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Developing Speaking Skills: How are Current Theoretical and Methodological Approaches Represented in Course Books?

journal contribution
posted on 2020-06-11, 10:14 authored by JE Norton

Advances in corpus linguistics have contributed enormously to our understanding of the spoken language and uncovered numerous differences between spoken and written English which are significant for language teaching (Biber, Johansson,Leech, Conrad, & Finegan, 1999; Carter & McCarthy, 2006; O’Keefe, McCarthy,& Carter, 2007).For example, lower lexical density and the avoidance of syntactic elaboration and complexity have been noted in speech (Leech,2000). Carter (2004) has shown that the placement of adverbials and question tags is more flexible, and Channell (1994) has highlighted how speakers frequent-ly draw upon “vague” language (e.g. sort of, kind of) to hedge or modify what they are saying and sound less pedantic. In comparison to written language, spoken language is messy; it often contains non-standard forms, false starts and is highly context-dependent. It is thus far more challenging to codify than the written language for language teaching purposes. This may explain why a sanitised version of spoken English, devoid of messiness, strong accents and colloquial expressions, is often represented in global course books. To an extent, this may be necessary to simplify the spoken language for lower level learners, but it may also misrepresent the nature of speech by minimising the differences between the spoken and written language, and thus have a detrimental effect on the ability of learners to decode naturally occurring speech outside class, and, furthermore, produce learners who sound unnatural or speak like a book.

Funding

The support of the University of Leicester is gratefully acknowledged for granting study leave to facilitate data analysis and work on an early draft of the article.

History

Citation

Norton, Julie. "4 DEVELOPING SPEAKING SKILLS: HOW ARE CURRENT THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES REPRESENTED IN COURSE BOOKS?" The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL, vol. 4, no. 2, 2015, p. 53+.

Version

  • AO (Author's Original)

Published in

The European Journal of Applied LInguistics and TEFL

Volume

4

Issue

2

Pagination

53 - 72 (19)

Publisher

LinguaBooks

issn

2192-1032

isbn

978-1-5186-9987-0

Acceptance date

2015-09-21

Copyright date

2015

Notes

Author confirms this was produced by her using a template.

Language

English

Publisher version

https://go.gale.com/ps/anonymous?id=GALE|A528616273

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