Linguistics Literature Review of Teaching Spoken Language

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Word Count

2000 words




4 Days

Assignment Criteria

The aim of this assignment is to synthesise your early reading with your own experience in order to focus on key aspects of teaching spoken language. Although it comes early in the course, you will find you have sufficient material to draw on if you follow the guidelines given below.

In this assignment, you will review four – six of the subject readings (from week 1 – 6). The theme is the learner and what a teacher must take into account when teaching spoken English. From your readings you need to identify the importance (or not) of understanding the following points about your teaching context:

  • the learner – why are they learning English? Age? Social, cultural and economic conditions etc.
  • role of the first language and English inside and outside the classroom
  • current teaching approaches, the curriculum, text books, teaching resources – what is the position of spoken language

Your review will include:

  • a brief summary of the key points of the articles
  • a critical review of the articles
  • a description of some of the broad implications for teaching spoken language arising from the theoretical and /or practical aspects of the readings
  • your reflections on the implications.

Your assignment is assessed according to the extent that you:

  • demonstrate your analytical reading of the articles
  • integrate your analysis into a coherent argument about the perspectives of the articles
  • relate the readings to classroom teaching
  • demonstrate appropriate genre and cohesive text at the paragraph, sentence level with conventional spelling, punctuation
  • proofread and legible presentation of text
  • use of UTS referencing procedures (modified Harvard).

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Assignment Solution

The important aspects of spoken language are phonetics, morphology, and grammar and these are essential to developing communicative competence. We shall take up the views of some educators and researchers in the discussion on the subject of teaching spoken English,  the importance of the context for the bilingual learner, how it is used inside and outside the classroom, approaches towards teaching English, the curriculum and materials and how the spoken language is used in various parts of the world. The context for learning and teaching English worldwide is essentially bilingual or multilingual.

Reading the views of a few  authors including Leung and Street (eds), 2012, English in the curriculum – norms and practices, Graddol, 2006Why Global English may mean the end of English as a Foreign Language, Kumaravadivelu, 2006, Beyond Post methods; 2012 Language Teacher  for a Global Society: A modular Model for Knowing, Analysing, Recognising, Doing and Seeing,

he argues against the method-based approach, which, he says, is insufficient to address the needs of the learners in a multicultural context and suggests alternatives.

Jenkins (2012), in her article, says that English as lingua franca needs to be considered as a separate field of study. It is not a variety of language but even native English people have to learn it as it is different from core English. She also talks about how L1 influences learners of ELF.

For Edge J. (2011), teaching methodology is a craft which lies in copying tradition and adapting it according to the changes in the situation. He gives details of the implementation of his views in the article.

Kramsch (2009), discusses the relation between symbolic self, action, and competence in the context of learning a foreign language and emphasizes the need for participatory methods of teaching. He refers to the deeper desires of the learner related to his self-perception, identity, seeking fulfillment in social and emotional and cognitive spaces.

While Leung and Street (2012) discuss the necessity of curriculum communication in EAL, Burns and Joyce (1997) discuss spoken the language in detail with examples of conversations, and the implications for teaching. They distinguish between written and spoken the language and stress the importance of exposing learners to both real-life and simulated pre-determined examples of speech.

Over the last 30 years, ELT practices have focused on the communicative aspect of language, endorsed by in-depth research since the 90s. (Jennifer J., 2012, M, & Omoniyi, T (eds), 2010, Leung, C., and Street, B.V. (eds) 2012) Introduction: English in the curriculum- norms and practices p 3). According to Leung and Street, even though ELT adopted a fresh new approach, the aspect of the socially appropriate use of language was not developed by them. (p 8). Illustrating with an audio-taped classroom event, Leung and Street suggest the ways in which English content words used in a social and practical setting allow the students to make meaningful associations.

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