Foto: Matthias Friel
When teaching a foreign language at school, teachers are tasked with enabling their students to develop, and refine, communicative competence. According to the TEFL Rahmenlehrplan for Berlin and Brandenburg, high school graduates are expected to be able to communicate successfully and appropriately with (native) speakers of the foreign language in question (Rahmenlehrplan für den Unterricht in der gymnasialen Oberstufe im Land Brandenburg 2018: 23). Since spoken interaction counts for a majority of communicative encounters students may have to face, comprehensive speaking skills constitute one of the core skills to be taught (and assessed) in the language-learning classroom. Often, these are equated with grammatical proficiency, a versatile vocabulary and native-like pronunciation. However, it is notable that even when (still) struggling with syntax or pronunciation, or with only a limited vocabulary at their disposal, language learners manage to communicate successfully; inversely, even when entirely well-formed (and accurately pronounced), students' utterances may still be interactionally problematic. Fittingly, the Rahmenlehrplan posits that instruction should focus on both linguistic and interactional competence. High school graduates should, for instance, be taught how to use appropriate verbal and non-verbal resources to deal with everyday interactional issues such as opening or closing a conversation, or dealing with misunderstandings and understanding trouble (ibid.)
This class is specifically tailored to teacher students and will introduce you to the notion of interactional competence. Against the background of basic concepts, methods and findings of Conversation Analysis (CA), we will discuss select interactional skills and how they could (and, perhaps, why they should) be included into the assessment of pupils’ speaking skills.
We will work toward reaching the following Learning Outcome*:
Students are able to assess interactional skills of learners of English by - identifying features of spoken as against written language, - investigating language learners’ interactional skills in oral exams with basic CA concepts and methods, - developing a grading grid against this background, and, on this basis - assessing the learner language appropriately.
Chapelle, Carol A. (Ed.) (2013). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.Couper-Kuhlen,Elizabeth & Selting, Margret (2018). Interactional Linguistics: Studying Langauge in Social Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Heritage, John (1984). Garfinkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Hoey, Elliott M. & Kendrick, Kobin H. (2018). Conversation Analysis. In: de Groot, Annette M.B. & Hagoort, P. (Eds). Research Methods in Psycholinguistics and the Neurology of Language: A Practical Guide. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 151-173.Schegloff, Emanuel A. (2007). Sequence organization in interaction: a primer in conversation analysis I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Sidnell, Jack & Stivers, Tanya (Eds.) (2013). The Handbook of Conversation Analysis. Malden: Blackwell.Sidnell, Jack (2010). Conversation Analysis: An Introduction. Malden: Wiley Blackwell.
*Please note that this class is running in parallel to Prof. Freitag-Hild's class on Teaching and Assessing Speaking (Wed, 8-10 a.m.) and constitutes Part I of this two-seminar unit on the teaching and assessment of speaking skills. The unit is specifically aimed at teacher students; both classes will build on, and reference, each other in order to work towards the learning outcome. Consequently, all teacher students interested in this class are required to also attend Prof. Freitag-Hild’s seminar, where you will be provided with the relevant pedagogical and methodological background.
MA-LA: Written Exam (to be written in Prof. Freitag-Hild’s class)
FSL, KoVaMe: Presentation (20’) + Essay (5-8 pages)
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