Teaching Speaking & Listening

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A basic workshop for public school teachers on teaching listening and speaking in an EFL context

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Teaching Speaking & Listening

  1. 1. Teaching Speaking & Listening through Communicative Activities Erin Lowry Senior English Language Fellow Workshop for Manizales Bilingüe February 17, 2009
  2. 2. The Challenge • To integrate skills • To provide opportunities for authentic communication contexts • To give a reason for communication (information gaps) • To assess these skills in an objective manner
  3. 3. TEACHING LISTENING
  4. 4. What Makes Listening Difficult? • Clustering • Repetition • Reduced forms • Performance variables • Colloquial language • How fast someone speaks • Stress, rhythm, and intonation • Interaction
  5. 5. Principles for Teaching Listening 1. Expose students to different ways of processing information – Bottom-up vs. Top-down – Interactive 2. Expose students to different types of listening 3. Teach a variety of tasks 4. Consider text, difficulty, and authenticity Helgeson, 2003
  6. 6. Types of Classroom Listening • Reactive • Intensive • Responsive • Selective • Extensive • Interactive Brown, 2001
  7. 7. Principles for Designing Listening Techniques • Use techniques that are intrinsically motivating • Use authentic language and contexts • Carefully consider the form of listeners’ responses • Encourage the development of listening strategies • Include bottom-up and top-down listening techniques Brown, 2001
  8. 8. Successful Listening Activities • Purpose for Listening – A form of response (doing, choosing, answering, transferring, condensin g, duplicating, extending, conversing) • Repetition depends on objectives and students’ level • A motivating listening text is authentic and relates to students’ interests and needs • Have the skills integrated • Stages: Pre-task , While-task, Post-task
  9. 9. Activities for Beginners • Top-down Activities – identifying emotions, understanding meaning of sentences, recognizing the topic
  10. 10. Activities for Beginners • Bottom-up Activities – discriminating between intonation contours, phonemes, or selective listening for different morphological endings, word or sentence recognition, listening for word order
  11. 11. Activities for Beginners • Interactive Activities – listening to a word and brainstorming related words, listening to a list and categorizing the words, following directions
  12. 12. Listening Strategies • Teach student how to listen – Looking for keywords – Looking for nonverbal cues to meaning – Predicting a speaker’s purpose by the context of the spoken discourse – Associating information with one’s existing background knowledge (activating schema) – Guessing meanings – Seeking clarification – Listening for the general gist – For tests of listening comprehension, various test- taking strategies
  13. 13. Easy-to-plan Pre-Listening Activities • Brainstorming • Think-Pair-Share • Word Webbing/Mind Mapping • Team Interview
  14. 14. Easy-to-Plan Listening Tasks • Agree or disagree (with explanation) • Create Venn diagrams • List characteristics, qualities, or features • Strip story (sequencing game) • Match speech to visuals • Compare and contrast to another speech or text • Give advice
  15. 15. More Listening Tasks • Compare and contrast to your own experience • Create your own version of the missing section • Plan a solution to the problem • Share reactions • Create a visual • Reenact your own version
  16. 16. Activities in a Listening Lesson • Introductory – Intro to topic of the listening text and activities that focus on the language that will be used • Main – Comprehension activities developing different listening subskills • Post – Learners talk about how a topic in the listening text relates to their own lives or give opinions
  17. 17. Easy to Plan Post-listening Assessments • Guess the meaning of unknown vocabulary • Analyze the speaker’s intentions • List the number of people involved and their function in the script • Analyze the success of communication in the script • Brainstorm alternative ways of expression
  18. 18. TEACHING SPEAKING
  19. 19. Distinctive Feature PHONOLOGY Phoneme Syllable Morpheme MORPHOLOGY Word STRESS Phrase SYNTAX RHYTHM INTONATION Clause DISCOURSE Utterance Text
  20. 20. What Makes Speaking Difficult? • Clustering • Redundancy • Reduced forms • Performance variables • Colloquial language • Rate of delivery • Stress, rhythm & intonation • Interaction
  21. 21. Tips for Teaching Speaking • Use a range of techniques • Capitalize on intrinsic motivation • Use authentic language in meaningful contexts • Give feedback and be careful with corrections • Teach it in conjunction with listening • Allow students to initiate communication • Encourage speaking strategies
  22. 22. Fluency vs. Accuracy • Speaking at normal • Speaking using correct speed, without forms of grammar, hesitation, repetition, vocabulary, and or self-correction, and pronunciation with the smooth use of connected speech
  23. 23. Principles of Teaching Speaking Beginners • Provide something for the learners to talk about • Create opportunities for students to interact by using groupwork or pairwork • Manipulate physical arrangements to promote speaking practice Bailey, 2005
  24. 24. Principles of Teaching Speaking Intermediate • Plan speaking tasks that involve negotiation for meaning • Design both transactional and interpersonal speaking activities • Personalize the speaking activities whenever possible Bailey, 2005
  25. 25. Tasks & Materials 1. Conversations, guided conversations & interviews 2. Information gap & jigsaw activities 3. Scripted dialogues, drama, & role-play 4. Logic puzzles 5. Picture-based activities 6. Physical actions in speaking lessons 7. Extemporaneous speaking
  26. 26. Communicative Tasks • Motivation is to achieve some outcome using the language • Activity takes place in real time • Achieving the outcome requires participants to interact • No restriction on language used
  27. 27. Example Communicative Tasks • Information gaps • Jigsaw activities • Info gap race (p. 83) • Surveys • Guessing games
  28. 28. Questions? • Email: erin.lowry@gmail.com • Website: http://colombotech.pbwiki.com
  29. 29. References • Bailey, K.M. (2005). Practical English Language Teaching: Speaking. New York: McGraw-Hill. • Bishop, G. (2006). AP State English Lecturers Retraining Program Teacher’s Handboook. Senior ELF Seminar Series given in Hyderabad, India. • Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Longman. • Helgesen, M. (2003). Listening. In D. Nunan (Ed.). Practical English Language Teaching. New York: McGraw-Hill. • Liao, X.A. (2001). Information Gap in Communicative Classrooms. EL Forum, 39 (4). Retrieved from http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol39/no4/p38.htm. • Lynch, T. (2003). Communication in the language classroom. Oxford: Oxford University Press. • Richards, J.C. & Renandya, W.A. (eds.) (2002). Methodology in language teaching: an anthology of current practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Slagoski, J.D. (2006). Teaching Listening Skills. Senior ELF Seminar given in Samara, Russia. Retrieved from http://slagoski.googlepages.com/downloadpresentations.

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