Presentation on theme: "Ronald Carter School of English Studies, University of Nottingham, UK"— Presentation transcript:
1 Ronald Carter School of English Studies, University of Nottingham, UK Spoken English/ Written English: From Corpus to Curriculum to ClassroomRonald CarterSchool of English Studies, University of Nottingham, UK
2 A Noun Cline Glass cracks more quickly the harder you press on it. Cracks in glass grow faster the more pressure is put on.The rate of glass crack growth depends on the magnitude of the applied stress.Glass crack growth rate is associated with applied stress magnitude.(Halliday, 1989)
3 Written LanguageFirst staged at the Glasgow Citizens in 1994, and described by Williams as being a 'comedy of death', the play sees Everett cast brilliantly against type as the rich dying widow Flora Goforth.
4 A corpus-based approach Corpus (pl. corpora): a large, principled collection of texts, spoken and/or written.BNC; WSC; MICASE.Based on the one billion word Cambridge International Corpus (CIC) of both BrE and AmE, including CANCODE, an extensive written corpus, a business English corpus and a dedicated academic corpus.
5 Facts and figures … Using a corpus gives us useful statistics about: frequencydifferences between spoken and written grammarsocial and contextual aspects
8 <S1>. Let’s see. we’ve already spent <S1> Let’s see ... we’ve already spent fifty for him and I want him to spend another hundred<S2> Well<S1> But that’s better than pins<S2> Right<S1> And surgery<S2> Which would be another two hundred or<S3> Yeah it’s more for a surgery
9 <S1>. Let’s see. we’ve already spent <S1> Let’s see ... we’ve already spent fifty for him and I want him to spend another hundred<S2> Well<S1> But that’s better than pins<S2> Right<S1> And surgery<S2> Which would be another two hundred or<S3> Yeah it’s more for a surgery
10 <S1>. Let’s see. we’ve already spent <S1> Let’s see ... we’ve already spent fifty for him and I want him to spend another hundred<S2> Well<S1> But that’s better than pins<S2> Right<S1> And surgery<S2> Which would be another two hundred or<S3> Yeah it’s more for a surgery
11 <S1>. Let’s see. we’ve already spent <S1> Let’s see ... we’ve already spent fifty for him and I want him to spend another hundred<S2> Well<S1> But that’s better than pins<S2> Right<S1> And surgery<S2> Which would be another two hundred or<S3> Yeah it’s more for a surgery
12 Spoken languageWriters orientate more towards norms, speakers orient towards each otherWriting is more off-line and not time bound; speech is more online and in real timeSpoken language:absence of ‘sentences’‘incomplete’ utterancesjointly produced utterancesflexible structures.Small words are big words (well, right, just, at all, sort of, I mean) and often have pragmatic functions.
14 Ellipsis Didn’t know that film was on tonight? (I) Sounds good to me. (That/It)Lots of things to tell you about the trip to Barcelona. (There are)A: Are you going to Leeds this weekend?B: Yes, I must. (go this weekend)
15 Tails She’s a very good swimmer, Jenny is. It’s difficult to eat isn’t it, spaghetti?We’re going to have steak and fries, we are.It can leave you feeling very weak, it can, though, apparently, shingles,can’t it?
16 There is and There are Existential There There’s three other people still to comeThere’s lots of cars in the car parkDeictic ThereThere’s your pillsThere’s his shoes
17 Good or Bad?What happens is that there are 15 members of the Security Council, there's five permanent members and the five permanent members have got the veto.
19 English in the World First Language Speakers: Mandarin Chinese: 1.2 billionEnglish: millionHindi: millionSpanish: millionRussian: millionBengali: millionAdditional or Second or Foreign Language Speakers:English: billion byChinese: million bySpanish: million byfrom Graddol (2007)
20 Teaching and testing spoken English: Some issues and problems The ELF issueThe EAL issueThe single ‘literate’ speaker issueThe visual issueFluency problemThe confluence problem
21 Fluency: what is it?Fluency: Speakers use Standard English produce smooth continuous talk, maintaining flow, and are grammatically accurate.Dysfluency: Speakers are hesitant, sloppy, can’t remember words, repeat themselves and code switch between languages
22 Repetition and Confluence Dyu: did you, [pause 0.9 secs] er, did you you see David at the meeting, er, last night, no, the night before, wasn’t it?(CIC corpus)…so what did Marketing do they did it that way and they introduced, [mm, right], yeah, and last year they introduced eight new products in just six months eight that’s huge, it is, isn’t it? You know what I mean?
23 Repetition and Negotiating Understanding Functions: Can be both speaker or hearer-oriented:strategic planningturn-sensitivevaguenessclarification and confirmationsummarisingholding the flooremphasisOrganisational and transactional v. Interpersonal and relationalImplications for testing?
24 Speakers, listeners and confluence <S01> do you think it is affected by your faith, like you were saying you [<S02> mm, right, yeah] have any kind of moral standards or not, like hooliganising and stuff, I mean, do you think that’s because of…of your faith or do you think that’s because well because of society or whatever?(CIC)
25 Cross Lingual Spoken and Written Viki: it’s snowing quite strong outside....be carefulSue: I will, thxViki: wei wei...lei dim ar?Sue: ok, la, juz got bk from Amsterdam loh, how r u?Viki: ok la.. I have 9 tmrwSue: haha, I have sooooooooooo happyViki: che...anyway...have your rash gone?Sue: yes, but I have scar oh...ho ugly ar!Viki: icic...ng gan yiu la...still a pretty girl, haha!![Cantonese translations: wei wei…lei dim ar – hi, how are you?;ng gan yiu la – it doesn’t matter; ar,loh and la arediscourse markers in Cantonese]
26 Spoken to WrittenCould you Kyle Barber and ask him for a quote for a laptop? Said we’d let Tatchell have one for himself as part of the deal. Compaq or Toshiba. At least 420Mb hard disk and 16Mb RAM. Good deal, tell David. Worth the laptop. More in the pipeline. (Inter company ) Right, so there I was sitting in Mick Jagger’s kitchen while he went about making us both afternoon tea. Well, you can imagine how long it took to get him to talk about the band’s latest album. Exactly. You’ve got it. Over two minutes. (The Daily Telegraph Magazine 19/9/2004).
27 Spoken English: summary Spoken language has specific forms: ellipsis, tails; flexible clause structure; vague language.Spoken language has forms that were unnoticed in the past; new metalanguage is needed and traditional terms are not always adequate.There are structures that are frequent in speech and infrequent in writing and vice-versa; but note the particular challenge of the growing continua between speech and writing.
28 Spoken communicationFluency has been under-theorised. Teaching of spoken English still works from assumptions of correctness based on written language norms.Spoken language focuses on speakers and listeners. Speakers and listeners co-create and orient towards each other. Fluency is confluence.Teaching and curricula need to recognise the needs of 21st century spoken communication through English and to develop appropriate testing mechanisms. To this end corpora can provide a starting point.
29 ReferencesBiber, D et al, (1999) The Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English (Longman, Harlow) Carter, R. and McCarthy, M. (2006) Cambridge English Grammar: A Comprehensive Guide to Spoken and Written Grammar and Usage (CUP: Cambridge) Cornbleet, S and Carter, R (2001) The Language of Speech and Writing (Routledge, London) Halliday, M.A.K. (1989) Spoken and Written Language (OUP Oxford).O’ Keeffe, A, McCarthy, M. and Carter, R. From Corpus to Classroom (CUP: Cambridge) Pridham, F (2001) The Language of Conversation (Routledge, London).