Friday, April 14, 2006

Teaching Speaking (8)


In Directed Dialogues, the teacher asks a student to make a comment to, or ask a question of, another student (Bowen et al. 1985). The teacher suggests the content of these remarks: Peter, ask Ann whether she needs some water to drink. Ann, tell Peter that you would like to have a soda.

In such directed dialogues, students must be able to understand what the teacher asks them to do, then identify the appropriate part of the teacher’s utterance that would become their response, manipulate the grammatical structure suitably, and then produce the correct response.

Note that this exercise can be used to elicit full sentence statements or questions. This involves comparable adjustment in word order, choice of appropriate pronouns, verbs, and tense, etc.
In this dialogue, the fading of the teacher is more easily done: “Fading involves the withdrawal of the teacher stimulus and participation in an activity as student interest mounts and the activity no longer needs to be sustained by teacher direction. More and more responsibility is passed on to the students” (Bowen, et al. 1985:110).


In this activity, students are encouraged to bring a favorite toy or object of any kind to class. Let the students bring only those objects which they can handle using the level of competence they have. They show their classmates what they have brought. They also tell them about it: how they got it, where it came from, what is it used for or what it can do, etc. Other students handle the object, try it out, ask questions about it, etc.

This provides a good opportunity for self-expression. More often than not, the class would ask WH-questions. The student will also tend to give answers in a form that is possible for him to frame.


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