LM Expressions Practice: Function Flash Cards
Making the mini-meetings more efficient

One reason that the mini-meetings are difficult is that you give too much attention to the content and language that follows the expression. Previously we did it like this:

Expression: I strongly recommend that smoking be prohibited in this building and in its environs.
Elaboration: That seems the only way to make a smoke-free environment.

From now on, let's drop the elaboration. Cut the content (main point and elaboration) down to the minimum necessary to keep the conversation moving: "I strongly recommend that smoking be prohibited in this building."

Using function-based flash cards

You can do this by yourself. Make one card for each function of each unit. (Unit: "Compromising"; Function: "offering a compromise.") Each card is based on a function and is labeled accordingly in the center of the card. Key words (cues) for the related expressions are presented in the lower right corner on the same side as the function description; full expressions are presented on the back.

Procedure for one unit's expressions

I. Learning the individual expression

  1. Analyze the grammar and usage of one expression in the LM book.
  2. SPEAK a sentence that would trigger this expression, and then say the expression. (For example, a trigger for "offering a compromise" might be "Would you help me?" And then use the expression: "I am prepared to help you, on condition that you help me later.")
  3. Write the function (e.g., "offering a compromise") on the face of the flash card.
  4. Write a cue for the expression in the bottom right corner of the card; write the complete expression on the back of the card.
  5. Do steps 1, 2 and 4 for the other expressions that are used for the same function.

II. Do steps I.1 - I.5 for the entire unit.

III. Practice (SPEAK, don't think)

  1. Mix the cards.
  2. State an opinion (you can use one of the topics in the LM book if you want).
  3. Look at the function on the first card. SPEAK one of the expressions. DO NOT provide elaboration; keep the idea as simple as possible. (If you can't remember the expression, look at the cues in the bottom right corner, and try again. If you still can't remember, look at the sentence on the back.) After you say the expression, compare what you said with the sentence on the back (for grammar accuracy). If one of the expressions in this function is particularly difficult, put it in the DIFFICULT stack; if you had no problem, put it in the EASY pile.
  4. Do step 3 for the next card, and continue till you have used all of the cards.
  5. Try one round with the DIFFICULT cards. 6. Mix all the cards and do them again.

Procedure for the expressions of more than one unit

Mix all the cards of expressions that you have studied up to this point. Then do steps III. 2 - 6 above.