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Brown and Yule (1983)

LAL 6250 Presentation, Listening and Speaking in a Second Language

Deborah Vereecke

on 11 October 2016

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Transcript of Brown and Yule (1983)

Presentation by Deborah Vereecke
LAL 6250, Listening and Speaking
in a Second Language
Professor David Mendelsohn
York University
October 17, 2012
Teaching Spoken Production
Classroom problems include:
- noise and disruptions
- need for partner/group work at equitable levels of proficiency
- need for monitoring that English is actually occurring
-need for assessment

producing spoken language
is the most difficult aspect
of language learning
for teachers
to help students with
Philosophical Considerations
- One-word versus
Complete Sentence Responses
(correctness in terms of complete sentences inappropriate)
- correct pronunciation versus
native-like pronunciation

(native-like a better goal)
Aims of an English-speaking course

1) basic interactive skills (short turns, transactional or interactional)
2) ability to express self (long turns)
Are some types of long turns easier than others?
Are there strategies we can teach to help students take long turns more effectively?
Making Connections
A shift from "focus on product" to "focus on process" Mendelsohn (2001), p. 35
-teachers should provide students with coping strategies and skills (ie. how to interrupt, Mendelsohn (1992), p. 85, not just give opportunities to speak
Richards (1990) advocates teaching conversational management
- teachers should provide students with models of how to take a turn or repair a problem in communication (p. 68-71)
Ur (1996) suggests peer-teaching (p. 124)
Littlewood (1992) proposes perhaps a little less controlled learning and more natural development of learning supported by "a large repertoire" of skills (p. 41)

by Gillian Brown and George Yule (1983)

Teaching the Spoken Language: An Approach Based on the Analysis of Conversational English. New York: Cambridge University Press
However, benefits of spoken language in the classroom outweigh difficulties of design
Emphasis on absolute "correctness" may help short-term responses in structured scenarios but will not help student prepare for longer turns
Strategies for Teaching Interactional Short Turns
1) Start with responsive rather than initiating turns.
2) Move to expansions of what previous speaker has said
3) Teach common forms of how to take the initiative and introduce own topic
Examples of Short Turns To Teach
a) agreement to co-operate or not
(gimme a minute, no problem, just a sec, hang on, no way)
b) agreement plus a doublet
(yes, no doubt, true that, for sure)
c) polite disagreement expressed in a round-about way
(maybe, that could be, perhaps, that's one way to look at it)
d) possible doubt
(you're kidding, no joke?)
e) an opinion with qualifiers and modifiers
(totally cool, awesome, mega great, unbelievably gross)
f) fillers
(so, let's see, you know, like, clearly)
g) flexible vocabulary

h) a few simple structures
(I like it)
- need tools and confidence to properly diagnose student difficulties
- need to create opportunities to practise
- need more proficient speakers to take on initiator role
- videos as a model for study, in naturally occurring/authentic conversations (even though this might be really boring)
- teaching students to become mini-conversation analysts
An examination of the nature of spoken language and its difference from written language in both form and purpose.
George Yule has worked as an English teacher in Britain, Canada, Jamaica, and Saudi Arabia. He has also taught Applied Linguistics in the Universities of Edinburgh, Hawaii, Louisiana State and Minnesota.

He is the author of several books with Oxford University Press, including Pragmatics, Explaining English Grammar, and Focus on the Language Learner.
Gillian Brown is Director of the Research Centre for English and Applied Linguistics in the University of Cambridge, and is Professor of English as an International Language. She is author of a number of books on speaking and discourse analysis.
Transactional Turns (easier to teach)
Factors that reduce stress:
a) who the listener is
b) the setting
c) state of knowledge of listener
d) type and structure of the task (easier to provide an account rather than an analysis)
Class Discussion
1) Do you provide opportunities in your class for students to speak many times, to both teacher and other students?
2) Do you explicitly teach short turn vocabulary (fillers, doublets, etc.)?
3) Is it easy to find models/videos of discourses for students to examine and analyze?
4) Brown & Yule contend that practice sessions shouldn't be corrected. Agree or disagree?
5) How would you assess students in conversation classes?
6) How much is personality a function of speech production success?
7) What are some practical ways to monitor/encourage target language speaking?
8) How do you measure your own success as a teacher?
authentic materials
Full transcript