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SPEAKING

Le a rning Te a ching

Chapte r 7

Conversation and Discussion classes

Topics and Cues Structuring talk Avoiding the talk-talk loop Open Questions
Topics and
Cues
Structuring
talk
Avoiding the
talk-talk loop
Open
Questions
Conversation and Discussion classes Topics and Cues Structuring talk Avoiding the talk-talk loop Open Questions Playing
Conversation and Discussion classes Topics and Cues Structuring talk Avoiding the talk-talk loop Open Questions Playing
Playing the devil’s advocate
Playing the devil’s advocate

Communicative Activities

  • An activity that has communication as its main aim (as

opposed to practice of particular language items)

A communication activity will normally involve an ‘information gap (when one person knows something that the
A communication activity will
normally involve an ‘information
gap (when one person knows
something that the other one
doesn’t). Such gaps between
people give us a need and desire
to communicate with each other.
? ?
?
?
A few keys to getting a good discussion going…  Specific problems are more productive than

A few keys to getting

a good discussion going…

  • Specific problems are more productive than general issues

  • Don’t interrupt the flow

  • Frame the discussion well

  • Preparation time

  • Buzz groups

  • Break the rules

  • Role cards

Some common communicative activities  Picture difference tasks  Group planning tasks  List sequencing tasks/ranking

Some common

communicative activities

Picture difference tasks Group planning tasks List sequencing tasks/ranking tasks Pyramid discussion Board games Puzzles and Problems

How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’

they are speaking to

  • Make eye contact with those

How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with
How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with
  • Hear clearly what the other person/people are saying

How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with
  • Be reasonably close together

How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with
How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with
How to organize learners in ‘Speaking tasks’ they are speaking to  Make eye contact with

Other common speaking activities: “Role-play”

  • Activity where students take on a character or make

use of given information or ideas in order to get

speaking practice.

Other common speaking activities: “Role - play”  Activity where students take on a character or
Other common speaking activities: “Role - play”  Activity where students take on a character or

Role-play (cont.)

Role-play (cont.)

Role-play (cont.)

Role-play (cont.)

“Real-play”

  • A variety of ‘role-play’ in which students play

themselves in familiar contexts, perhaps to help study

and resolve problems they have had in these situations

“Real - play”  A variety of ‘role - play’ in which students play themselves in

Real-play (cont.)

Real-play (cont.)

“Simulation”

A large-scale role-play. Role cards are normally used,

but quite a lot of other printed and recorded background information as well (memos, news flashes, graphs,

articles, etc.) causing participants to take note of the data

and re-adjust their positions.

The intention is to create a much more complete, complex

‘world’ (business company, television studio, government

body, etc.)

General concepts about

‘Accuracy’ & ‘Fluency’ Accuracy Refers to the ability to produce grammatically correct sentences, but may not
‘Accuracy’ & ‘Fluency’
Accuracy
Refers to the ability to produce grammatically correct
sentences, but may not include the ability to speak/write
fluently. Accuracy activities teach ‘new language’ or may focus
on developing correct language.
Fluency Speaking naturally without worrying too much about being 100% correct. Fluency activities normally allow learners
Fluency
Speaking naturally without worrying too much about being
100% correct. Fluency activities normally allow learners to try
out language they ‘already understand’ and have ‘learned’,
but not yet made part of their repertoire.
Fluency, Accuracy and Communication  You often need to decide whether to focus on one or

Fluency, Accuracy

and

Communication

You often need to decide whether to focus on one or the other. There are times in classroom work where a

focus on getting language correct is more useful than a focus on fluency and vice versa.

Running a ‘Fluency Activity

Running a ‘Fluency Activity ’

Ideas for correction work after a fluency activity

  • Write up a number of sentences used during the activity and discuss them with your students

  • Write a number of sentences on the board. Give pens/chalk to Ss and encourage them to make corrections

  • Invent and write out a story that includes a number of errors you overheard during the activity. Hand out the story the next day and the students (pairs/whole group), find the errors and correct them

  • Write out two lists (A&B). Each list has the same sentences, but there are mistakes in one or the other. Divided in two groups (A&B). Students need to reach conclusions about which sentences are correct.

Scaffolding

Refers to the way a competent language speaker helps a less competent one to communicate by both encouraging and providing

possible elements of the conversation.

Does not interfere too much with the flow of

conversation

Offers useful language feedback

Actually helps the speaker to construct his conversation

It isn’t a normal conversation in the sense that

the teacher/listener is not aiming to contribute any personal stories/opinions of his/her own; the aim of his/her own speaking is solely to help the speaker tell his story

Scaffolding  Refers to the way a competent language speaker helps a less competent one to
Scaffolding Techniques  Giving the correct pronunciation of words in replies without drawing any particular attention

Scaffolding Techniques

  • Giving the correct pronunciation of words in replies without drawing any particular attention to

  • incorrect word (only if it contributes to communication)
    Unobtrusively giving a word/phrase that the speaker is looking for

  • Asking brief questions (or using sentence heads)

  • Unobtrusively saying the correct form of an

  • Asking ‘conversation oiling questions’

  • Concisely asking for clarification

  • Showing interest and agreeing

  • Encouragement echo

  • Echoing meaning it

Different kinds of Speaking

(speech genre)

A genre is a variety of speech/writing expected to be found in a particular place, with particular people, in a particular context, to achieve a particular result, using a

particular channel (e.g. face-to-face/phone), etc.

It is often characterized by specific choices about style, manner, tone, quantity, volume, directness, choice of

words, formality, type of content, etc.

Some ‘speech genres’

Meeting people at an informal party Telling a joke in a cafe Discussing sales in a
Meeting people
at an informal party
Telling a joke
in a cafe
Discussing sales in a
business meeting
Asking for directions
on the street
Leaving an answer
phone message
Agreeing the price
for a business deal

Analyzing a ‘genre’

Analyzing a ‘genre’

Try this…

Try this… What characteristics do you find when people speak in the following contexts?

What characteristics do you find when

people speak in the following contexts?

1
1
2
2
3
3
4 5
4
5
6 7
6
7
8
8
9
9

Why is ‘genre’ important?

A language learner needs to learn not only grammar, pronunciation, etc. but appropriate ways

of speaking in different situations as well (these

may be significantly different in the target culture)

We must give learners chances to select appropriate genres and planning the appropriate

language needed for a variety of different speaking situations and audiences to ensure successful communication

Factors involved in ‘Speech Acts’

Pronunciation

Choosing and maintaining a suitable level of politeness

Organizing information
Organizing
information

Interaction

Listening

Context

Speaking strategies
Speaking
strategies
Language items
Language
items

Stages in a

‘Speaking

Lesson

(Basic lesson sequence)

1. Set task
1. Set task
2. Plan the speaking
2. Plan the speaking
3. Rehearse the speaking
3. Rehearse the speaking
4. Do the task
4. Do the task
5. Feedback/Review the success
5. Feedback/Review the success
6. Add/Correct/Revise
6. Add/Correct/Revise
7. Redo the task
7. Redo the task

* Exposure to example