Brown teaching speaking

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  • O B J E C T I V E S A f t e r r e a d i n g t h i s c h a p t e r , Y O l ! w i l l b e a b l e t o :

    u n d e r s t a n d i s s u e s a n d c o n c e p t s i n

    p e d a g o g i c a l r e s e a r c h t h a t a r e

    r e l a t e d t o t e a c h i n g s p e a k i n g

    .

    a p p r e c i a t e f a c t o r s t h a t 1 1 l I g h t r n a k e

    s p e a k i n g d i f f i c u l t f o r ~tudents

    a n a l y z e t y p e s o f s p o k e n l a n g u a g e ,

    m k r o - a n d m a c r o s k i l l s , a n d t y p e s o f

    c l a s s r o o m s p e a k i n g p e r f o r m a n c e

    a p p l y p r i n c i p i e s o f d e s i g n i n g

    s p e a k i n g t e c h n i q u e s t o y o u r o w n

    l e s s o n d e s i g n s a n d t o y o u r

    o b s e r v a t i o n o f o t h e r s ' l e s s o o s

    e v a l u a t e w h e n t o t r e a t a n d w h e n

    n o t t o t r e a t s p o k e n e r r o r s

    r e c o g n i z e s o r n e b a s i c p r i n c i p i e s

    a n d f o r m a t s f o r a s s e s s i n g s p e a k i n g

    F r o m a c o m m u n i c a t i v e , p r a g m a t i c v i e w o f t h e l a n g u a g e c l a s s r o o m , l i s t e n l n g a n d

    s p e a k i n g s k i l l s a r e c l o s e l y i n t e r t w i n e d . M o r e o f i e n t h a n n o t , E S L c u r r i c u l a t h a t t r e a t

    o r a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s k i l l s w i l l s i m p l y b e l a b e l e d a s " L i s t e n i n g l S p e a k i n g " c o u r s e s .

    T h e i n t e r a c t i o n b e t w e e n t h e s e t w o m o d e s o f p e r f o r m a n c e a p p l i e s e s p e c i a l l y

    s t r o n g l y t o c o n v e r s a t i o n , t h e m o s t p o p u l a r d i s c o u r s e c a t e g o r y i n t h e p r o f e s s i o n .

    A n d , i n t h e c l a s s r o o m , e v e n r e l a t i v e l y u n i d i r e c t i o n a l t y p e s o f s p o k e n l a n g u a g e i n p u t

    ( s p e e c h e s , l e c t u r e s , e t c . ) a r e o f i e n f o l 1 o w e d o r p r e c e d e d b y v a r i o u s f o r m s o f o r a l

    p r o d u c t i o n o n t h e p a r t o f s t u d e n t s .

    S o r n e o f t h e c o m p o n e n t s o f t e a c h i n g s p o k e n l a n g u a g e w e r e c o v e r e d i n t h e

    p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r a s w e l o o k e d c l o s e l y a t t e a c h i n g l i s t e n i n g c o m p r e h e n s i o n : t y p e s o f

    s p o k e n l a n g u a g e , i d i o s y n c r a s i e s o f s p o k e n l a n g u a g e t h a t m a k e l i s t e n l n g d i f f i c u l t , a n d

    l i s t e n i n g m i c r o s k i l 1 s t h a t a r e a f a c t o r o f t h e o r a l c o d e o T h i s c h a p t e r w i U b u i l d o n

    t h o s e c o n s i d e r a t i o n s a s w e i n v e s t i g a t e t h e t e a c h i n g o f o r a l c o m m u n i c a t i o n s k i l l s .

    O R A L C O M M U N I C A T I O N S K I L L S I N P E D A G O G I C A L R E S E A R C H

    A r e v i e w o f s o r n e o f t h e c u r r e n t i s s u e s i n t e a c h i n g o r a l c o r h m u n i c a t i o n w i l l h e l p t o

    p r o v i d e s o r n e p e r s p e c t i v e t o t h e m o r e p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s t h a t f o l l o w i n t h i s

    c h a p t e r .

    1 . C o n v e r s a t i o n a l d i s c o u r s e

    W h e n s o m e o n e a s k s y o u " D o y o u s p e a k E n g l i s h ? , " t h e y u s u a l l y m e a n : C a n y o u

    c a r r y o n a c o n v e r s a t i o n r e a s o n a b l y c o m p e t e n t l y ? T h e b e n c h m a r k o f s u c c e s s f u l

    l a n g u a g e a c q u i s i t i o n i s a l m o s t a l w a y s t h e d e m o n s t r a t i o n o f a n a b i l i t y t o a c c o m p l i s h

    p r a g m a t i c g o a l s t h r o u g h i n t e r a c t i v e d i s c o u r s e w i t h o t h e r s p e a k e r s o f t h e l a n g u a g e .

    A n d y e t , a s R i c h a r d s ( 1 9 9 0 , p . 6 7 ) n o t e d , " t h e c o n v e r s a t i o n c l a s s i s s o m e t h i n g o f a n

    3 2 2

  • CHAPTER 79 Teaching Speaking 323

    enigma in language teaching." The goals and the techniques for teaching conversation are extremely diverse, depending on the student, teacher, and overall context of the class. Historically, "conversation" classes have ranged from quasicommunicative drilling to free, open, and sometimes agendaless discussions among students.

    Recent pedagogical research on teaching conversation has provided sorne parameters for developing objectives and techniques (McCarthy & O'Keefe, 2004). We have learned to differentiate between transactional and interactional conversation (see Chapter 18). We have discovered techniques for teaching students conversation rules for topic nomination, maintaining a conversation, turn-taking, interruption, and termination. Our pedagogical storehouse has equipped us with ways to teach sociolinguistic appropriateness, styles of speech, nonverbal communication, and conversational routines (such as "Well, I've gotta go now.""Great weather today, huh?""Haven't 1 met you somewhere before?"). Within aU these foci, the phonological, lexical, and syntactic properties of language can be attended to either directly or indu"ectly.

    2. Teaching pronunciation There has been sorne controversy over the role of pronunciation work in a

    communicative, interactive course of study (Levis, 2005; Setter & ]enkins, 2005; Tarone, 2005). Because the overwhelming majority of adult learners will never acquire an accent-free command of a foreign language, should a language program that emphasizes whole language, meaningful contexts, and automaticity of production focus on these tiny phonological details of language? The answer is yes, but in a different way from what was perceived to be essential a couple of decades ago. This topic will be taken up later in the chapter.

    3. Accuracy and fluency An issue that pervades all of language performance is the distinction between

    accuracy and fluency (Bailey, 2003). In spoken language the question we face as teachers is: How shaU we prioritize the two clearly important speaker goals of accurate (clear, articulate, grammatically and phonologicaUy correct) language and fluent (flowing, natural) language?

    In the mid to late 1970s, egged on by a somewhat short-lived antigrammar approach, sorne teachers turned away from accuracy issues in favor of providing a plethora of "natural" language activity in their classrooms. The argument was, of course, that adult second language acquisition should simulate the child's first language-learnmg processes. Our classrooms must not become linguistics courses but rather the locus of meaningful language involvement, or so the argument went. Unfortunately, such classrooms so strongly emphasized the importance of fluencywith a concomitant playing down of the bits and pieces of grammar and phonology-that many students managed to produce fairly fluent but barely comprehensible language. Something was lacking.

  • 3 2 4 C H A P T E R 1 9 T e a c h i n g S p e a k i n g

    I t ' s n o w v e r y c l e a r t h a t f l u e n c y a n d a c c u r a c y a r e b o t h i m p o r t a n t g o a l s t o

    p u r s u e i n C L T a n d / o r T B L T . W h i l e f l u e n c y m a y i n m a n y c o m m u n i c a t i v e l a n g u a g e

    c o u r s e s b e a n i n i t i a l g o a l i n l a n g u a g e t e a c h i n g , a c c u r a c y i s a c h i e v e d t o s o m e e x t e n t

    b y a I l o w i n g s t u d e n t s t o f o c u s o n t h e e l e m e n t s o f p h o n o l o g y , g r a m m a r , a n d d i s c o u r s e

    i n t h e i r s p o k e n o u t p u t . I f y o u w e r e I e a r n i n g t o p l a y t e n n i s i n s t e a d o f a s e c o n d

    l a n g u a g e , t h i s s a m e p h i l o s o p h y w o u l d i n i t i a I l y g e t y o u o u t o n t h e t e n n i s c o u r t t o f e e l

    w h a t i t ' s l i k e t o h o l d a r a c k e t , t o h i t t h e b a l l , t o s e r v e , e t c . , a n d t h e n h a v e y o u f o c u s

    m o r e c o g n i t i v e l y o n c e r t a i n f u n d a m e n t a l s . F l u e n c y i s p r o b a b l y b e s t a c h i e v e d b y

    a I l o w i n g t h e " s t r e a m " o f s p e e c h t o " f l o w " ; t h e n , a s s o r n e o f t h i s s p e e c h s p i l l s o v e r

    b e y o n d c o m p r e h e n s i b i l i t y , t h e " r i v e r b a n k s " o f i n s t r u c t i o n o n s o m e d e t a i l s o f

    p h o n o l o g y , g r a m m a r , a l ' d i s c o u r s e c a n c h a n n e l t h e s p e e c h o n a m o r e p u r p o s e f u l

    c o u r s e .

    T h e f l u e n c y ! a c c u r a c y i s s u e a f i e n b o i l s d o w n t o t h e e x t e n t t o w h i c h o u r

    t e c h n i q u e s s h o u l d b e m e s s a g e o r i e n t e d ( o r , a s s o r n e c a I l i t , t e a c h i n g l a n g u a g e u s e )

    a s o p p o s e d t o l a n g u a g e o r i e n t e d ( a l s o k n o w n a s t e a c h i n g l a n g u a g e u s a g e ) .

    C u r r e n t a p p r o a c h e s t o l a n g u a g e t e a c h i n g l e a n s t r o n g l y t o w a r d m e s s a g e o r i e n t a t i o n

    w i t h l a n g u a g e u s a g e o f f e r i n g a s u p p o r t i n g r o l e