies to participants using speaking and listening skills in English in a range of informal and formal situations. The situations in which these skills are applied are varied, and can be related to contexts such as social and community life, everyday commerce and recreation, workplaces, and vocational or study-related fields.

The outcome described in this unit relate to:

  • The ISLPR (International Second Language Proficiency Ratings) descriptors for Speaking and Listening. They contribute directly to the achievement of ISLPR Speaking 2+ and Listening 2+


Details of Learning Activities

This unit is part of Certificate III in EAL (Access) which is an integrated program. This means that you will study this unit with several other units on the same day. Your program consists of Face to Face teaching and Directed Study. Your program will have a minimum of 8 hours Directed Study per week. You are not required to attend to complete Directed Study, however you are expected to complete all work given and will at times be required to show evidence that the work has been completed in this unit. This is a very important part of your program and we ask that you do 4-5 hours on your non attendance day and at least 1 hour each evening to cover all the units in the program. An outline of your Directed Study is published each week in the Weekly Program Delivery Plan.
This unit in part covers the speaking and listening macro skills addressed in the certificate.
Examples of how you will practice and study the units


You will:

  • listen to videos and audio tapes as well as films
  • take part in conversations
  • listen to talks and lectures
  • visit places of interest and listen to guides
  • take part in Australian cinema studies 


You will:

  • work in pairs and in small groups
  • give complex reports on researched topic
  • make up role plays to practice conversation appropriate to further study context
  • give a formal oral presentation
  • take part in formal and informal discussions
  • evaluate your own work

Teaching Schedule

This program is of 18 weeks duration. Week one is induction week.

Program Dates: 10 February Induction week.

17 February - 20 June, 2014
Public Holiday
Labour Day 10 March,2014
Good Friday 18 April, 2014
ANZAC Day 25 April, 2014

Mid Semester Break
21 April - 25 April, 2014

This unit of competency is taught within an integrated program. This unit is clustered with VU21464 Examine current issues.

Cert III in EAL (Access) Semester 1 2014.

VU21465 Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions

Week 1 - Diagnostic Skills and Orientation
Week 2 - Using appropriate tenses as time markers. Adverbial expressions
Week 3 - Question forms and strategies
Week 4 - Using modifying words and phrases to express opinions
Week 5 - Range of Modal forms including negatives and obligation
Week 6 - Idioms and colloquial expressions
Week 7 - Reading strategies and development of vocabulary
Week 8 - Assessment Task: Examine a Current Issue. Oral Discussion
Week 9 - Phrasal verbs and idioms
Week 10 - Mid semester Interviews
Week 11 - Reported speech to express opinions and give evidence
Week 12 - Looking at irony and exaggeration
Week 13 - Assessment Task: Examine A Current Issue. Oral Discussion
Week 14 - Examining perfect tenses
Week 15 - Looking at the passive for perfect tenses
Week 16 - Looking at tone, stress and intonation, integrate pronunciation
Week 17 - Looking at a range of vocabulary and verbal strategies
Week 18 - Results released and Completion Ceremony **The teaching schedule maybe subject to change. Students will be advised via Blackboard and in class should changes occur.

Teaching Schedule: This course will be delivered weekly. The times will be outlined in the program delivery plans which are updated each week.

Your program is made up of:

  • Orientation
  • Learning activities
  • Mid semester review
  • Guest speakers
  • Exit review

All students will be inducted.


The induction includes

  • Program Guide & Student Diary
  • Student Rights and Responsibilities
  • Explore RMIT (an orientation to the university and its services)
  • Orientation to RMIT Libraries (library tour & on line catalogue introduction)
  • Information about student services, rights and responsibilities is contained in your student diary.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

There are no set texts in this course, but it is recommended that you bring

  • English-English dictionary (We ask that you do not use a translation dictionary)
  • Thesaurus
  • Display folder with plastic sleeves
  • Highlighter pens
  • Notebook or loose leaf paper
  • Headphones (use your own or they can be purchased from the Carlton Library very cheaply)
  • USB (Memory stick)

Overview of Assessment

You must demonstrate an understanding of all elements of the competencies in order to be deemed competent. Assessment methods have been designed to measure achievements of each competency in a flexible manner over a range of assessment tasks. You may be assessed by:

  • listening tasks,
  • role play,
  • presentations.

Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions, through individual and group feedback on practical exercises and by individual consultation.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

An assessment policy summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
Your courses assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures see

Assessment Tasks

Assessment will take place throughout the course. Your work is assessed on a competent (CA)/not yet competent (NYC) basis - it is not graded. You will be given written feedback on all assessment tasks. There will be individual and group projects completed both in and out of class. Assessment is ongoing and its purpose is to develop your skills. You will be given assistance in redrafting and editing written assessment tasks because developing your ability to identify and correct your own mistakes is an important part of the learning process. It is important that you read the specific elements each assessment task addresses on the cover sheet for each task. At the time of setting assessments you will be given clear guidelines about which course, elements and performance criteria you will need to meet in order to successfully complete the task. Submission dates & deadlines will also be clearly explained.

Assessment tasks:

Assessment Task 8: Week 8

Casual conversation in groups using appropriate language to express an opinion on current issues and topics examined in class.

Assessment task 13: Week 14

Casual conversation in groups using appropriate language to express an opinion on current issues and topics examined in class.

Formative assessments:
ongoing observations, summaries and review of student work

Please note:
Assessments tasks will include other courses (Units of competency) from the program.
All Assessment tasks should be submitted by the deadline. If an extension is required you must ask your teacher for one before the due date.

Assessment Matrix

Each assessment cover sheet clearly outlines the competencies being addressed in the task in relation to performance criteria. The sum of assessment tasks will cover all units and their elements over a range of occasions. You will be given opportunities to demonstrate competency in a variety of ways throughout the program. You are encouraged to discuss any problems or concerns with your teacher or student co-ordinator. An assessment matrix will be available on myRMIT.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview