A Drving Incident

Based on D. Crystal and D. Davy Advanced Conversational English (Longman, 1975). Used with the permission of Pearson Education, publishers.


This material is designed to give advanced learners practice in listening to authentic, unscripted conversation between English people in an informal setting. As many teachers are now aware, there are great differences between this type of conversation and the dialogues found in most language courses. It is only by studying samples of authentic material that students can become familiar with the way in which English people use the language to converse, and can develop the skills needed to interpret it.

The recordings on which these Units are based were gathered by D. Crystal and D. Davy for their book Advanced Conversational English (Longman, 1975), which isolates and analyses from a linguistic point of view certain features of conversational English. Starting from the same taped conversations, the aim of this book is rather different; it sets out to teach not about these features, but rather how a foreign learner should recognise and interpret them. To this end, a number of the more interesting Units from Crystal and Davy's tape have been selected and exercises have been developed around them.

The emphasis throughout is on recognition and interpretation i.e. it is the receptive element of communication which is stressed. In many cases the language presented does not represent the type of model which a foreign learner should imitate. However, it is precisely because this language is non-idealised, and thus non-ideal as a model, that it presents difficulties for the learner confronted with it.


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