Course Title: Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2015

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 51.2.002  9925 9476 51.2

Angela Borrelli 51.2.002  9925 4016 51.2

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 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 17 weeks duration. Week one is induction week.

Program Dates: 9 February - 5 June, 2015
Public Holiday
Labour Day 9 March,2015
Good Friday 18 April, 2015


Mid Semester Break
2 April - 10 April, 2015

This unit of competency is taught within an integrated program. This unit is clustered with VU21464 Examine current issues (HUSO5211).

Cert III in EAL (Access) Semester 1 2014.

WeekVU21465 Engage in casual conversations and straightforward transactions  Element

 VU21464 Examine current issues


1Diagnostic Skills and Orientation 1,2 2
2Using appropriate tenses as time markers. Adverbial expressions in Current Issues 1 2,3

Question forms and strategies in Current Issues

 2 2,3
4Using modifying words and phrases to express opinions on Current Issues 1,2 1
5 Range of Modal forms to look at current issues including negatives and obligation 1,2 1,3
6 Range of Modal forms to look at current issues including negatives and obligation 1,2 1,3
7 Development of vocabulary for current issues
 1,2 2
8 Mid semester Interviews
9   Phrasal verbs and idioms
used in reporting current issues
 1 2,3

 Reported speech to express opinions and give evidence on current issues


 1,2 1,3

 Assessment Task 9: Current Issues - Lucky Miles

Looking at irony and exaggeration

 1,2 2,3
12Question forms and strategies to talk about current issues22,3
13 Examining Perfect tenses to report news 1,2 1
14Assessment Task 11 Examine Current Issues in Newspapers 1,2 1,2,3

 Looking at the passive to report issues

Assessment task 13 Current Issues journal

 1 1,2,3
16 Looking at tone, stress and intonation, integrate pronunciation to discuss issues 1 
17 Looking at a range of vocabulary relevant to current issues and verbal strategies to discuss current issues 1 1

 Note: While your teacher will cover all the material in this schedule, the order is subject to change depending on class needs and availabiltiy of speakers and resources.


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 9: Current Issues - Lucky Miles Due Week 11

Watch an Australian film and answer questions about the information, language and issues in the film.

Assessment Task 11 Examine Current Issues in Newspapers: Due Week14

  • Locate, read and discuss current issues. Write a response to the issues.

Assessment task 13 Current Issues journal: Due Week 15

  • Collate a portfolio response to current issues examined throughout course  and discussed 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.


Cover Sheets
You must complete a submission cover sheet for every piece of work submitted in hardcopy.The signed cover sheet acknowledges that you are aware of the plagiarism implications

All assessment tasks including electronically recorded student work will be kept by the University for student feedback and to meet government requirements.

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.

Other Information

It is strongly advised that you attend all sessions in order to engage in the required leaning activities, ensuring the maximum opportunity to gain competency.

Student Progress

Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy to assist you to achieve your learning potential.

Student program policy

You will be asked to attend mid-semester and end of semester interviews with relevant teachers and Program Co-ordinator. The interviews are an important part of giving you feedback and supporting you through your program by monitoring your academic progress

Special consideration policy (Late submissions)
All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.

Special consideration is an assessment adjustment for unexpected circumstances that are outside your control, which:
• have a significant adverse impact on your performance in assessment or
• prevent you from attempting or submitting the assessment. Special Consideration

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the Academic Integrity and Plagiarism policy

Course Overview: Access Course Overview