Listening & Speaking (TELL)

Reflections on the presentation by a student group on chapter 3 from the book Technology Enhanced Language Learning (TELL).

The chapter lays out a series of skills students need to acquire to improve their language proficiency, along with a series of technology-enhanced lesson ideas designed to help students improve those skills, and additionally, the chapter offers a range of internet- or technology-based tools and class exercises that are contemporary (available) and free to use. One example is, that it is suggested to use chatbots, as a means of language practise or improvement – so chatbots, along with other already available free technology tools, are already available and eve though they were made for something else, are really benificial to include in the language teacher’s classroom (even more so; BECAUSE they are not made for educating purposes).

Language acquisition:

1. Psycholinguistic (Kantor)

  • How the mind process language
  • Using our cognitive skills
  • perception, memory and thinking

2. Social features

  • Using the contextual situation as a way of understanding language
  • The environment, context, genre, subject

And happens on 3 different levels:

– (Psycholinguistic) Acoustic-phonetic professor (the voice in your head, interpreting accents, dialects and

– (Psycholinguistic) Parser (making it into words you know)

– (Social) Conceptualiser (contextual)

Listening strategies:

Listening strategies is good for compensating for lack of skills (fields).

Strategies

Examples

Inferring

Guessing the maning of words the listener is uncertain about, or has missed, from clues in the linguistic or non-linguistic context

Seeking clarification

Getting the speaker to repeat something which the listener has missed.

Predicting

Rehearsing in your mind what speakers are likely to be going to say, in order to help you to understand better when they actually start speaking.

Focusing

Concentrating and persevering despite problems with understanding. Trying to get the main idea and not worrying about understanding every word.

 

Speaking Skills

Core skill

Examples

Pronounciation

Pronouncing vowels, consonants, and blended sounds clearly.
Using different intonation patterns to communicate old and new information.

Performance speech acts

Knowing how to make requests.
Knowing how to give opinions.

Managing interaction

Initiating, maintaining and ending conversations.
Turn taking.
Clarifying meaning.

Organising discourse

Using discourse markers and intonation to signpost changes of topic.
Being able to structure discourse for different communicative purposes such as stories or instructions.

Speaking Strategies

Strategies

Examples

Cognitive (or psycholinguistic) strategies

Finding ways round a lack of vocabulary through paraphrases, substitution, coining new words, etc.

Metacognitive strategies

Planning or rehearsing what you are going to say.
Monitoring your language while you are speaking.

Interaction strategies

Asking for help.
Checking understanding.

Requesting clarification.

When carefully picked, the language teacher can actually use internet-based technology tools to start humanising the classroom again, instead of the contrary (and unfortunate) common belief, that, technology, iPads and so on, are bad for students, their attention span, etc.

One example I came to think of regarding this subject, is how Khan Academy is allowing students to keep track of their own individual learning curve meanwhile the teacher get’s to use their time on the students when and how they need to be helped.

A teacher’s reaction on using Khan Academy in his classroom (and curriculum):

A brief introduction to Khan Academy:

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Presentation: Reading Skills

Our presentation was based on chapter 4 Reading Skills in Alice Walker & Goodith White’s Technology Enhanced Language Learning, and consisted of the following three parts:

  • Skills and strategies are involved in reading in a second language
  • How technology can motivate and support second language reading
  • SLA-reading resources technology can provide

Link to presentation:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HTWbTJ2tTLaNPnMBefdW6ckXtAFltjvS3PWFSUTiZb4/edit?usp=sharing

Reading in different languages calls for different strategies, thus students may need to develop different processing strategies at the word level. Matching sounds to orthography (orthographic projection?) or using syntactic clues. L2-teachers in English can use material from L1 English learners, but the processes of learning to read a second language are different than learning to read in the mother tongue. When we start to read in our first language, we know at least 5,000 words orally. 

Bottom-up processes:

  • Matching written symbols on the page (letters, logographs) with sounds
  • using syntactic information to construct meaning
  • Using working memory

Top-down processing:

  • Expectation about the likely content
  • Knowledge of the world
  • How particular texts are constructed

Psycholinguistic models; the relationship between readers and text – how we mine meaning. But reading is not just a psycholinguistic process – it has social dimensions too.