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wa.amu.edu.pl A DAM M ICKIEWICZ U NIVERSITY IN P OZNAŃ Faculty of English Some techniques of interactive phonolapsological scaffolding in graded e- readers for EFL learners Włodzimierz Sobkowiak, WA, UAM
2 Abstract Włodzimierz Sobkowiak & Liliana Piasecka's book Phonolapsology of graded readers in EFL: theory, analysis, application is an attempt to apply the Phonetic Difficulty Index (PDI) to a corpus of graded e-reader texts written by Reading A-Z (RA-Z) authors for native American children developing their reading skills. The results of this PDI phonolapsological analysis are used in the last part of the book to sketch some methods and techniques of adapting and interactively scaffolding such resources for the needs of (Polish) EFL learners of English pronunciation.Reading A-Z "Applied to RA-Z texts, PDI can: (a) point to local maxima of expected pronouncing difficulty of any range (word, sentence, text, grade level), (b) guide the process of global phonetic difficulty grading of texts for the sake of facilitating reading, (c) inform the remedial treatment generator, with data on the specific problem, its incidence in similar contexts in other texts, common Polglish mispronunciations, possible drills and exercises" (Sobkowiak and Ferlacka 2011b:103). The last category of scaffolding is the focus of this presentation, with examples of interactive phonolapsological: (i) highlighting, (ii) concordancing, (iii) games, (iv) word-clouds, and the like.
Contents 1.Some principles of text scaffolding 2.Locating pronunciation problems 3.Scaffolding by highlighting 4.Scaffolding by concordancing 5.Scaffolding by games 6.Scaffolding by word-clouds 7.Bibliography 3
1. Some principles of (phonolapsological) text scaffolding learners/readers should be getting interactive scaffolding to support their efforts as far as possible, this scaffolding should be personalised for the given learner which requires a certain amount of Artificial Intelligence, or at the least constant monitoring of learner activity which can be effected by engaging the learner as deeply as possible with the text read which in turn can be achieved by enhancing the raw text of the resource with a variety of dynamically generated tasks, games, tests, etc. based on the prior deep linguistic processing of the text with tools inspired by corpus-linguistic analyses 4
2. Locating pronunciation problems (i) ʺ In order to turn the learner’s attention to the right key items, it is imperative to identify the items which: students do not know, are important items, students may not be able to figure out on their own, students will encounter frequently. All this work is done by hand in RA-Z books, i.e. by recourse to intuition and word-counts. Authors and editors decide which words should be scaffolded in each particular text depending partly on what is construed as the main pedagogical aim of the given book. ʺ (Sobkowiak & Piasecka, in press) 5
2. Locating pronunciation problems (ii) From the perspective of individual RA-Z texts and sentences, it is possible to automatically find local maxima for a given PDI difficulty, and highlight them in a variety of ways. For example: local sentence maxima of PDI(Z) – all words end in a voiced obstruent: Males have large antlers Snag sneezes and sneezes Reptiles and amphibians have backbones Kinds of snails and slugs Buildings and bridges destroyed Camels cactuses and sand dunes 6
3. Scaffolding by highlighting (i) An example of currently available word highlighting technique in RA-Z: walruses 7
3. Scaffolding by highlighting (ii) An example of phonolapsological highlighting technique available automatically from PDI: 8
4. Scaffolding by concordancing (i) Classical word-focused concordance. Concordance excerpt for food across all 317 RA-Z books. Mean sentence PDI<1 (= phonetically easy) 9
4. Scaffolding by concordancing (ii) 10 PDI-focused concordance. Word-final voiced obstruents [=PDI(Z)].
4. Scaffolding by concordancing (iii) 11 PDI-focused, context-sensitive concordance. Word-final voiced obstruents in sandhi before voiceless obstruents.
5. Scaffolding by games Shoot the words which end in voiced sounds, like made,... 12
6. Scaffolding by word-clouds 14 Some PDI(JZ) words wordled (http://www.wordle.net/). PDI(JZ) is a PDI code bigram (=codegram) identifying words containing two potential pronouncing problems: word-final voiced obstruent PDI(Z) and a schwa PDI(J).
7. Bibliography Sobkowiak, Włodzimierz & Wiesława Ferlacka. 2011a. "PDI as a tool of phonetic enhancements to graded e-readers". In Janusz Arabski & Adam Wojtaszek (eds). The acquisition of L2 phonology. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 138-158. (abstract)abstract Sobkowiak, Włodzimierz & Wiesława Ferlacka. 2011b. "Indeks trudności fonetycznej a elektroniczne książki RA-Z". In Mirosław Pawlak & Bartosz Wolski (eds). Wykorzystanie nowoczesnych technologii w dydaktyce języków obcych. Konin: Wydawnictwo PWSZ. 103-121. (abstract)abstract Sobkowiak, Włodzimierz & Liliana Piasecka. (in press). Phonolapsology of graded readers in EFL: theory, analysis, application. Poznań: Wydawnictwo UAM. (abstract and the PDI analysis chapter)abstract PDI analysis chapter 15