ABSTRACT  As educators target the articulation between university lower-division language-acquisition courses and upper-division literature courses, higher order thinking and awareness of cognitive processes become increasingly important tools in bridging that gap. We will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of this issue and demonstrate the design of conversation activities and materials. Emphasis will be on the development and sequencing of the linguistic and critical thinking skills necessary to organize ideas, express and support opinions, synthesize, draw inferences, and evaluate.