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Here are some language samples elicited in response to various stimuli. These demonstrate how elicitation strategies influence production.

Avoid simple descriptions or recounts by asking students to interpret behavior, compare behavior to analogous personal experience, or provide explanations.

Asking probing questions may elicit more complex language.

Examples A student's retelling of a story elicited by a picture series is routinely followed by a set of probe questions (pdf) that seek greater detail and explanation. Note in this example how answers to probe questions reveal a more sophisticated command of complex structures than evident in the initial story telling.

View Bob's Surprise Birthday Party Picture Series

Listen to Audio Sample

Asking probing questions is an effective way to elicit more specific information or descriptions. Here are two examples with an international student. Note the greater linguistic complexity used in response to the probe.

Here are two samples elicited through a political cartoon.

Here the student is engaged in a follow-up conversation where questions are used to probe vocabulary and concepts.

View Picture Series: Chance Meeting

Here is a language sample collected from a student after viewing a picture series from "Real Dreams: Photoseries" by Duane Michals, copyright 1976.

Here is a sample elicited by the Bob's Birthday sequence which deviated greatly in content. However, the story conveyed is comprehensible and has an appropriate story structure with an initiating event, a conflict, and a resolution.

Here is the sample provided by the same student after she was asked to view the story again and retell it. Note the clarity in her referent specification. Students can also generate samples by relaying personal experiences. Samples should also be collected and compared across modalities.

Here is a comparison of an audio sample produced via simultaneous communication and a sample produced via written communication. The written sample (pdf) is more accurate and shows more complex grammar, including more explicit referent specification.

Here is an example of a student reading a written response to a picture compared to a spoken response to the same picture and a spoken description of a personal experience. Note the organization and cohesiveness of the written response.