Goal: To improve skills for expressing feelings
1. The student will use appropriate language to express feelings.
2. The student will identify and use language and manners appropriate to authority figures and respected figures (formal language).
3. The student will identify and use slang as appropriate to peers, relatives (informal language).
1. Stop and think what you want to say.
2. Think about where you are and who you are with.
3. Think about consequences and reactions.
4. Decide appropriate language to use.
Definition: Appropriate language is that which is appropriate to the situation, audience, and purpose.
Rationale: If you don't use language appropriate to the situation and audience, it will not be effective and may have negative consequences.
Discuss when, where, why it is necessary to use appropriate language.
Discuss what appropriate language is and how it may change in different situations.
Talk about the process steps in using appropriate language.
Make a list of alternative appropriate statements students may use instead of choosing inappropriate statements.
Discuss the importance of polite words such as please, thank you, excuse me, etc. Brainstorm situations when these are appropriate. Tell students this is a way of being kind as well as of using good manners.
Model/Role-play with Feedback
Use the situations discussed in the advanced organizer/describe section and model the situations for the students.
Role play situations:
A student is calling you names.
Someone just made fun of your mother, father, sister, brother, etc.
You strike out during gym class and your classmates yell at you.
A teacher asked you to do something that makes you angry.
You're having a hard day and everything's going wrong, someone isn't very sympathetic and instigates you.
Your father has invited his boss home for dinner. Greet the boss, using formal language.
Your parents have given you permission to invite a friend along on a canoe trip. Call your friend on the phone and use formal language when you invite him or her.
Your grandfather is visiting your school on Parents' Night. Using formal language, demonstrate how you can help start a conversation between your grandfather and the principal.
You are eating lunch with a friend at school. Talk about the upcoming dance.
You need to talk with the manager of your city regarding the need for a Teen Center. Demonstrate your discussion, using formal language.
You meet a family friend downtown. Even though he's not your uncle, you call him uncle anyway. Talk to him about your upcoming camping trip.
Student is trying to find a seat in a dark movie theatre and accidentally steps on somebody's toe.
Student needs to borrow a pencil.
Student forgot reading book; another offers to share,
Student is chasing ball and accidentally bumps into someone on playground.
Application with Feedback
Give the students a game during free time that they usually disagree on how to play. Observe if they are using appropriate language to express themselves.
Self chart appropriate classroom language.
Teacher describes a situation. Students give appropriate verbal response.
Students describe a situation in which a designated phrase would be appropriate (i.e. please, thank you, excuse me, I'm sorry). This could be a game format or a quiz.
Have students compare the way they would talk with a close friend to the way they would talk with a very important person.
Provide students with a variety of situations in which people are talking. The students should identify the situations as formal or informal. Use videos, recorded, radio shows, home movies, etc.
Brainstorm informal phrases such as "What's up?" or "Get a life!" Have students rewrite them using informal language. Do the same thing in reverse. Discuss when each might be used.
Class can make a "slang dictionary", of appropriate slang, colloquial terms.
Have the students carry an index card with them. Whenever they have used appropriate language to express themselves, a staff member can initial it.
Observe student communicate a message to a school administrator or other authority figure. Note use of formal language.
Write letters to government officials, using formal language to express feelings about current events issues.
Social Skills Curriculum Guide, 1992
Special School District of St. Louis County