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Rethinking fluency (week 2) 2016


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Overview of 'intelligibility' issues, and introduction to PechaKucha

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Rethinking fluency (week 2) 2016

  1. 1. Rethinking Fluency (Week 2) ORAL I V (HE281) Prof. Dr. Ron Martinez
  3. 3. Summary from Week 1 • It is important to define what ‘fluency’ in spoken language means. • Fluency is not related to ‘native’-ness. • Fluency is (minimally) broken down into cognitive fluency, utterance fluency, and perceived fluency. Each of these, in turn, may be influenced by a great number of variables. • Fluency can be thought of as ‘readiness’, on different levels: mentally/emotionally prepared, knowing what to say and how to say it (‘prepared’ utterances), and having what to say ‘at the ready’ (i.e. automaticity).
  4. 4. FORMULATION ARTICULATION Cognitive Fluency Utterance Fluency Perceived Fluency
  6. 6. Goals for the week • Reconsider concepts of “intelligibility” • Look ahead to coming weeks...
  7. 7. Today’s agenda • Introduction / Course overview • Introduction to course website • Discussion of issues around “fluency” • Your homework
  8. 8. “Accent”: What do you think? 1. Take poll (online). 2. Explain the answer you gave to your group. 3. What is “perfect” pronunciation? 4. Would you choose to sound like a native speaker if you had that option? 5. Do you think “identity” has anything to do with accent? In what way?
  9. 9. Rajadurai on ‘Intelligibility’ 1. According to Joanne Rajadurai, how is 'intelligibility' defined? 2. What are the related concepts, as advocated by Smith and Nelson (1985)? 3. How and why is 'intelligibility' researched? 4. What criticisms does Rajadurai raise of intelligibility studies? 5. What common misconceptions and myths are there around 'intelligibility', according to Rajadurai?
  10. 10. A definition
  11. 11. 3 Components of Intelligibility according to Smith and Nelson (1985) • Intelligibility • Comprehensibility • Interpretability
  12. 12. Where’s the problem? • Watch the short video and decide where the intelligibility problem is: intelligibility, comprehensibility, or interpretability?
  13. 13. How and why is intelligibility researched?
  14. 14. How and why is intelligibility researched? • Elicitation • “Even in studies that attempt to elicit ‘natural’ speech as the stimulus material, the laboratory-like conditions under which the experiments are conducted negate such attempts. These techniques produce artificial and inauthentic data, and consequently place severe limitations on the findings of the research.” (p. 90) • “With a few notable exceptions, the vast majority of studies seem to ignore the fact that speech is context- specific and highly dependent on the topic, participants, and situation.” (p. 90)
  15. 15. Other issues? • “It is also fairly obvious that intelligibility is strongly influenced by the listener’s biases and preconceived ideas about speakers and accents.” (p. 90) • Example: Rubin (1992)
  16. 16. 4 Groups: same lecture audio, different images “CAUCASIAN” “ASIAN” HUMANITIES (Group 1) SCIENCE (Group 2) HUMANITIES (Group 3) SCIENCE (Group 4)
  17. 17. SAME AUDIO!!!
  19. 19. “(I)ntelligibility may be as much in the mind of the listener as in the mouth of the speaker” (Morley, 1991: 499).
  20. 20. Jackie Chan 1. How 'native-like' is Jackie Chan's English? 2. Would you say that Jackie Chan speaks fluent English? Why (not)? 3. To what extent is Jackie Chan's English 'intelligible'? 4. What about other associated elements (accentedness, comprehensibility, interpretability)? 5. All in all, was Jackie Chan's interview a successful one? 6. What variables (personal, interpersonal, contextual, etc.) may influence the extent to which Jackie Chan's interview can be perceived as successful?
  21. 21. Other misconceptions and myths • Misconception 1: Only non-native speech is accented. • Misconception 2: Non-native speech lacks intelligibility. • Misconception 3: The non-native speaker is responsible for communication problems. • Myth 1: The native variety should constitute the norm. • Myth 2: The native speaker is always the best judge of what is intelligible. • Myth 3: The native speaker is always the best representative of what is intelligible.
  22. 22. About You
  23. 23. Yes/No Game
  24. 24. Pecha-Kucha • Pay attention to the words and images, and take notes on the following questions: • How much text is there on the slides? • What kind of images are used? • What about speaking style? Formal or informal? Examples?
  25. 25. Your PKN (Wednesday, August 24th) • You will create a PechaKucha presentation: 20 slides in PowerPoint. • Remember: you can only speak for 20 seconds for each slides (just over 6 minutes). The transition from one slide to the next will be made automatically. • You can “script” your PechaKucha, and may read from your script if you like. (But try not to stare at the paper.) • You can choose any theme you want. (For example, ‘My Favorite Foods’, ‘My Family’, ‘My Dream Vacation’, ‘People I Don’t Love’, ‘Curitiba’, ‘Dogs’, ‘RPG’, ‘Best Binge Viewing Series’, etc.)
  26. 26. Homework 1. Take survey online about spoken vs. written language 2. Read Carter & McCarthy (2015) article on ‘spoken grammar’ (online), answer questions about the article (online), and bring your answers to class on Monday. 3. Continue working on PechaKucka presentations.