Voices in the Foreign Language classroom

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This is one of my speeches at TESOL-Spain National Convention in Madrid 2006. Although some improvements could be now added, there is a very good theory involved as well as the data for my study case in my PhD. thesis. I hope you enjoy it.

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Voices in the Foreign Language classroom

  1. 1. TESOL Spain National Convention Madr Lack of Voices in the FL Class?Lack of Voices in the FL Class? By Lluís Figueras (IES Vilassar de Mar / University of Barcelona)
  2. 2. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20062 Questions Do you think that students need to improve their speaking skills? Do you think computers may be useful? Website to download this presentation: http://www.xtec.net/~lfiguera/
  3. 3. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20063 Summary • Presentation of a study case • Results • Criteria for selecting Multimedia applications • Criteria for selecting software • Useful computer tools • Specialized software • Questions
  4. 4. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20064 Type of study taken (experimental /control group) GENERAL FEATURE FOR BOTH GROUPS • Middle-low socioeconomic class • 100% speakers of Spanish • Studying English since 8-10 years old • Eleven 55-minute sessions Experimental group: Number of students tested • First 14 reduced to 10 pre-tested, ages 16-18 years old Control group: Number of students tested • Pre-test with 10 students and a post-test with the same ones. No absences. • Pre-test taken in February 2002. Sessions ended in May 2002
  5. 5. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20065 Methodology • Always half group (Experimental 15; control 20) Students in the experimental group: • Pair-work 10-15 minutes with computers Specific software for pronunciation (Pronunciation Power and Connected Speech). • 10 -15 minutes conversation with a native assistant teacher in groups (4-6 people). • Remaining 10 -15 minutes: Self-Access class for other purposes (Vocabulary, Grammar, correction of activities…) Students in the control group: • 10 to 15 minutes for conversation • Remaining time for tradicional type of class: reading, correcting activites, just with the teacher intervention.
  6. 6. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20066 Type of syllabus covered with both groups: • Long and short vowels (especially sound /i:/) • Vowel /:/ • Initial Consonant clusters ( sp, sk, st, etc) • Suprasegmental work, linking words. • Stress of words in the sentence, in an isolated way, especially in two-syllable words. • Correct intonation in interrogative sentences.
  7. 7. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20067 PLANTILLA DE CORRECCIÓN Y EJEMPLO FONÉTICO DEL ESTUDIO DE CASO EN 1º DE BACHILLERATO (texto 1) • ‘Consonant clusters’ (/sp/, /st/, /sl/) (7 casos) • Contraste vocálico (i: / I) ( 9 casos, ‘he’ (7 casos sólo cuentan como 1) • Diferentes formas de pronunciación del pasado regular /-ed/ (4 casos) • Diferenciación de sonidos /ch/ /sh/ • Algunos de los aspectos del texto 2 se incluyen también aquí
  8. 8. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20068
  9. 9. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/20069
  10. 10. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200610 PLANTILLA DE CORRECCIÓN Y EJEMPLO FONÉTICO DEL ESTUDIO DE CASO EN 1º DE BACHILLERATO (texto 2) • Trabajo específico del sonido // • Acentuación correcta en palabras polisilábicas • Suprasegmentales (Enlace, pausa y acentuación correcta) • Contraste directo • Algunos de los aspectos del texto 1 se incluyen también aquí
  11. 11. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200611
  12. 12. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200612
  13. 13. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200613 Results • All fields analyzed in the Experimental group had improvements. • All fields analyzed in the Control group had improvements as a whole but not individually; those were less significant than the ones found in the experimental group. • The Methodology with computers with a specific time assigned worked with the experimental group.
  14. 14. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200614 Interpretation by Pastore (2003), inhttp://teacherworld.com/ potdale.html Useful hints when working with computers
  15. 15. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200615 Advantages and disavantages of Multimedia resources • Safe learning environment • Flexibility for individual needs • May stimulate demotivated students • Present info in different ways • Teachers may review the way they teach and how students learn • Non-judgemental • Non-threatening • Amount of money • Equipment • Renewal (5 years?) • Reading is more tiring and 28% slower in a computer screen (Thibodeau, 1997) • Technophobia • Anxiety • Lack of control (Weil y Rosen, 1997) Brown y Howlett (1994) Egbert et al. (1999), Brett (1999)
  16. 16. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200616 What do we need in the FL class? • The number of students IS NOT a problem if all of them have a clear idea about what they have to do. • Working areas are necessary (at least 3-4). • Adequate space / room may be important but not a must.
  17. 17. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200617 Working areas • Students work in pairs or groups of three • Typical areas to develop are: GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY, LISTENING, READING… • New types of working areas include computers with special requirements.
  18. 18. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200618 Computers and special requirements (i) • Individual or pair work is the maximum number of people allowed for optimal performance. Use splitters to maximize users. • Higher number of students provoke other problems to arise, such as: room / space, indecisions, arguments or lack of cooperation.
  19. 19. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200619 Computers and special requirements (ii) • The use of a computer may be considered as an award and it is just a working area, for a specific time and day, not a permanent place to be in.
  20. 20. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200620 Three different situations for working with software: • Guided production through Reading and Listening • Guided production through Pronunciation • Free production through an authorable software
  21. 21. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200621 Tell me more / Talk to me by Auralog Guided production through Reading and Listening
  22. 22. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200622 Tell me more / Talk to me by Auralog • The S.E.T.S. (‘Spoken Error Tracking System’) technology: • A) The software detects a word pronounced wrongly (red) • B) The user may click on it and work individually. • WHAT CRITERIA DOES THE SOFTWARE USE FOR S.E.T.S? • ??? http://www.auralog.com/
  23. 23. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200623 Tell me more / Talk to me by Auralog
  24. 24. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200624 Tell me more / Talk to me SAMPLE PRODUCTION
  25. 25. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200625 Pronunciation Power • Products and demos: http://www.englishelearning.com/en/ • Professional software review at CALICO: http://calico.org/CALICO_Review/review/propower.htm Guided production through Pronunciation
  26. 26. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200626 Improving oral aspects • http://evaeaston.com/pr/t-d-Id-pattern.html Guided production through Reading and Listening
  27. 27. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200627 Recommendations when working with computers • Re-start again after a class period to release memory • Older computers need extra time to think (extra clicks  blocking system) • Pair work or individual work only • Limit the time of a computer activity / • Limit the computer activity itself • Select your microphones with noise reduction • Set working areas according to the room / space
  28. 28. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200628 Connected Speech software • http://www.proteatextware.com.au/ • Professional review at CALICO: http://calico.org/CALICO_Review/review/conspeech00.htm
  29. 29. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200629 What is an authorable software program? (I) • It is a language specifically designed to produce educational software. • The software may be adapted by adding data which may fit the user needs with different levels of difficulty, interest, culture, etc. allowing a high degree of autonomy (Wachman 1999).
  30. 30. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200630 What is an authorable software program? (II) • This type of software allows extra flexibility in the areas of: • Visualization on the screen, addition of graphics and pictures. • Answer opinion: accept more than one answer. • Recordkeeping: store the different performances of students. • Branching or looping: may vary the contents for different users.
  31. 31. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200631 Oral Testing Software • http://creativeworks.byu.edu/hrc/index.php?userid=812 •Free production through an authorable software Professional review at CALICO: http://calico.org/CALICO_Review/review/ots.htm
  32. 32. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200632
  33. 33. TESOL Spain National Convention Madrid 25/3/200633 Thanks for your attendance Don’t forget to check http://www.xtec.net/~lfiguera to copy interesting links

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