Developing classroom speaking activities: From theory to practice * Richards, J. (n.d)When designing speaking activities and materials it is important toconsider the different functions that speaking performs and thepurposes for which students need speaking skills.Richards divides speaking into three functions:Talk as interaction - what we think of as conversation.Talk as transaction - focus is on the message - what is said or done - and making oneself understood.Talk as performance - public speaking
Talk as Interaction - this can be the most difficult to teach/learn. It is a complex and subtle phenomena that uses many “unspoken rules.”Main features:primarily socialreflects role relationships Skills involved:reflects speaker’s identity opening and closing conversationsmay be formal or casual choosing topicsuses conversational conventions making small talkreflects degrees of politeness recounting personal experiencesuses generic words taking turnsuses conversational register using “adjacency pairs”is jointly constructed interrupting reacting to others
Examples of talk as interactionPolite conversation with the person next to you on anairplane - no future contact is expected.Casual conversation with a friend over coffee - ongoingfriendship.Student talking to a professor while waiting for anelevator - reflects unequal power rolesTelling a friend about your weekend - sharing personalstories.
Talk as transaction - giving/receiving information or obtaining goods/services - easier to plan; many communicative activities exist. Features: Examples: Speakers use communication strategies to make themselves Asking for the time or directions. understood. Checking into hotel. Discussing Frequent questions,sightseeing plans with clerk. repetitions and comprehension Making phone call to get flight checks.information. Negotiation and digression Buying/returning goods at a shop. Linguistic accuracy isOrdering from a restaurant menu. secondary to communication. Skills: Explaining, describing asking questions confirming info making suggestions agreeing, disagreeing clarifying justifying opinion
Talk as performance Features : Focus on message and audience Organization and sequencing Accuracy is importantExamples: Similar to written language Often like a monologueGiving a speechConducting a class debateGiving a report about a tripMaking a sales presentation Skills:Giving a lecture Using appropriate format presenting, sequencing info engaging audience pronunciation grammar effecting audience appropriate vocabulary appropriate opening, closing
Implications for teachingIssues to address when planning speaking activities:What functions will the course focus on? Do an informalneeds assessment to determine this.What teaching strategies will you use? (EX: Role plays,dialogs, information gaps, group discussions, samplespeeches.) What kind of support will you provide? How willyou model activities? What resources will you need?What level of performance do you expect and how will youassess it? How and when will you give feedback?
ReferenceRichards, J. (n.d.). Developing Classroom Speaking Activities:From theory to practice. professorjackrichards. Retrievedfrom http://www.professorjackrichards.com/pdfs/developing-classroom-speaking-activities.pdf