The Implications of Inter-language Analysis in the Development of Materials for Teaching Speaking (Matsda, LeedsMet Uni.2010)
The Implications of Inter-language Analysis in the Development of
Materials for Teaching Speaking
Abdulmalik Y. Ofemile & Choonmi Kim
MA (TESOL& ICT) MA (TESOL)
School of Education,
University Of Leeds, UK
Presented at the 8th Materials Development/MATSDA
Postgraduate Research Conference 2010
Building Bridges: Research, Materials,
Classroom Practice and Beyond
Saturday 15th May, 2010 09:30am – 16:30pm
Leeds Metropolitan University
Leslie Silver International Faculty
Caedmon Hall, Headingley Campus, Leeds
This paper is looking at a triangulation and application of three knowledge
areas in the process of materials development for teaching and learning
speaking skills in a second language acquisition context.
The knowledge areas include, Inter Language Analysis (ILA), Speaking skills,
and Language materials design. The concepts of Needs Analysis (NA) and
content development will be subsumed under these broad areas as the
implications of triangulation become manifest.
We will focus on our contexts, summary of our research work, brief discussion
of basic concepts from literature, the implications for materials development
and our concluding thoughts on the work done.
South Korea, China
TheThree Circles(Kachru, 1985) Fig. 1
Adapted fromCrystal, (2010 :107)
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 3
Outer Circle (Nigeria) Expanding Circle (S. Korea)
English is the language of government, The 6th National curriculum (Mar.1995 to
politics, business, education, Feb.2002) made English a compulsory
communication and national unity. subject for students from the third grade
of primary school until graduating from high
Nigerian varieties: Pidgin & Educated school (Kim, 2010)
Nigerian English, Popular Nigerian English language is a requirement for
English (Ofemile, 2010 citing Odumuh, admission into the best Universities and for
1987; Jowitt, 1991) getting the best jobs.
Failure in the secondary school Learners do not get to use the language
certificate examination in English is adequately outside the classroom.
rising.(Wedell, 2010 citing Bomgbose,
$15.3 billion expended on private lessons in
2001) The result for 2010 shows that 2005 (Guardian Weekly cited in Wedell,
less than 2% of candidates 2010)
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Literature Review Inter-language
Vernacular style Careful style
(more pidgin-like) Style 2 Style 3 Style 4 Style n (more TL/NL like)
Unattended Attended Various elicitation tasks: elicited Grammatical
speech data speech imitation,sentence-combining,etc intuition data
Inter Language continuum.(Tarone 1983:152) Fig.2
'Sensitive Period Hypothesis'
Selinker (1972 cited in Davies,1989) Inter
Language (Henceforth IL) is a learner’s Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is
language characterized by permeability, possible at any age but, it is impossible
dynamism, and systematicity. Thus, IL is
continually evolving with more input to the
to achieve native-like competence.
learner and revision by the learner (Patwoski, 2006 citing Lennenberg,
(Lightbown &Spada, 2006) 1967) Thus, IL is a continuum that
represents the learner's development.
IL describes the structured system constructed (Fig. 2) above.
by the learner at every stage of his As second language speaker sand
development. (Ellis, 1985) teachers of English experience shows
that Patwoski is right but, we must add
that this however depends on several
factors like context, the relationship
between L1 and the target language,
and the learners attitude and
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 6
Needs classified for ease of
Needs Analysis identification.
Has been variously defined and described
(Munby, 1977; Richterich & Chancerel, McDonough, (1984)Hutchinson and Waters,
1977/1980; Widdowson, 1984; Hutchinson & (1987); Mushare, (1992) and Benesch,
Waters, 1987; Queeney, 1995; Jordan, 1997; (2001).
Benech, 2001, Ofemile, 2009).
For our purpose,'Target needs (what a learner
From the above we deduced that NA has the will do in order to learn). Learning needs
following properties. (what the learner will do in a target situation)
• It is a learner-centered process Hutchinson and Waters, (1987) will suffice
because they help give focus to the paper.
• It involves data collection and processing
• It provides information on the design,
implementation and evaluation of learning
• The learning experiences meet the needs of the
learners, Institutions, and Society.
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Speaking skill in context
Speaking overlaps with many areas of We believe that these are the qualities and
language. It can be seen as an aspect functions of spoken discourse. Just as
of production or from the social aspects in writing, learners learn to speak and
ie attitudes towards productive skills. speak to learn and we believe that
(Hughes, 2002) there is a parallel here with
'competence and performance'.
our understanding of Hughes goes thus:
The first refers to skill acquisition while the
As an aspect of production, spoken second refers to the ability to use the
discourse is context dependent, usually skill in the 'target situation'. A
unplanned, transient, uses oral/aural combination of the two provide what
media and is dynamic. Harmer, (2007) calls 'rehearsal
opportunities' to use the language for a
From the social aspect, spoken purpose and as a skill.
discourse is perceived as an inter-
personal locus of change, that is
informal, rhetorical, stigmatized and a
primary form of language.
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 8
Materials Design Tomlinson(2005)citing Jolly and Bolitho
(1998:97-8) presents a framework that
It is a process that begins with focuses on procedures for developing
identification of competences or needs materials thus:
assessment, then determining goals
and objectives, conceptualizing Identification of need for materials
content, and finally, selecting and
developing materials and activities. Exploration of need
(Graves, 1996) Contextual realization of materials
This view sees material development as Pedagogical realization of materials
an integral part of course development.
Production of materials
Student use of materials
Evaluation of materials against agreed
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 9
We find this framework most useful because it is systematic, coherent purposeful and
flexible. This review has given a mulch-dimensional insights to this paper.
We will now go further to give a comparative analysis of our researches in IL.
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 10
The Learners' Background The Research Tasks
Korean(Lee) an Engineer and a The subjects were expected to:
Nigerian (Nkiru) a teacher. We are
using Pseudonyms Talk about themselves
Lee speaks Korean and English. He Narrate or re-tell a story
learned English in Korea and Canada, Relate an experience that is of
rarely uses English at work but his significance to them.
composition skills are good.
Nkiru speaks Igbo,a smattering of
Yoruba, pidgin English, Popular
Nigerian English, and Standard British
English. She is a post-graduate student
in the UK.
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 11
Aims Data Collection
Ascertain their linguistic We used unstructured
competences in the use of interviews recorded
English language in
using Skype over three
Ascertain their Listening and
Identify areas of deficiencies
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 12
Research Analysis (Research Methodology)
Data Analysis Results were classified under:
were converted into
transcripts using voice Vocabulary
We analyzed data obtained using
Canale's (1983) framework of
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 13
Phonology In one instance, he correctly
articulates and distinguishes
Nkiru's pronunciation was between the sounds /r/ and
good with an intermediate /l/ in words like 'generally'.
level of fluency. However, when these
However, she commits local sounds occur in individual
errors attributable to words, he switches them as
transfers from L1 e.g. in 'actualy' articulated as /ri:/.
Omission of sounds like /t/ in Other sounds include /v/
'least'. as /b/ and /z/ as /dz/. These
sounds do not exist in
Lee also has good Korean.
pronunciation but, he
displays a mixed grill of
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 14
Nkiru's mastery of sentence formation is Nkiru code mixes registers (e.g. 'eba'
very good. She was able to place 'fufu') with English language. She uses
morphemes in their proper positions to interjections and discourse particles
make sentences. like 'aho' (what do I care or how do I
know) from Nigerian languages in her
Lee on the other hand, displayed a expressions. Her choice of words are
good level of competence in the use of varied and her repertoire of words very
present tense but, his use of past tense high.
and articles (a, the) were inaccurate
while copula and regular 'be' forms Lee shows a limited choice of words which
were ommited. Examples include 'Ah, maybe an indication of the level of his
he style very strong'; 'I think he development in the language.
increase economy better now'
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 15
He is able to express his feelings about
Pragmatics issues albeit in a confusing manner.
Nkiru displayed an appreciable level of For example, he calls a 'puppy' 'baby dog'.
proficiency in pragmatic skills. She was This is a transfer from a Korean near
able to employ formulaic expressions equivalent expression 'kae saeki'. This
without depending on them, interpret is an attempt (Harmer,2007)that has
requests, recognize and respond to pragmatic implications. The expression
conversation starters,employ co- is considered a solecism in Korean
constructions to complete clauses as culture and it is to an extent
well as use a mixture and shift in tense nonsensical in English.
'complicating action'.(Ofemile, 2009,
Lee used and relied on formulaic
expressions like 'I studied...' but, his
discourse skills are good which can be
attributed to a positive transfer from
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 16
We believe that ILA has implications for
material development in the following Needs Analysis.
ILA employs approaches that are
• Needs analysis systematic and empirically established
by a careful accumulation and analysis
• Types of materials ie classification of data e.g. Canale's framework. These
approaches are universally acceptable,
• Usability they account for variations across IL
• Contextual focus sub-systems (phonology, grammar,
vocabulary & pragmatics), and they are
internally consistent, parsimonious and
elegant, (Tarone, 1989).
NA tries to get information about the
learners' perceptions of their needs
and how others perceive them
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 17
In view of the scientific and pragmatic nature of IL, we believe that it may be used to
strengthen the process of identification and elaboration of needs in materials
development. Errors or language variations identified will now become the learners'
needs. For example, our studies observed that the subjects need more pragmatic
knowledge of English language to function and communicate effectively, thus,
content design will include politeness, turn taking in conversation, or even elements
of interaction in English language discourse.
Apart from that IL can be used as a lead on to other aspects of NA in materials
development using the steps recommended below, (Fig 3).
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 18
IL strengthens data gathering processes in Needs Analysis
STEP 1..... Set Speech Context
STEP 2..... Set Interaction Objectives
STEP 3....... Frame specific Questions
STEP 4....... Administration (Interviews)
STEP 5...... Analysis
STEP 6...... Needs Identification & Evaluation
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 19
IL strengthens data gathering processes in Needs Analysis
Step 1: Determined by the Step 4: spontaneous recordings of
communicative function of the language speech by researcher, unstructured
bearing in various contexts (Tarone, 1988) interviews, pre-planned sociolinguistic
interactions to check 'observer paradox'
Step 2:the purpose of the study (Labov, 1972 cited in Tarone, 1988;
should be set in a favourable linguistic
environment.e.g. assessing the extent of
linguistic competence in spoken English. Step 5:Focused analysis of transcribed
(Ofemile, 2010, Kim 2010; Schumann, spoken data using accepted theoretical
1978b, Ellis, 1984a) standards e.g. Canale's four aspects of
Step 3: Frame interview questions
bearing in mind socio-situational factors like Step 6: NA strategies are used in
Tarone's (1988) social and pedagogical assessing linguistic competences or
norms that may or may not conflict with the incompetence identified. Such strategies will
learner's background. (See Ellis, 1992 include comparing the learner's linguistic
citing Lardiere, 2007) performance with the accepted expected
standard. A variance analysis will yield
further the learner's needs at the evaluation
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 20
Types of materials Usability
Input from ILA will help in raising teachers' We are of the opinion that ILA input can
and learners' awareness about ESL help in evaluating these materials in an
settings, methods and materials empirical manner. This idea becomes
development. This will help in the relevant here since materials now
inclusion of contextualized learning include electronic resources like
activities, strategies and exercises in podcast, voice recorders, voice chats,
classroom speaking materials and video chats, CD/DVD, mp3, mp4 and
resources that can promote interaction other web based resources. ILA is
in the target language. (Ofemile,2010; used to identify learner needs and
citing Jianda, 2008; Ellis, !987; Kim, these materials and resources will be
2010). employed to give tasks that will remedy
This implies that ILA input can aid the
decision about the the type and Thus, materials will be assessed for
function of speaking material to be 'learnability, Efficiency, Memorability,
developed e.g paper based or Errors and satisfaction'
electronic; classwork, examination, or (Nielson,1993:26)
which specific learner need to meet.
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 21
This evaluation will simply ascertain Contextual focus
whether or not the speaking material is
easy to learn, efficient to use, easy to Finally, we believe that the role of ILA in
remember, allows the learner to the future development of English
commit only a few errors, and is language as an international language
pleasant to use.(Nielson, 1993). will become more pronounced. This
belief is based upon the striking
From experience, we find that these similarities that occurred in the results
factors to a large extent determine the of our independent researches of
level of interaction that can be learners that represent the outer circle
generated in the classroom. Thus, a and expanding circle.
positive result implies high interaction
between the learner and the material Secondly, Graddol's (2010) futuristic
and a negative indicates poor axioms about India, which we find in
interaction with no learning taking view of the results above to be
place. increasingly relevant to our research
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 22
These are summarized thus; 8.Surveys of English proficiency levels are
needed. (Graddol 2010,14-15).
• There is a major shift towards English
Material developers will continually
• There are three main drivers for
English have to bear in mind this ever widening
contexts and ILA has the potential of
• English has escaped from the library presenting critical data for those
• Sustained economic growth requires designers who desire to promote
more English speakers mutually intelligible materials for
teaching and learning speaking or oral
• National Improvement in English is too communication in English language
• English is a casualty of wider problems
in Indian(Nigerian, Korean) education
• There is a huge shortage of English
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 23
This paper has looked at the influence of ILA on
materials development based on studies carried
out in two contexts. We must quickly add that, we
interviewed only one subject each and in three
events and to these extents can the results be
generalized. However, we think that more of
these studies are needed in other contexts with
other specifications to build a body of knowledge
in preparation for a future which is very near.
05/18/10 Abdulmalik Ofemile & Choonmi Kim 24
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