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UNDERSTANDING DISCOURSE

Objectives:
Recognizing and rectifying errors and mistakes in oral production Speaking with correct pronunciation Initiating and managing discussions Following principles of interaction in social and professional settings e.g.: turn-taking, interrupting, suggesting, agreeing/disagreeing, conforming, giving opinions, summarizing

Some errors and mistakes in oral production

Some L2 speakers tend to make mistakes due to mother tongue interference


Example???

Open (the radio / open the TV)


Close (the light / close the air-con) Blend / blender?

Wear..(shirts?, trousers?)..wear a car???


Taste (taste the food ) .. I taste its a good idea??
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I go to bed at 11 oclock (can you translate it as: saya pergi ke katil pada pukul 11 malam? In the business world of Malaysia, you will find people asking for a chop. Foreign business people would be totally bewildered hearing this, and would wonder what on earth these people

are talking about. They are referring to a stamp. The reason that chop is used to mean stamp in Malaysia is that it is a corrupted version of the Hindi word (chhaap), which means seal or stamp.

The word chop in English has the following meanings (from Wiktionary): to chop (verb)

to chop (verb) (transitive) To cut into pieces with short, vigorous


cutting motions. chop wood chop an onion (transitive) To sever with an axe or similar implement. Chop off his head. chop (noun) A cut of meat, often containing a section of a rib. I only like lamb chops with mint jelly. A blow with an axe, cleaver, or similar utensil. It should take just one good chop to fell the sapling.
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So next time you need to ask


someone to stamp something, DO NOT ask them for a chop as that would mean that youre asking them for a blow with an axe! Ask for a stamp use the proper English word.

Fill in.fill out fill up


These expressions are very commonly confused by

Malaysians. Ive even seen a sign in a bank with this mistake. Ill provide the definitions of each of these terms (from Wiktionary): Fill in (transitive) to complete a form or questionnaire with requested information. Fill out (transitive) to complete a form or questionnaire with requested information. Fill up- 1. (chiefly of a fuel tank) to make full. 2. to become full
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Contd that fill in and fill out mean to complete a So we see


questionnaire, survey or form with the necessary information. Fill up means to make something full, generally with a liquid. As mentioned by the dictionary, it is often used to refer to a cars fuel tank. For example I need to fill up my car. Fill up CANNOT be used to mean complete a form. This is wrong. Can a form hold liquid? (Well, possibly if you rolled it into a cone it could, but then it would be ruined). Since it cannot hold liquid, it is not appropriate to use fill up. The appropriate expression to use with a form is fill in or fill out (even though in and out are opposites, fill in and fill out both have the same meaning). So please dont ask anyone to fill up a form because they will not be able to do it. Ask them to fill in a form or fill out a form.
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To stay or to live?
Live (Malay tinggal, Chinese ) make ones home

in a particular place or with a particular person. Example: I live in Kuala Lumpur or I live with my brother. Stay (Malay duduk, Chinese ) live somewhere temporarily as a visitor or guest. Example: Im staying at the J.W. Marriot Hotel.

Turn taking

When you are in a group discussion, you need to

take turn to speak. Here are some strategies you can use: strategy 1: be alert and focus on the discussion

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strategy 2: listen for discourse markers such as

finally, lastly, thats about all, thats what I want to say, in conclusion, etc At this point, the speaker is likely ending his sentence, thus you may join the conversation. For example, you may use the following expressions: May I add on to the point? May I say something? Excuse me, I have something to say.

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strategy 3 : invite other members to say something if

they keep quiet you could ask questions such as: Would you like to say anything? Would you like to begin now? What is your opinion on this? What do you think about.?

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strategy 4 : you may politely interrupt someone who

doesnt allow others a chance to talk. You could use the following expressions: I know you have many good ideas, but could we listen to.. Excuse me, could we listen to Excuse me, I believe it is .. turn now.

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Some examples of informal expressions by non-native English speakers and corresponding formal expressions.
Informal / non-standard What did you say ha?? What? What? (asking for repetition) Wait! Wait! / Wait ha? Formal Im sorry I dont quite catch what you said. Could you repeat that please? I wonder if you would mind waiting please? / Could you wait please? / Ill be with you shortly.

Sorry lah! / Sorry hah!


Excuse! Excuse!

I am sorry / Please accept my apologies


Please excuse me.

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