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11 Look Who’s Talking Making the Most of Dialogues Bernice Ege-Zavala School of Teaching ESL WAESOL 2009 1.

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Presentation on theme: "11 Look Who’s Talking Making the Most of Dialogues Bernice Ege-Zavala School of Teaching ESL WAESOL 2009 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 11 Look Who’s Talking Making the Most of Dialogues Bernice Ege-Zavala School of Teaching ESL WAESOL

2 Overview Find out about your use of dialogues Tips for enhancing and extending dialogue use Review of how dialogues fit in language teaching methodology – past and present 2

3 What about you? Turn to a colleague and discuss your responses. Regularly - Sometimes- Rarely I use dialogues in my classes. I write my own dialogues. I use the dialogues in the textbook. I look for new dialogues online. I listen to real-life language and try to add that language to classroom dialogues. 3

4 What about you? Turn to a colleague and discuss your response. Agree – Agree somewhat- Disagree My students enjoy using dialogues. I like using dialogues (because....) Dialogues are good for pronunciation practice. Dialogues are good for reading practice. I feel I use dialogues effectively in class. I am uncomfortable using dialogues (because....). Dialogues are only useful in listening/speaking classes. 4

5 What about you? When I use a dialogue, I plan to spend about..... total class time on the material minutes or less minutes minutes....read (or play) the dialogue aloud once....twice....three times or more....use choral practice never sometimes usually 5

6 Background: The use of dialogues in the language classroom Audio-lingual method origins Mimicry and memorization Language as learned behavior Language labs and tape recorders Advantages: emphasize spoken language and real world communication Disadvantages: lack creativity and authenticity, difficult to write natural-sounding dialogues 6

7 The rise of communicative language teaching and the decline of ALM Learning theory: Language is not learned behavior...evidence: novel utterances Chomsky: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.“ De-emphasis of grammar instruction De-emphasis of controlled, repetition practice Focus on more student-generated language production Nevertheless: Dialogues remain a staple of language classrooms. 7

8 Beginner Dialogue, example Talk with a partner. Take turns and make conversations. A:I don’t feel well. B: Do you have a cold? A: No, I don’t. I have a sore throat. B:That’s too bad. I hope you feel better. {Teachers: How would you present this?} From: Ventures 1, Cambridge, 2007, p. 49 8

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10 Standard Dialogue Presentation and Practice Format Students listen while T reads aloud Students listen and read while T reads aloud Choral practice T reads first; students repeat T takes Role A; students take Role B ½ class = A; ½ class =B Pair work, A/B Variations: Back-chaining and Read + Look Up 10

11 This is too easy...or is it? Ss don’t need so much repetition...or do they? Mit einem Partner sprechen. Jeder muss Unterhaltung machen. A: Ich bin nicht gesund. B: Bist du erkaeltet? A: Nein, das bin ich nicht. Ich habe Halsschmerzen. B: Tut mir leid. Ich hoffe dass es dir besser geht. 11

12 Change the setting to vary the volume or tone Scenario 1: You are late to class. You quietly take your seat and talk to your classmate. (whisper) Scenario 2: Your father doesn’t hear well. (speak loudly) A:I don’t feel well. B:Do you have a cold? A:No, I don’t. I have a sore throat. B:That’s too bad. I hope you feel better. 12

13 Add authenticity and natural language Have students add more language President Obama flew to New York to be on the David Letterman show. Before the show, he calls his wife on his Blackberry. President: Uh, I don’t feel well. First Lady: Uh-oh. Do you have a cold? President: No, no, I don’t.... I have a sore throat. First Lady: Hmm...That’s too bad. Gee, I hope you feel better. Now: #1 Add 2 lines to this dialogue: 1 line to repeat and 1 line to clarify. #2 Add 2 lines with more information – 1 for each person. 13

14 Add writing Controlled practice: cloze A: I _____ feel well. B: _____ you have a cold? A: No, I don’t. I have a _____ throat. B:That’s too bad. I hope you feel ______. Freer Practice: A: I don’t _______ ______ _______. B:Do you ______ ____ _______? A: No, ______ ________. I ____________________. B:That’s _____________. I ____________________. 14

15 Add pronunciation A: I don’t feel well. B: Do you have a cold? A:No, I don’t. I have a sore throat. B: That’s too bad. I hope you feel better. 15

16 That’s too easy....? Try it yourself and see. A. Ich bin _______ gesund. B. Bist ___ erkaeltet? A. Nein, das bin ich nicht. ____ habe Halsschmerzen. B. Tut mir leid. Ich hoffe dass es dir _______ geht. besser * nicht * du * ich 16

17 Summary of Ideas to vary presentation and practice Controlled T-reads dialogue, Ss have book closed and listen T-reads dialogue again, Ss read along T-reads dialogue, Ss repeat (back-chain long phrases) Ss read in pairs, using read and look up Freer T/Ss (T-S, ½-½,pair) read with/without text, whole group-small group-pairs Change scenario – loud volume, soft volume – where? Ss in class, bad cell phone connection Engage Ss – have them write a set up line or add two lines to the dialogue Extension Encourage Ss to listen to natural dialogue and bring back samples of language that confirm or expand on what you are practicing What other techniques work for you? 17

18 Extending the dialogue Make it authentic, personalize it Change names to use familiar names and settings. Add context Make it interesting – who are these people? Why are they talking to each other? Provide a “set-up” line or develop one with Ss. Provide repetition - with variety - by using backchaining, choral, group, pair, double circles, etc. Teach students to use fillers, ask for clarification and repetition Incorporate reading, writing, and pronunciation as appropriate Be a good listener in the real world and bring examples into class 18

19 What does recent research say about using controlled practice ( such as some ALM techniques )? Corpora Research supports that Repetition is beneficial Ss need to “meet” new vocabulary 7 times to acquire it Practice gives Ss confidence in a safe setting. The classroom is “safe because it is the place where you can rehearse and make mistakes without serious consequences, so that you will perform better, and feel more confident later in the real-world situation.”......Much of language is fixed or semi-fixed (not novel). Helps Ss acquire natural chunks Encourages automaticity – rapid processing of language 19

20 The benefits of fixed/semi-fixed language “Formulaic chunks have been called ‘islands of reliability’....Chunks which learners are sure are accurate and convey the central meaning of what they wish to say are immensely reassuring, especially when contrasted with the intimidating prospect of constructing everything you want to say word-by-word, on every occasion. from Teaching Collocation, p

21 How many words?....“Initially, then, the prospect of the lexicon being much larger than we thought is intimidating for learners and teachers alike. However, if teachers can reassure learners, and encourage them to see the value of larger chunks, these islands of reliability provide important psychological support both in helping learners express themselves within their present linguistic resources, and, equally importantly, as starting points in expanding their mental lexicons.” 21

22 Brain processing automaticity....“Knowledge of fixed items also means additional brain space is available, so the learners are more able to process other language, which enables them to communicate more complex messages, or simple messages with greater fluency or accuracy.” 22

23 Resources Bitterlin, Johnson, Price, Ramirez, and Savage, Ventures 1, Cambridge, 2007 Lewis, Michael, Teaching Collocation, Thomson Heinle Language Teaching Publications ELT 2000 Lewis, Michael, Implementing the Lexical Approach, Language Teaching Publications, 1997 Thank you for coming today. For a handout, see click on “news” “faculty”www.schooloftesl.com OR 23

24 Try it Out Elizabeth: How did you like the play? Mario:Great. I’ve seen some great performances before, but Phantom of the Opera has to be the greatest. Elizabeth:What about the music? Not bad, eh? Mario:I’ll say. I’ve heard some good music before, but that music has to be the best. What would you do? From, Conversation Lessons, p. 40, intermediate level. 24


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