Learning to speak English? Our Everyday Conversations help you practice. Click the audio link to hear a native speaker pronounce each word while you read. Key terms are explained at the end. Today’s conversation is on class elections.

This is the first of our Everyday Conversations about elections.

Many schools in the U.S. have a class president as the leader of the student body of their class. A senior class president is the leader of the senior class in a high school or university. The senior class president often leads meetings with other student government members and organizes student activities and class events. Class presidents are usually elected by the students in their class.

Samantha: I’m really excited about the student election this year.

Jamal: Me too. I think there are two really strong candidates for senior class president.

Samantha: Hopefully, most of the school will go to the polls next week.

Jamal: Well, tomorrow’s debate might increase people’s interest in the election, so maybe more people will vote next week as a result.

Samantha: I hope so! Last year, the total number of votes was really low.

Jamal: Don’t worry. I’m sure the turnout this year will be better.

Now let’s review the vocabulary

An election is the process of choosing someone for a position by voting.

A candidate is a person who takes part in an election and tries to be voted into a position.

The polls are the places where people vote during an election.

A debate is a discussion between people in which they express different opinions about certain topics.

To vote (as a verb) means to officially choose a person for a position.

A vote (as a noun) is the official choice a person makes in an election, meeting, etc.

Turnout means the number of people who participate in or go to an event, meeting, election, etc. In this conversation, “turnout” refers to the number of people who will go to the polls and vote in the student election.

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Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.