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Getting the learners to ask the questions Tony Lynch English Language Teaching Centre University of Edinburgh

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Presentation on theme: "Getting the learners to ask the questions Tony Lynch English Language Teaching Centre University of Edinburgh"— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting the learners to ask the questions Tony Lynch English Language Teaching Centre University of Edinburgh

2 Comprehension is active is active exploits linguistic input, context and the listeners background knowledge exploits linguistic input, context and the listeners background knowledge involves search for reasonable interpretations involves search for reasonable interpretations is selective, influenced by salience of input features and strength of expectations is selective, influenced by salience of input features and strength of expectations (Izumi 2003)

3 The individuals contribution is active is active exploits linguistic input, context and the listeners background knowledge exploits linguistic input, context and the listeners background knowledge involves search for reasonable interpretations involves search for reasonable interpretations is selective, influenced by salience of input features and strength of expectations is selective, influenced by salience of input features and strength of expectations (Izumi 2003)

4 A real-life encounter A: Can you tell me where the gravy is? B: Im sorry + Im a cyclist

5 Sources of knowledge SCHEMATIC TOP SCHEMATIC TOPbackgroundprocedural CONTEXTUAL CONTEXTUALsituationco-text SYSTEMIC BOTTOM SYSTEMIC BOTTOM phonological, semantic, syntactic

6 Listening text 1: The System [I read this text aloud at the Glasgow talk] The first time went into the System, I had to queue for ages. At first the woman didnt understand what I had asked for, but eventually she found the bottles I wanted. Just as I was about to pay, the red light went on. It was a good thing I had my passport with me. (Lynch 2009: 56)

7 Types of comprehension question Literal Reorganisation Inference Evaluation (whether speakers aim was achieved) Response (personal reaction to what was said) Metalinguistic (Nuttall 1996)

8 Handout Extract from learner material Types of comprehension question (EAP reading class)

9 Procedure Learners listen and take notes Learners listen and take notes Individually, devise questions Individually, devise questions Work in pairs/trios and try out their Qs Work in pairs/trios and try out their Qs Teacher elicits Qs that others couldnt answer Teacher elicits Qs that others couldnt answer Ls listen again and answer those Qs Ls listen again and answer those Qs

10 Handout, page 2 Three question episodes from class working with text on The System Three question episodes from class working with text on The System

11 The System text (again) The first time went into the System, I had to queue for ages. At first the woman didnt understand what I had asked for, but eventually she found the bottles I wanted. Just as I was about to pay, the red light went on. It was a good thing I had my passport with me. (Lynch 2009: 56)

12 Listening text 2 I dont go up there at all + I hate seeing that restaurant up there + + its got no place being there it just disgusts me I dont go up there at all + I hate seeing that restaurant up there + + its got no place being there it just disgusts me

13 theres a particular birthing tree where my great-grandmother and the women in her clan had their babies + and there are dreaming tracks around Kings Park + the troopers and the soldiers came in and started shooting and uh + massacring the people and my great-grandmother and her family managed to + uh flee from there and down to the south-west + + I dont go up there at all + I hate seeing that restaurant up there + + its got no place being there it just disgusts me

14 Some listeners interpretations Lynch (2009)

15 Japanese listener A Scot whose great-grandmothers folks suffered in the massacre in the glen. (I forget the name of the place).

16 Spanish listener Im not sure. A famous historian? I think the interview took place in England but the events she talks about happened in Scotland (up there).

17 German listener An Australian aboriginal (woman?) talking about a place of spiritual importance to her ancestors (dreaming tracks).

18 Scottish listener Clan – my first thoughts were Laos, Burma, areas of China. Could refer to any currently threatened indigenous group.

19 Solution Speaker: female Australian aboriginal BBC Radio 4 interview, January 2008 Kings Park = public park in Perth up there = site of 19 th century massacre by British soldiers cultural clues: clan, birthing tree, and dreaming tracks

20 Why learners own questions? draws on ideas from Sociocultural Theory draws on ideas from Sociocultural Theory supported by research into collaborative L2 listening (Jones 2006) supported by research into collaborative L2 listening (Jones 2006) questioning requires active listening questioning requires active listening discussion requires output and negotiation discussion requires output and negotiation disagreements create natural focus on input (form) in second and later listenings disagreements create natural focus on input (form) in second and later listenings answers highlight individual interpretations answers highlight individual interpretations

21 References Izumi, S. (2003). Comprehension and production processes in L2 learning: In search of the psycholinguistic rationale of the Output Hypothesis. Applied Linguistics 24/2: Jones, L. (2006). Effects of collaboration and multimedia annotations on vocabulary learning and listening comprehension. CALICO 24/1: Lynch, T. (2009). Teaching Second Language Listening. Oxford University Press. Nuttall, C. (1996). Teaching Foreign Language Reading Skills. Heinemann.


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