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ABSTRACT The Interactive Tour Schema (ITS) is based upon the theory that the artificiality inherent in most conversation class situations is imposed by the classroom setting rather than by any particular method. Accordingly, classes using the ITS approach are freed from the classroom once or twice a week for excursions into the community, where student guides simulate at a historical or cultural site the relationship naturally existing between a guide and the tourists who make use of his or her services.

The student guide's talk provides a natural basis for interaction: questioning and discussion involving the entire class, thus improving language skills and fluency. The content of the on-site talk also provides an unstrained means of comparing and contrasting American culture with that of other countries. Using the foreign language in this dynamic setting lends credibility to the concept of language as a tool for living.