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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lang 6. Social interacion. WEB choices: Pragmatics

Lang 6. Social interacion. WEB choices: Pragmatics              level 3-4-5                 20-35 min

An important area of the field of foreign language learning is pragmatics: the appropriate use of language in conducting social interaction.
These three webpages offer information about complaints and Conversational management which not always receive enough attention in classsrooms but there are not tasks in my working sheet.


Lang6.1. Complaints                        level 3-4-5                 20-30 min

Complaints has been as the selected topic from the six speech acts offered:

I offer here a glimpse of its  materials to aid in the learning of complaints where you you can find:
A. Complaints by Language: Examples and explanations of complaints in several languages. 
B. Teaching Tips: Tips for teaching about complaints.
C. Sample Teaching Material: Some sample materials to aid in the teaching of complaints.

Lang 6.2. Discussions of Controversial Issues
Conversational management                                                                     level 4-5   20-30 min

OELP –US Bureau prepared this set of materials.
Teaching Pragmatics is a collection of 30 lessons that can help English learners use socially appropriate language in a variety of informal and formal situations. They include:
1. Awareness                                                  2. Conversational Management 
3. Conversational Openings and Closings              4. Requests              5. Assorted Speech Acts
I offer here a glimpse of its  materials to aid in the learning of Conversational Management.

Lang 6.3.  Second channel in discourse
For teachers. Conversational management                                                 level 4-5   20-30 min
In this webpage Dickerson offers teachers how they can help learners understand what parentheticals are, what kinds are typical, what functions they have in discourse, and what they must sound like to be understood as parentheticals. For this purpose, the teacher gives examples of different types of expressions in dialogues used to tell a listener how the speaker feels about a message, or to manage the interpretation of the main message.
Talking on a Second Channel Using Parentheticals (W. B. Dickerson)

Lang 6.1. Complaints  (Speech acts in CARLA webpage)            level 3-4-5                 20-30 min

I offer here a glimpse of its  materials to aid in the learning of complaints.

1. Direct Complaints: several Strategies

1 Explanation of Purpose/Warning for the Forthcoming Complaint
*     I just came by to see if I could talk about my paper.*
*     Uh, I got my paper back here and after looking through it...*
*     Listen, John, there’s something I want to talk to you about. You remember our agreement, don’t you?
*     Well, look, I might as well start right out.
*     Look, I don’t want to be horrible about it.
2- Make the Complaint
*     I think maybe the grade was a little too low.*
*     I was kind of upset with my grade. I know that a lot of the problems are mine but there are certain areas that I wasn’t totally in agreement with what you said.*
*     I put a lot of time and effort in this...*
3- Request for Solution/Repair
*     I would appreciate it if you would reconsider my grade.*
*, I’d like to maybe set up a time when we can get together and discuss...*
*     Would you mind doing your share of the duties?**
*     I presume your insurance will cover the damage.**
4- Request for non-recurrence (The speaker requests that the complainee never perform the offence again or improve the behavior.)
*     Well, I’d really like to find out about this because I’m hoping it won’t happen again.**

 2. Indirect Complaints

Indirect complaints usually begin with an introductory expression like one of the following:
*     There’s no way...
*     I’m sick and tired...
*     The problem is...
*     It’s not fair...
*     I’m up to here...
*     I can’t stand...
*     I can’t take it.
*     How dare...
*     It’s a shame...
*     This is not my day!
*     It drives me crazy!
*     Unfortunately

Indirect complaints tend to center on three themes:
1. Self:  Oh, I’m so stupid.
2. Other:
John is the worst manager.

3. Situation:
I feel, in a way, boxed in, you know?/Why did they have to raise tuition?)

3. TEACHER TIPS for  Indirect Complaints
Although the common image of complaining is negative, indirect complaints are utilized frequently in a positive manner to establish points of commonality -- ELT textbooks tend to center on direct complaints and exclude important information on this underlying social strategies.

Lang 6.2. Discussions of Controversial Issues (Conversational management)    4-5   20-30 min

The webpage offers learners alternatives to direct disagreements and offers different ways to express opinions in classroom activities, such as groupwork.
TASK 1.   Read aloud and reflect on how to adjust the strength of the disagreement of the bold type items with your tone of voice.

A: Hi ….
B: Hi ... . What's happening?
A: Nothing much. I'm just watching a debate on TV. It's about banning smoking in public buildings.
B: Oh, yeah. So, what do you think about it?
A: Well, I don't think people should be allowed to smoke in public places, so I support the ban.
B: Really? I'm surprised. I'm a smoker, so I should have the right to smoke whenever I want.
A: But don't you think that non-smokers have rights, too?
B: Sure. You don't have to smoke if you don't want to. What's the problem?
A: Well, I think that I should have the right not to breathe smoke.
B: So why can't you just go outside if it bothers you?

A: I could ask you the same question. Why can't smokers just go outside if they want to smoke?
B: Well, smoking is part of my lifestyle. I can think better if I have a cigarette.
A: I can breathe better if I don't have to breathe smoke. Smoking is bad for your health. Doctors say that even breathing second-hand smoke can cause cancer.
B: Well, I'm a smoker, and my health is good.
A: Yes, but will it be good in fifteen years?
B: I hope so.
A: I hope so, too. Listen, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree about this subject. Do you want to watch the debate with me?
B: Sure.

Handout for conversation practice, peer evaluation sheets, blank paper for dialogues
Handout for Phrases and Sample Dialogues:
Expressing Agreement or Disagreement: Common Expressions
Expressing an Opinion: Ways to Do So 
Expressing an Opinion: A Friendly Argument about Smoking

Lang6.3. Second channel in discourse 
(For teachers. Conversational management)    4-5   20 m.

GOAL. The teacher helps learners understand what parentheticals are, what kinds are typical, , and what they must sound like to be understood as parentheticals. Related to their functions in discourse they can be used to
1.      direct a message,
2.      tell a listener how the speaker feels about a message,
3.      manage the interpretation of the main message,
4.      exemplify something, or  
5.      show deference or express something politely.

Talking on a Second Channel Using Parentheticals (W. B. Dickerson)

I have selected a couple of interesting activities with dialogues to increase awareness.

TASK 1. Read aloud this conversation. Note that stressed sillables are marked.

CONVERSATION ONE Bare-Bones Dialogue
A: What were you doing on Sáturday?
             B: I was looking for a 10-speed bíke.
A: So you cruised the gárage sales.
B: You're ríght, as a matter of fact, and I found a really níce one.
A: What did you páy for it?
B: 35 búcks

TASK 2. Read aloud the second conversation and compare the difference in expressivity.

  CONVERSATION  TWO                                            
A: What were you doing on Sáturday, Bill?
            B: I was looking for a 10-speed bíke --a used one, of course.
A: So you cruised the gárage sales, I'll bet.
B: You're ríght, as a matter of fact, and I found a really níce one, luckily.
A: What did you páy for it, you poor creature?
B: 35 búcks, can you believe it!

TASK 3. Memorise the dialogue and use the comments naturally, with attention to intonation, introducing three in each repetition to increase its expressivity.

TASK4.  The teacher prepares an overhead and/or handout listing the types of phrase-final parentheticals common in conversation, with examples of each.
Six of ten types of parentheticals are listed in the following table, with examples.

1. Final address forms
2. Final reporting expressions
3. Final assessment expressions
4. Final exemplifiers
5. Final sentence adverbials
6. Final polite expressions
7. Final solicitations
8. Final epithets
9. Final exclamations
10- Mid-sentence (and final) repair phrases

TASK5. The teacher gives to pairs of students dialogues containing hints about the appropriate category of parenthetical to use at the ends of phases, and the teacher provides a list of the parentheticals for each category from which students may make a selection .
Students are directed to be appropriately expressive in their use of the parentheticals they select, to rehearse the dialogue aloud using appropriate sound characteristics, and to prepare to roleplay their dialogue. 

An example dialogue illustrates the task.
Bare-Bones Dialogue with Hints
A. How's your uncle, (.......................1 address form)?
B. He's doing better (........................... 2 assessment expression). The accident wasn't as serious as it might have been (...........................3 sentence adverbial).
A. Can I help in any way? I could bring over some food, do the shopping, pick up his mail. (................................... 4 exemplifier).
B. It's nice of you to offer. But I think we can manage O.K., (................ 5 polite expression).
Choices                               .        
1. Final Address Forms:  ...(student's name)
2. Final Assessment Expressions: ...I suppose ...I guess // ...I think ...I believe
3. Final Sentence Adverbial:  ...thankfully ..fortunately // ...actually ...though
4. Final Exemplifiers:  ...for example ...for instance // ...etcetera ...and so on
5. Polite Expression: ...thanks ...thank you

Handout for Phrases and Sample Dialogues.

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