Developing speaking activities
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Developing classroom speaking activities: From theory to practice
* Richards, J. (n.d)
When designing speaking activities and materials it is important to consider the different functions that speaking performs and the purposes for which students need speaking skills.
Richards divides speaking into three functions:
Talk as interaction - what we think of as conversation.Talk as transaction - focus is on the message - what is said or done - and making oneself understood.Talk as performance - public speaking
Talk as Interaction - this can be the most difficult to teach/learn. It is a complex and subtle phenomena that uses many
reflects role relationships
reflects speakers identity
may be formal or casual
uses conversational conventions
reflects degrees of politeness
uses generic words
uses conversational register
is jointly constructed
opening and closing conversations
making small talk
recounting personal experiences
taking turns using adjacency pairs
reacting to others
Examples of talk as interaction
Polite conversation with the person next to you on an airplane - no future contact is expected.
Casual conversation with a friend over coffee - ongoing friendship.
Student talking to a professor while waiting for an elevator - reflects unequal power roles
Telling a friend about your weekend - sharing personal stories.
Talk as transaction - giving/receiving information or obtaining goods/services - easier to plan; many communicative activities
Asking for the time or directions.
Checking into hotel. Discussing sightseeing plans with clerk. Making phone call to get flight information.Buying/returning goods at a shop.Ordering from a restaurant menu.
Features: Speakers use communication
strategies to make themselves understood. Frequent questions,
repetitions and comprehension checks. Negotiation and digression Linguistic accuracy is
secondary to communication.Skills:
Explaining, describing asking questions confirming info making suggestions agreeing, disagreeing clarifying justifying opinion
Talk as performance
Giving a speech Conducting a class debate Giving a report about a tripMaking a sales presentationGiving a lecture
Features: Focus on message and audience Organization and sequencing Accuracy is important Similar to written language Often like a monologue
Skills: Using appropriate format presenting, sequencing info engaging audience pronunciation grammar effecting audience appropriate vocabulary appropriate opening, closing
Implications for teaching
Issues to address when planning speaking activities:
What functions will the course focus on? Do an informal needs assessment to determine this.
What teaching strategies will you use? (EX: Role plays, dialogs, information gaps, group discussions, sample speeches.) What kind of support will you provide? How will you model activities? What resources will you need?
What level of performance do you expect and how will you assess it? How and when will you give feedback?
Richards, J. (n.d.). Developing Classroom Speaking Activities: From theory to practice. professorjackrichards. Retrieved fromhttp://www.professorjackrichards.com/pdfs/developing-classroom-speaking-activities.pdf