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Instructional Strategies for Teaching Speaking

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1 Instructional Strategies for Teaching Speaking
Zolotonosha February 24, 2012 Presented by Carol Haddaway, Sr. English Language Fellow, Ukraine U.S. Department of State

2 “Speaking in a second or foreign language has often been viewed as the most demanding of the four skills.” (Bailey and Savage in Celce-Murcia, p. 103) Why? Because we must do it instantaneously and interactively with another person or people. Fluent speech contains reduced forms; slang and idioms (without sounds bookish); stress, rhythm and intonation; interaction with another speaker (thinking of one’s contribution, producing, monitoring its effect…(Lazarton, p.103)

3 WHY? Because we must do it instantaneously and interactively with another person or people. Fluent speech contains reduced forms (what do you want?) slang (cool), idioms (hit the road running), phrasal verbs (figure out) stress, rhythm, and intonation; During the interaction with another speaker one must monitor and understand the other person, think of one’s contribution, produce it, monitoring its effect… (Lazarton, p.103) Reduced forms: What do you want?

4 Implications for Teaching
Create a relaxed atmosphere Use interesting topics and stimulating activities Expose Ls to naturally pronounced speech and integrate pronunciation into your lesson Get Ls used to combining listening and speaking in real time, in natural interaction. Establish English as the main classroom language (Davies , 2000, p. 82) Where/how is the most important opportunity for this to happen? --- general use of English in the class Relaxed atmosphere – pairs and groups General use of English in the classroom

5 “Talking classrooms” Create a classroom culture of speaking
through the general use of English in the classroom. (Scott Thornbury in Harmer, p. 123)

6 Warm-up Find Someone Who
Learners: motivate, involve, focus create expectations, introduce topic Start with warm up activity Reasons for warm up: create expectations about topic, intrigue learners in topic, get learners communicating about the topic

7 Oral Skills Class Who are my learners?

8 Low Level Learners Build on their experience Share their expertise
Use realia to keep learning as concrete as possible S1: Have you ever been to Lviv? S2: No I haven’t . Have you? S1: Yes. It’s wonderful S2: How long did you stayed? S1: One week S2: The buildings are beautiful, yes? S1: Yes, and the streets….the chocolates.. S2: Ah, have you ever been to Kyiv? Interactional exchange in which they are required to make only one or two utterances at a time (Shumin, p. 208)

9 Non-academic learners
BICS (Basic interpersonal Communication Skills) Social language – interpersonal interactions Repetitive – functional language (greetings, making requests, giving directions, sharing information). Evidence of mastery: good TL pronunciation, ease of TL social interactions, use of TL expressions Used primarily, though not exclusively in oral language – listening and speaking Takes 2-3 years to master (Jim Cummings, 1970) BICS – Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills. Social language used in interpersonal-social interactions. Mainly L & S. Highly repetitive in nature, including such functions as greetings, sharing, caring and relating. Takes 2-3 years to master. Evidence of mastery of BICS is good TL pronunciation, ease of TL social interaction and use of current TL expressions. CALPS – Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency. Language encountered in academic situation. Mainly R & W. Not repetitive, but evolves in complexity and nature as the learner’s academic settings become more advanced and more varied. Cummings and others have hypothesized that to become truly fluent in CALPS takes on average 7-9 years.

10 Academic Learners CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency)
Language encountered in academic situations Used primarily thought not exclusively in reading and writing Not repetitive Takes on average 7-9 years to become truly fluent Participate in learning activities such as Class participation Discussions & Presentations Interacting with peers and professors Asking and answering questions Interpersonal communication (Jim Cummings, 1970)

11 What makes an effective speaking class?
Teacher, Learners, Atmosphere Error Correction, Activities Handout – TPS

12 Affective Filter as motives, needs, attitudes, and emotional states. A learner who is tense, angry, anxious, or board may ‘filter out’ input, making it unavailable for acquisition. The filter is ‘up’ (blocking input) when the learner is stressed, self-conscious, or unmotivated. The filter is ‘down” (letting the input in) when the learner is relaxed and motivated. All major methodologies aspire to the same result: a student who can read, write, speak, understand, translate, and recognize applications of the grammar of a foreign language. It is not WHAT activities are used so much as WHEN and HOW they are used that distinguishes methods from one another. (Omaggio p. 92)

13 Balance Accuracy and Fluency
Is it more important to be able to speak a language with accuracy (grammatically correct) or with fluency (communicatively correct, but not always grammatically correct)?

14 Accuracy Practice typically involves focusing only in the new language structures (e.g. comparisons) Focus on pronunciation, vocabulary, word formation, sentence formation Errors are usually dealt with immediately A balance between accuracy and fluency.

15 Accuracy example L1: Is the Toyota bigger than the Chevy?
L2: Yes, it is. Is the Lexus cheap than…. Teacher: Cheap…? L2: Is the Lexus cheaper than the Chevy? L3: No, it isn’t. Is the Lexus faster than the Toyota? L4: Yes, it is. Is prettier the Toyota? Teacher: Is the……..

16 Fluency Likely to take place when speaking activities focus on meaning and its negotiation, when speaking strategies are used, and when overt correction is minimized. ) Holistic sense of fluency is what Hedge calls ‘natural language use’ Fluency practice should be more on the information they are communicating than on the language

17 Information Gap Think Pair Share Telling Stories
Speaking Activities Information Gap Think Pair Share Telling Stories

18 Information Gap

19 Information Gap Characteristics
To exchange information Main attention is sharing information Need to communicate to reach objective Learners must ‘fill the gap’ to complete the activity/communication

20 Why information gap activities?
Allow for comprehensible input (i+1) Input should be at the right level of difficulty to promote acquisition Learners produce language – this output ‘pushes’ learners to undertake complete grammatical processing (M. Swain) Help lower students’ affective filter According to S. Krashen, comprehensible input or I+1 is input just beyond the learner’s current L2 competence Utterances/input should be at the right level of difficulty to promote acquisition

21 Cooperative Activity Think Pair Share

22 Think-Pair-Share How: Teacher presents a question or problem
Students are given “think/wait time” and write answers (1) Students pair with a partner (2) Pair share with another pair (4) Group share their responses and ideas with another small group or with the entire class. Why: Have time to think, plan, and rehearse, with feedback Can practice before talking to whole group

23 Question/Problem 1 Interaction is the key to improving EFL learners’ speaking ability. How do you promote this interaction in your classroom? 

24 Question/Problem 2 What types of speaking activities do you normally use in your classroom? Do they serve different purposes? 

25 Question/Problem 3 Your students are really shy and don’t say anything. How do you arouse in your learners a willingness and need or reason to speak?  

26 Numbered Heads Together

27 Question/Problem 4 Your students say they can’t talk because they’ll make lots of mistakes. What do/can you do to help them overcome this fear?

28 Question/Problem 5 What are effective ways to give students feedback on their performance during oral activities?

29 Feedback and Error Correction
Self – Correction Give learners the opportunity to correct themselves, helping as necessary Peer – Correction If learner cannot self-correct, invite other learners to make the correction Teacher Correction Recast, Error or Mistake, Accuracy or Fluency focus

30 Error Treatment Should errors be treated? What errors should be treated? How should they be treated? Who and When? “There is a French widow in every bedroom.” “The different city is another one in the another two.”

31 Story telling Groups of 3

32 A successful speaking activity
Learners talk a lot Student (STT) vs teacher (TTT) – wait time Participation is even discussion not dominated by a minority of talkative students Motivation is high learners are eager to speak; interested in topic Language is of an acceptable level utterances are easily comprehensible acceptable level of accuracy UR, 1991, p. 120

33 “Communication derives essentially from interaction”
(Rivers, 1987 in Richards & Renandyn, p.208) Therefore, language instructors should provide learners with opportunities for meaningful communication about relevant topics by using learner-learner interaction as the key to teaching language for communication (R&R, p. 208.

34 References Brown, H.D. (2001). Teaching by Principles. Longman
Davies, P. and Pearse, E. (2000). Success in English Teaching. Oxford University Press. Farrell, T. (2006). Succeeding with English Language Learners. Corwin Press. Harmer, J. (2007). How to teach English. Pearson Longman. Lazaraton, A. (2001). Teaching Oral Skills. In Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language 3rd Ed., edited by M. Celce-Mircia. Heinle & Heinle. Richards, J.C. & Renandya, W.A. (2002). Methodology in Language Teaching. Cambridge. Ur, P. (1996).. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge.

35 Thank you!

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