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Type of Assessment: Pairwork

Assessment Weeks: 6 and 7

CLO 1: Students are able to demonstrate social skills when maintaining interactions in the
workplace (A3)
CLO 3: Students are able to display positive values and attitudes during professional interaction
in the workplace (A5)

Mark Allocation: 25% - Refer to Rating Scale for Assessment I: Workplace Simulation

Example of Workplace Simulation Situation


You are given 3 minutes to prepare.

You are given 8 minutes to present.


You are at the photo copying machine making copies of several documents. A colleague is
waiting for his/her turn to photocopy. The department’s annual dinner is around the corner
and both of you discuss about it.

1. Objective of task:
a. To recognise the importance of small talk and informal workplace interaction using
appropriate language expressions to build personal, social or business relationships.
b. To inculcate positive values during interaction in social and professional settings.

2. Advantages of small talk and informal workplace interaction:

 encourages social contact – an important skill for building both personal and
professional relationships
 improves mental function – we have to search through a mental database of potential
responses to find one that will prompt a “positive response from the other person, will be
in keeping with the flow of conversation, and will open up the next part of the exchange”

Updated: 25 February 2019

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 boosts mood and lowers stress – it helps us to connect with others, even strangers, to
give us social benefits
 helps in gathering information about another person – the other person’s name,
profession, marital status, interests, geographical location, and whether he or she has
any likes or dislikes

3. Steps to develop small talk/ conversation skills:

a) Anticipate conversations one is likely to have – conversations are not held in a vacuum-
they have their own contents and settings
b) Arm themselves with “something to say” and to do research, read and find interesting
things to talk about on subjects that come up in everyday conversation – weather, health,
sports, electronic gadgets and others, keep things light and fun or
find common ground – something the other can relate to in order to establish a
c) Realise that questioning is an important element that assists in getting all parties
engaged in a conversation or interaction - ask open ended questions and not personal
questions, follow up with a question or statement and create balance between
questions and statements
d) Listen and adapt –to increase continuous and engaging interaction - notice their
surroundings for cues for what to talk about next, what the person is holding, wearing,
take the time to listen - to pick up cues and steer a conversation in a new direction and
to open up – to create connection at a deeper level
e) Have approachable body language – make eye contact, smile, have an open stance…
f) Say goodbye or end a conversation appropriately
g) Keep in mind positive values when interacting for example politeness, honesty,
openness and gratitude among others
Language functions for Interpersonal Communication/ small talk at the workplace:
 initiating and closing conversations
 expressing ideas and opinions
 clarifying
 justifying
 apologising
 making suggestions
 seeking clarifications
 making requests
 accepting and declining invitations
 giving compliments
 praising and congratulating
 taking leave
 expressing condolences

Workplace Simulation: Steps to respond to a situation in classroom assessment (25%)

Updated: 25 February 2019

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1. Study the situation
2. In three minutes decide with your partner elements to be included in the interaction
3. The task is only complete if the following are done:
 the interaction begins with small talk
 the speakers address the situation highlighted in the assessment – give ideas,
opinions, clarify, justify and/or use other language functions taught
 the speakers engage actively in the interaction employing effective turn-taking
 the speakers use appropriate non-verbal communication
 the speakers end the conversation appropriately
 the speakers must keep in mind positive values when interacting

Updated: 25 February 2019

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