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 interactional skills and how they could (and, perhaps, why they should) be included into the assessment of pupils’ speaking skills.
Together with the concurrent TEFL class (see below) this seminar is coordinated with, we will work towards achieving the following learning outcome:
Students are able to
1) assess the speaking skills of learners of English in an oral exam
2) develop teaching and learning materials for the development of these aspects
- identifying features of spoken against written language;- investigating basic interactional skills (turn-taking, action accomplishment, repair) exhibited by the learners with basic CA terminology, concepts, methods and findings in the linguistics course, and - identifying characteristics of communicative and competence-oriented speaking tasks; - discussing the principles of task design, task support and providing feedback; - analyzing task demands of the test task, as well as the support provided by it; - identifying characteristics of communicative and competence-oriented speaking tasks; - evaluating and adapting speaking tasks and materials in course books, and practicing designing tasks themselves; - developing an assessment grid with a focus on content and interactional competence; - providing a well-argued overall assessment and evaluation of the learners’ speaking skills; - providing (formative) feedback tailored to the speakers’ performances, and - reflecting on basic implications for teaching and the TEFL classroom in the TEFL course,
so that they later can access these skills at their future workplace.
Readings (e.g.) Chapelle, Carol A. (Ed.) (2013). The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell. Couper-Kuhlen,Elizabeth & Selting, Margret (2018). Interactional Linguistics: Studying Language 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 take note that this course is taught in parallel with, and pursues a shared learning outcome with, the TEFL course "Teaching and Assessing speaking skills" (Ceren Kocaman). Teacher students will make most use of the courses if they attend both. FSL and KoVaMe students are welcome to just attend this first one.
We strongly recommend teacher students to attend this course in parallel with the TEFL course "Teaching and assessing speaking skills" (Ceren Kocaman), since both classes will pursue a shared learning outcome. FSL and KoVaMe students are welcome to just attend this one.
MA-LA: Written Exam (90')
FSL, KoVaMe: Presentation + Elaborating Essay
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