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Task 36: Think about this disparity between 2 years’ study of a language and a lack of ability to speak. Why do you think this happens?

Production is very different to understanding and reception. If the student is never required to produce the language, they will always be thinking in their native language, then translating it to the required language.

Task 37: Look at the following examples of learner language and decide whether the student has managed to communicate successfully of not. 

  1. Could I please have a ….? (learner gesticulates, indicating he is unsure of the word) since this is how many people communicate, even native speakers, it depends on the situation on whether this is successful communication. 
  2. You come to my house tonight? (said with rising intonation) Yes, the intent/meaning is understood. 
  3. Yesterday good time. Next week we see, no? (learner smiles) Depends on the context. If you’re talking about a weekly event, like a weekly soccer game, then the meaning is clear. 
  4. A: How long have you been in New Zealand? B: I stay here 5 weeks. Not clear. Have you been here for 5 weeks, or will you be here for 5 weeks in total. 

Task 38: Decide if the following descriptions of conversations are transactional or interactional.

1. You ask a colleague if s/he would mind helping you with something. Transactional

2. You offer to collect your neighbour’s mail while s/he is away on holiday. Transactional

3. You comment on the weather to an acquaintance at a bus stop. Interactional

4. You visit a friend and spend time admiring and talking about the garden. Interactional

5. You participate in a university group tutorial that is very useful for an essay you are writing. Transactional

6. You go out with your boss and other colleagues for a drink and a chat after work. Interactional

Task 39: Make a list of reasons why you think speaking fluency practice could help learners’ language development.

  • It builds confidence with speaking.
  • It shows students that their grammar doesn’t need to be perfect for them to be understood or to understand.
  • They’ll hear what mistakes other students make and hopefully make a mental note to avoid them.
  • This can be a ‘fun’ activity, which helps students enjoy learning the language.
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