ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Can´t get them to stop talking! A Webinar by Gabriel Díaz Maggioli English Language Studies Department February 28th, 2011
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Aims of this webinar • Understand the underlying reasons for students’ unwillingness to speak in class. • Analyze patterns found in eﬀective conversations. • Introduce a framework for L2 conversation development. • Help participants develop an action plan.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Why don’t they speak?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Does this look familiar?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES What is your problem? • Which of these reasons applies to your context? A. 1. Students are not interested in speaking in L2. B. 2. Students are afraid of speaking in L2. C. 3. Students make too many mistakes in L2. D. 4. Discussion topics in the materials are not appealing to students.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES What if your could get this…?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Why don’t they speak? • Unfamiliarity with the program or task. • Lack of awareness of what it takes to speak in L2. • Fear of ridicule. • Lack of adequate preparation. • Purpose of tasks. • Lack of proper scaﬀolding.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES A recurring problem Are students Do students have Have I provided aware of what L1 a chance to apply enough realistic speakers do in the skills in a practice activities? conversation? realistic way?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES So…having considered • Why students do not participate actively in oral language development classes
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES A look at eﬀective conversations
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Let’s consider • Conversation is still assumed to be synonymous with putting into play the grammar, vocabulary and functions students have learnt. • But, conversation should be deﬁned as: – “a time when two or more people have the right to talk and listen without having to follow a ﬁxed schedule. In everyday life, we refer to conversation as ‘a chat.’” (Nolasco and Arthur, 1987:12) • Chatting is what students LOVE doing.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Purposes of conversation • Why do we speak? – To exchange information. – To create and maintain social relationships. – To negotiate status and social roles. – To decide on and carry out joint actions.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES What do L1 speakers do? • Usually one speaker speaks at a time; • e speakers change; • e length of each contribution varies; • ere are techniques for following the other parties; • Neither the content nor the amount of what we say is speciﬁed in advance.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Units of conversation Turn 3 Turn 4 Turn 1 Solicit: request Acknowledge: Solicit: call thank “Could I borrow “Jane” your bike?” “Thanks!” Turn 4 Turn 2 Give: comply Give: available “Sure! It’s in the “Yes?” garage.”
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Adjacency • Moves are related to each other through the use of adjacency pairs. ese are utterances produced by two successive speakers in which the second utterance can be identiﬁed as being related to the ﬁrst. • Let’s look at some examples
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Examples A= Hello! A= Hello. How are you? B= Oh, hi! B= Very well, thank you. A= How’ve you been? And you. B= Not bad. How about A= I’m ﬁne, thanks. you? A= Great, actually!
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Turn taking • In natural conversation, one has to be alert to signals that a speaker is about to ﬁnish his/her turn so as to be able to come in with a contribution which ﬁts the direction in which conversation is going. • How often do we ﬁnd these signals in textbooks?
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Openings and Closings • Openings are not generally a problem. However, closings are diﬃcult for L2 speakers and they sometimes appear rude because they are unable to close the conversation properly. L1 speakers negotiate the end of the conversation: – Ok, then… – Right,… – Erm, I’m afraid… – Anyway, I’ve got to go now, but… – I’ll let you get back to…
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Stress and Intonation Ok! / So… about to change subject Really interest Really irony Wrong intonation can lead to misunderstandings.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES A look at some “conversation activities” • Read short texts and discuss questions about them. • Complete a survey and then discuss with a partner. • Look at opinions about “x.” Add two more. en choose the most important ones with your group. • Look at pictures and discuss why they are relevant to a certain theme. • Choose items from a list and prioritize them for a certain activity.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Now we know… • What is involved in eﬀective conversations and what we lack in the language classroom, so let’s explore a model to enhance oral language development in class.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES e conversation framework
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES So, what do teachers need? • Consider… – Characteristics of L1 speaking performance. – Which function of conversation is relevant for your students: • Giving and receiving information. • Collaborating with others. • Sharing personal experiences and opinions with a view to building social relationships. • Students will not be able to do this by being taught about conversation so the stress should be put on learning by doing
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Which purpose? • It would be useful for us to know what main purpose your students have in learning to speak… A. Giving and receiving information. B. Collaborating with others. C. Sharing personal experiences and opinions with a view to building social relationships.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES A 3-step model • Awareness • Bridge activities • Communication
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Awareness Activities
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Native speakers Nolasco and Arthur, 1987
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Using video • Sound only. • Picture only. Use checklist to point out features. • Freeze frame What’s next? • Watch once and then questions. • Watch and replicate.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Bridge activities
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Jazz Chants • A jazz chant is the rhythmic expression of standard English as it occurs in situational contexts. • English stretches, shortens, blends and often drops sounds. ese subtle features of the language are extremely diﬃcult for a student to comprehend unless his or her ear has been properly trained to comprehend the language of an educated native speaker in natural conversation. e sound of «Jeet yet?» is meaningless unless one has acquired the listening comprehension skills necessary to make the connection with «Did you eat yet?» • Graham, 1986: vi – vii.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Money talks How much does it cost? Why don’t you buy it? It costs a lot. I can’t aﬀord it. How much does it cost? It’s too expensive. It costs a lot. I can’t aﬀord it. I can’t believe how much it costs. It costs a lot, an awful lot. Why don’t you buy it? I don’t have the money. It costs a lot to live in the city. It’s not worth it. How much does it cost? I can’t aﬀord it. It costs a lot. It costs a lot to eat out these days. How much does it cost? It costs a lot!
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Shadowed reading • Prepare a suitable master track of a dialog. • Ask your students to listen to it once or twice. • Once they are ready the objective is to maintain the same rhythm, intonation, stress and pronunciation as the original by repeating with the master track. • Make sure students work with the same track until they are ready to record their own version, or they can ask you to listen to them.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Who said it? Provide a list of possible utterances. Students guess who said what. E.g. • I told you not to wear a suit. • …, and the doctor says I’m pregnant. • Are you a friend of Jim’s? en get students to add more. Nolasco and Arthur, 1987
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES «Canned» language • Asking for information • Surprises – I´d like to know… – Prepare your aducience: • Guess what! – I´m interested in… • I´ve got news for you! – Could you tell me…? • You’d better sit down. • You won’t believe this, but… – Do you know…? – Give the news: – Could you ﬁnd out…? • Do you realize that…? – Could I ask…? • You may not believe it, but… • It may sound weird, but… – Do you happen to – End with: know…? • Normally,… • Usually,… • On the whole…
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Consider canned language in… • Sharing a conﬁdence (e.g. «Just between you and me…») • Showing interest («Yes?», «And then?», «Really?») • Hidden truths (e.g. «Frankly, I doubt that…) • Reasons (e.g. «e reason why…»»Because of that…»«For this reason») • Counter arguing (e.g. «Yes, but…» «Even so…») • Biding time («Well, let me see…», «Mm... at’s a diﬃcult question. Let me see..») • inking ahead («If I ever…», «Whenever…», «Unless….») • Changing the subject («Talking of…»)
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Find your dialog partner • Write the ﬁrst few lines of a number of exchanges. – E.g. • A= Dr. Jones? • B= No, I’m Dr. Smith. • A= Sorry, I’m looking for Dr. Jones. • Have enough exchanges so that there is one per pair of students in the class. • Cut out the lines for A and the lines for B and distribute them randomly around the group. • Students have to ﬁnd their dialog partner and then complete the dialog.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Outrageous CVs • Go over the contents of a regular CV with students. • Get students to write their CV not on their academic or work life, but on something unexpected (e.g. a student is skilled at ﬁshing). ey should not write their names on the CV. • Distribute CVs. Students go around the class interviewing their peers until they ﬁnd the owner of the CV.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Get real! • Select a dialog from the textbook students are currently using. • Go over the dialog with them and encourage the group to tell you what can be done to make the dialog more realistic. • Students work in groups rewriting and rehearsing the dialog in groups. • Groups perform their dialogs to the rest of the class.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Communication activities
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Set up Task presentation Process • Instructions • Strategy • Functionaries • Discussion skills • Rules and timing Feedback • Content • Process • Language
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES e sky’s the limit • Brainstorming activities – Guessing games – Finding connections – Ideas from a central theme – Implications and interpretations • Organizing activities – Comparing – Detecting diﬀerences – Putting in order – Priorities – Choosing candidates – Layout problems – Combining versions • Compound activities – Debates – Publicity campaigns Ur, 1991 – Surveys
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Action Planning Let’s brainstorm about how you could use the following activity with your students. Use the CHAT box to post some ideas.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Modern marvels • Modem • 1965 • Personal computer • 1972 • Laptop • 1981 • MP3 player • 1985 • Tablet • 1989
ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES Answers • 1965 – Robert Lucky invented the automatic adaptive equalizer (modem)at Bell laboratories. • 1972 – Xerox PARC developed the ALTO, the ﬁrst truly personal computer. • 1981 – Adam Osborne invents the ﬁrst portable computer (laptop). • 1985 – Pencept creates the ﬁrst pen computer (tablet). • 1989 – Fraunhofer Lab obtains the patent for MPEG.