7 The oral English language: complexity of oral comprehension and beginning to speak The English Oral Language ● The complexity of the comprehension of the general meaning in oral interaction: from audition to active and selective listening ● Beginning to speak: from imitative reproduction to autonomous production ●
7.1. Introduction ●
Importance of practising the four communicative skills Receptive
Taking into account: –
Input goes before output
7.2. The oral English language ●
Traditionally, undervalued because it was automatically acquired.
Until 1970, the priority is speaking well and listening comprehension.
Reasons for importance of OL: –
Human language is mainly oral. WL is secondary.
Speaking before school; then, WL acquisition.
OL is for daily communication (affective, social and intellectual life)
7.2.1. Characteristics of OL: methodology treatment: –
Treat rhythm and intonation, depending on hearing and phonation
OL is produced quickly and automatically (not planning)
In OL situations: interlocutors directly influence interaction
7.2.2. Aspects and development of OL ●
Lindfors: OL composed of three elements –
Phonological component: rules for combining sounds
Semantic component: rules for combining morphemes (smallest unit of meaning)
Syntactic component: rules for combining morphemes in bigger units.
+ Pragmatics (rules of language use) ●
Development of OL: natural accomplishment – innate ability to find rules for speaking through interaction among genes, environment and child's thinking abilities. –
12-18 months: first words
4 – 4,5 years: able to communicate easily w/ complex sentences (kindergarten)
But language acquisition is not exactly predictable for all children. Environment is really important: provide linguistic and extralinguistic resources (non verbal communication)
7.3. The complexity of comprehension of the general meaning in oral interaction: from audition to active and selective listening ●
Practice of Intensive and Extensive oral compr. Aims: acquisition of vocabulary, structures and phonetics. Strictly controlled by the teacher Use of adapted material
Student alone discovers the meaning of input. Less control from teacher Global meaning + important
Requirements for activity selection: –
Recorded beforehand: teacher's and native voices.
Topics, functions and vocabulary to be practised
Adapted to level and timing (avoid stress)
Insist on global meaning
7.3.1. SPEAKING COMPREHENSION (LISTENING) ●
It is a language performance and also essential for acquiring L2.
Although it is a passive skill, listener should pace, encode and
pause, paying attention and concentrating. It involves:
Bottom-up processes: incoming stimuli
Top-down processes: guided by the listener's prior knoledge and conversational expectations.
Importance of Listening (70s): audiolingual method. Based on hearing and imitating native voices. –
Also when Communicative Competence came up.
Selection of input for effective listening. Select sources carefully
Well-structured and creative tasks
Teach effective listening strategies
Integrate listening With other skills
Exercises should promote: Main idea comprehension
Listening for opinions
Detailed comprehension (words, phrases)
Inferring meaning (diff say // mean)
Specific info comprehension
Pre listening: as advance
While: multiple choice
Post: reflection, extension
Audio-based L2 activities should integrate WL components and end up in an interactive conversation: embedding listening.
Extensive vs intensive listening EXTENSIVE LIST.
Listening to big amount of text Using texts that learners understand smoothly High level of comprehension Listening without being influenced by pre- or while-listening activities Listening at or below one's fluent listening ability
INTENSIVE LIST. ● ● ● ●
Listening for specific info Listening for exact words or phrases Listening for details Listening to mimic a text
Samples of listening exercises: Podcast
Audio programs or music videos, usually released sporadically or at planned intervals (like episodes).
Listening for gist
Top-down listening. Learner has to focus on key words, intonation and other clues to get the meaning. (like skimming in reading) Usually for extensive activities.
Listening for specific info
Listening not processing every word (scanning in reading). Try to focus on what they are listening for: read the questions before listening: write the answers, fill in a form, number pictures..
Intensive Listening + Spelling and post listening: peer-correction and follow up task for checkin comprehension. Adaptable to slower students and helps calming down.
Listening tasks adjustment
Simple or little complex input
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Pre-listening activities: preview of content and procedures Visual support
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Breaking down to work step by step Decrease amount of oral/ written production
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Teacher's slow speech. Use longer pauses. Repeat familiar information. Changes in intonation or using discourse markers. Paraphrasing. Visual aid. Introducing vocab and structures. Purpose or main idea. Questioning in advance. Warm-up discussion. Maps Graphs and charts Illustrations and photographs Non verbal communcation Listen several times, with different objectives Interrupt just after essential info Admint non-verbal responses Limit written responses to “yes/no”, “true/false” Use “tick the correct box” forms
7.4. Beginning to speak: from imitative reproduction to autonomous production â—?
Speak is the only skill that needs interaction. â€“
In school: motivation and opportunity to interact w/ peers and teacher.
7.4.1. Methodology to practise oral expression
1. Presentation through dialogue: teacher controlled. 2. Controlled practice: questions formulated by students/teacher. Visual aid and material presented beforehand. Teacher, correcting. 3. Directed and free production: creative stage. Teacher provides the context and makes the example; then in pairs/ groups, students choose the language. Teacher, assistant and animator
7.4.2. Imitative reproduction (1st cycle Heziberri) Resources
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Rhymes for stress, rhythm and intonation
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Sing slowly w/ flashcard help Choose individual students who are mastering to show the flashcards Give each student a flashcard and stand up when we sing it Place them on the ground and touch it Ask students to touch colours on others and objects Allow students to make own flashcards Assure students already know key vocab Write the chant on the board Read the entire chant Read one line at a time and make repeat Add rhythm (clapping, marching, playing a drum) Let single student say it while everyone claps Link poem sentences to actions, then play all together. Good for energy back up after individual work Revision
7.4.3. Autonomous production (2nd cycle Heziberri) ●
More capable of expressing their ideas, but are not used to start interaction (teacher's role in 1st cycle) –
Procedures to work on question forms. ●
Students split into pairs and worksheets are distributed. There is Student A and student B.
Time for completing the gaps asking partner for missing information.
Teacher controlling around
Teacher focuses on auxiliary verbes. Asks for identification.
Reinforce question forms by practising verb inversion with scrambled sentences.
Peer interaction promoted: Games and pair work.
7.5. Curriculum (236/2015) and OL Cross Curricular Competence
Verbal, non verbal and digital communication
Language and literature communication
1. component: Verbal communication:
Understanding and using oral and written texts of a variety of languages with fluency, autonomously, creatively and effectively.
To express and interpret concepts, thoughts, feelings, events and opinions orally and written, and to interact through language in personal, social, academic and other situations. Language as the tool for reaching another cross curricular and disciplinary competences. Interpersonal and interacultural abilities + pragmatism. Develop communicative objectives: looking for information, processing and evaluating it.
1. component: oral and written comprehension 2. component: oral and written production
Progressively more complex communicative situations for a more active and autonomous participation. Offer a variety of communication situations (personal, social, academic...) Language Integration