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IATEFL 2012 Pragmatics & ELT Symposium Helen Basturkmen, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

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Presentation on theme: "IATEFL 2012 Pragmatics & ELT Symposium Helen Basturkmen, University of Auckland, New Zealand."— Presentation transcript:

1 IATEFL 2012 Pragmatics & ELT Symposium Helen Basturkmen, University of Auckland, New Zealand

2 Teaching pragmatics using authentic spoken texts: teachers perspectives Overview Study Data Selected findings Acknowledgements Heather Denny (lead researcher) & teacher participants Funding - Ako Aotearoa, New Zealand

3 Pragmatics in ELT Importance - invisible rules (Yates, 2004) Ts – implicit, not necessarily explicit knowledge of all pragmatic features Research evidence that explicit teaching is effective (Kasper & Roever, 2005) Use of authentic or semi-authentic recordings of natural language use shown to be feasible & effective (Basturkmen, 2002; Riddiford & Joe, 2006)

4 Study Context: tertiary level institution in Auckland Aims Investigate Ts practices, needs & interests in teaching pragmatics (what aspects of pragmatics Ts provide instruction on, teaching activities Ts use, experiences of using authentic/semi scripted texts & their interests in developing materials.) Gather information for teacher education program in which teachers would collect texts & develop pragmatics-focused materials for use in their classes.

5 Design Questionnaires – 18 respondents (teaching spoken English). Topics: – Teaching programme – Attitudes to the teaching pragmatics & socio-cultural norms How important is the teaching of pragmatics norms in the courses you teach? – Methodology and materials currently used – Use of spoken texts and level of authenticity – Use of authentic texts – any difficulties Do you think that sample spoken texts used in the classroom should be as authentic as possible? Why? Why not? Do you have any difficulties in accessing or using authentic sample texts in your teaching? If so explain briefly: – Interest in involvement in materials production and evaluation (next stages of the study)

6 Design cont. Follow up interviews – 8 invited participants. Topics: Teaching methodology – typical lesson Sample spoken texts in use – Thinking about the sample spoken texts you said you use. I would be interested to hear more about how you use them and where they come from. Degree of authenticity optimum for classroom use Advantages & difficulties in using authentic texts – You talked about the barriers to using spoken samples that are more authentic/ a greater number of authentic samples. How great are these barriers? Do you think they could be overcome? Would you like to be able to overcome them? If so what support or resourcing do you think would be needed to overcome them? Interest in participating in the ongoing project Materials development experience

7 Findings (selected) 1.Availability of texts/materials Not enough texts available for teaching pragmatic norms of casual conversations transactional exchanges academic presentations & discussions employment-focused situations Materials related to the needs of their class in particular Not enough texts with NZ speakers

8 Findings cont. 2. Difficulties using authentic texts Mismatch between existing authentic materials & curriculum needs students may get side tracked by things you dont really want them to focus on the unpredictability of the authentic text Fully authentic texts perceived as too difficult especially for lower level Ls people dont make sense... & my students cant follow that excessive use of colloquialisms and slang can we have it slowed down a bit?

9 Findings cont. Suitability Cultural values (texts)...may present certain cultural stereotypes that may not be accepting of other cultural views Presumption of background knowledge they build on historical social context of New Zealand

10 Findings cont. Teaching activities Traditional Text analysis & noticing activities T modelling & controlled practice drilling Role play Scaffolding e.g. dialogue frames Less usual Comparing features of L1 & L2 Comparing features across registers Trying out feature(s) outside class & reporting back Deep end strategy

11 Findings cont. Mostly Ts started with text as point of departure Avoided use of meta language General characteristics of teaching approach Planned, teacher-led, production-based Ts open to new possibilities, however

12 Further stages This stage of project – to find out Ts practices/needs/interests in teaching pragmatics in the context, & to identify teachers for further stages. Further stages: teacher development stage, evaluation of materials produced in teacher development stage Teacher development strategy Mentoring small no of Ts rather than workshop (Yates & Wigglesworth, 2005) Supporting production of materials directly relevant to Ts interests/needs including collecting/developing set of authentic/semi authentic texts relevant to their classes

13 References Basturkmen, H. (2002). Learner observation of, and reflection on, spoken discourse: An approach for teaching academic speaking. TESOL Journal, 11(2), 26-30. Denny, H. (2008). Teaching the pragmatics of negotiation in New Zealand English to adult migrants: the role of whole naturalistic texts. Prospect, 23(1), 46-57. Denny, H., & Basturkmen, H. (2011). The role of teacher consultation in teacher education: A teacher development project focused on designing and evaluating pragmatics-focused instructional materials. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 17 (1), 102-107. Kasper, G., & Roever, C. (2005). Pragmatics in second language learning. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 317-334). Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Riddiford, N., & Joe, A. (2006). Using authentic data in a workplace communication programme. New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics, 11(1), 103 - 110. Yates, L. (2004). The secret rules of language. Prospect, 19(1), 3-21. Yates, L., & Wigglesworth, G. (2005). Researching the effectiveness of professional development in pragmatics. In N. Bartels (Ed.), Applied linguistics and language teacher education. New York: Springer.

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