Exposure to a variety of spoken text types.
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- The language of languages.
The ability to cope with different listening situations. Many listening exercises involve students as 'overhearers' even though most communication is face-to-face. To be competent at both 'message-oriented' or transactional language and interactional language, language for maintaining social relationships. To be taught patterns of real interaction.
To have intelligible pronunciation and be able to cope with streams of speech. Rehearsal time. Practical suggestions Transferring L1 strategies When preparing for a spoken task, make students aware of any relevant L1 strategies that might help them to perform the task successfully. For example, 'rephrasing' if someone does not understand what they mean. Students first identify the inappropriate language, then try to change it.
Also show students how disorganised informal speech is. Vague language Using tapescripts of informal speech, focus on examples of vague language.
The language of languages
Different spoken text types Draw up a list of spoken text types relevant to the level of your class. Teach the language appropriate for each text type. Interactive listening Develop interactive listening exercises. Face-to-face listening is the most common and the least practised by course books. Any form of 'Live listening' the teacher speaking to the students is suitable. Transactional and interactional language Raise students' awareness by using a dialogue that contains both.
It could be two friends chatting to each other interactional and ordering a meal transactional.
Real interaction patterns Teach real interaction patterns. Introduce the following basic interactional pattern: Initiate, Respond, Follow-up. This is a simplification of Amy Tsui's work. See Tsui The following interaction could be analysed as follows: A: What did you do last night?
Follow-up What did you see?
A Guide to Practical Formal Development
Initiate A: No it's difficult with the kids Respond B: Yeah of course follow-up Understanding spoken English After a listening exercise give students the tapescript. Using part of it, students mark the stressed words, and put them into groups tone units. You can use phone numbers to introduce the concept of tone units. The length of a tone unit depends on the type of spoken text.
Compare a speech with an informal conversation. In the same lesson or subsequent listening lessons you can focus on reductions in spoken speech, for example, linking, elision and assimilation. Preparation and rehearsal Before a spoken task, give students some preparation and rehearsal time. Students will need guidance on how to use it.
A sheet with simple guidelines is effective. Real-life tasks Try to use real-life tasks as part of your teaching.
Brown and Yule suggest the following: When teaching spoken language, focus on teaching longer transactional turns. This is because native speakers have difficulty with them and because students need to be able to communicate information efficiently whether in their country or in a native-speaker country. Teach interactional language by using an awareness-raising approach. For example, with monolingual classes by listening to a recorded L1conversation before a similar L2 recording.
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For recordings of native-speaker interactional and transactional conversations, have a look at 'Exploring Spoken English' by McCarthy and Carter It not only contains a variety of text types, but each recording comes with analysis. Imagine you have been working on the language that would be useful for the following task: 'Having a conversation with a stranger on public transport'. You have now reached the stage where you wish students to perform the task.
Rather than just give students 10 minutes to prepare and rehearse the task, give students guided preparation time. For instance, the Python lexical specification uses them. The definition of floating point literals in Python is a good example of combining several notations:. The grammar for the entire Python language uses a slightly different but still regular notation.
Teaching speaking skills 1
Even when grammars are not an object of mathematical study themselves, in texts that deal with discrete mathematical structures, grammars appear to define new notations and new structures. For more on this, see my article on translating math into code. Regular expressions sit just beneath context-free grammars in descriptive power: you could rewrite any regular expression into a grammar that represents the srings matched by the expression.
But, the reverse is not true: not every grammar can be converted into an equivalent regular expression. To go beyond the expressive power of context-free grammars, one needs to allow a degree of context-sensitivity in the grammar. Context-sensitivity means that terminal symbols may also appear in the left-hand sides of rules.
While this change appears small, it makes grammars equivalent to Turing machines in terms of the languages they can describe. By restricting the rules so that the the left-hand side has strictly fewer symbols than all expansions on the right, context-sensitive grammars are equivalent to decidable linear-bounded automata.
Even though some languages are context-sensitive, context-sensitive grammars are rarely used for describing computer languages. For instance, C is slightly context-sensitive because of the way it handles identifiers and type, but this context-sensitivity is resolved by a special convention, rather than by introducing context-sensitivity into the grammar.
As an aside, if you think you've invented a new parsing technique, you need to check this book first. Your peer reviewers will check it. The language of languages [ article index ]  [ mattmight ] [ rss ]. Defining a language A grammar defines a language.