Although requests are arugably the most common speech act that we find teaching materials for in EAL textbooks, not all of these resources are likely to have content that is unique to Canada. The audio clips we recorded on requests can be a good way to start conversations about cultural differences and similarities in how to ask for things at work and in the community.
The audio was recorded in role plays with staff amd students at NorQuest College.
We asked volunteers to role play the following scenario:
You work on a team completing a report for a deadline
You are missing information from a team member who recently joined the team to complete your part of the report.
You asked this team member for the information 2 days ago.
The deadline to complete the report is tomorrow.
You want to ask for the information.
What do you say to your team member?
The information that I asked you for two days ago, do you have it now? Or could you give me a time as to when I could get it?
Uh, where’s the information I asked you for two days ago?
Erin, I just wanted to follow up with you on the request that I had made a couple of days ago uh, regarding that information uh, for the project we’re working on. I hope that I had expressed to you that we need to submit the information tomorrow and my component does require your information. Can you let me know when you think you would have that information available so that we can work on finalizing the report for tomorrow?
A: Uh Joe, excuse me?
B: Yeah, hi.
A: Hi. I asked you for some information two days ago um, that’s needed to complete my part of the report.
B: Oh right, yeah.
A: Yeah. Um, I’m going to need a little bit of time to work with that information and the report is due tomorrow. Is there any way you can get it to me by the end of the day?
B: Sure, no problem.
A: Ok. Great. Great. And then I can come in first thing in the morning and start to work with that report.
B: Ok. Great.
B: All right. Have a good day.
Can you please advise me of the status of the information that I asked you for?
A: Hi. Can I talk to you for a minute?
A: I’ve asked you for the information to complete my report and that was two days ago. Um, and I wanted to know what the status of the report was…uh, of the report that you are providing to me. Have you worked on it?
A: Hi, John.
A: I’m wondering about the information for the report that uh, I’m wondering if you have that information yet ready for me.
Hi. I know that um, you’re just learning all of the ins and outs of the job, of this team and I just want to go over with you some of the things that we’re looking at right now. We need some information for this report that’s due tomorrow. We’ve talked about it previously but I know all of the things you’re learning. Um, so if you could look at it soon. We need the report for tomorrow, so I’ll get back to you maybe in an hour or two so that you can let me know what your thoughts are.
A: Uh, Erin. You remember a couple of days ago I asked you to work on something for me? Uh, did you get a chance to get that completed?
B: Oh actually no I haven’t. Sorry about that.
A: Ok. Um, I have to give it as part of a report for tomorrow. I believe it’s the only item that I have remaining. Would you be able to tell me, when you’d be able to get it done, sir?
B: Sure. I can have it to you by this afternoon.
So Mark, I just came by today to ask you if I could get that information I need for the report. That uh, I have a deadline for tomorrow; I really would appreciate if you could get me that information today.
Hey Bob, I’m speaking for the whole team here. We’ve got a deadline to meet and uh, one of the things that’s holding us up right now is the data that we’re waiting for you from you. And uh, we really need it. We needed it yesterday and you know we still don’t have it from you today, so as a team we could try and help you out but what’s the problem here? You know, what issues are you having getting the data and is there anything that we can help get this through for you because this is something that’s critical for the completion of this project.