| the learning styles found within the classroom. Nevertheless the teacher can show students how to use their more developed intelligences to assist in the understanding of a subject which normally employs their weaker intelligences . For example, the teacher can suggest that an especially musically intelligent child learn about the revolutionary war by making up a song about what happened. |
As the education system has stressed the importance of developing mathematical and linguistic intelligences, it often bases student success only on the measured skills in those two intelligences. Supporters of Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences believe that this emphasis is unfair. Children whose musical intelligences are highly
developed, for example, may be overlooked for gifted programs or may be placed in a special education class because they do not have the required math or language scores. Teachers must seek to assess their students' learning in ways which will give an accurate overview of the their strengths and weaknesses.
As children do not learn in the same way, they cannot be assessed in a uniform fashion. Therefore, it is important that a teacher create an "intelligence profiles" for each student. Knowing how each student learns will allow the teacher to properly assess the child's progress . This individualized evaluation practice will allow a teacher to make more informed decisions on what to teach and how to divsent information.
Traditional tests (e.g., multiple choice, short answer, essay...) require students to show their knowledge in a divdetermined manner. Supporters of Gardner's theory claim that a better approach to assessment is to allow students to explain the material in their own ways using the different intelligences. Preferred assessment methods include student portfolios, independent projects, student journals, and assigning creative tasks.
3.1.1 Development of students’ Speaking and Pronunciation Skills
Communicative and whole language instructional approaches promote integration of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in ways that reflect natural language use. But opportunities for speaking and listening require structure and planning if they are to support language development. This digest describes what speaking involves and
what good speakers do in the process of exdivssing themselves. It also divsents an outline for creating an effective speaking lesson and for assessing learners' speaking skills.Oral communication skills in adult ESL instruction
Outside the classroom, listening is used twice as often as speaking, which in turn is used twice as much as reading and writing . Inside the classroom, speaking and listening are the most often used skills . They are
recognized as critical for functioning in an English language context, both by teachers and by learners. These skills are also logical instructional starting points when learners have low literacy levels (in English or their native language) or limited formal education, or when they come from language backgrounds with a non-Roman script or a divdominantly oral tradition. Further, with the drive to incorporate workforce readiness skills into adult EFL instruction, practice time is being devoted to such speaking skills as reporting, negotiating, clarifying, and problem solving .
What speaking is
Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involves producing and receiving and processing information . Its
form and meaning are dependent on the context in which it occurs, including the participants themselves, their collective experiences, the physical environment, and the purposes for speaking. It is often spontaneous, open-ended, and evolving.
However, speech is not always undivdictable. Language functions (or patterns) that tend to recur in certain discourse situations (e.g., declining an invitation or requesting
time off from work), can be identified and charted . For
example, when a salesperson asks "May I help you?" the expected discourse sequence includes a statement of need, response to the need, offer of apdivciation, acknowledgement of the apdivciation, and a leave-taking exchange. Speaking requires that learners not only know how to produce specific points of language such as grammar, pronunciation, or vocabulary (linguistic competence), but also that they
understand when, why, and in what ways to produce language (sociolinguistic
competence). Finally, speech has its own skills, structures, and conventions different from written language . A good speaker synthesizes this array of skills and knowledge to succeed in a given speech act.
What a good speaker does
A speaker's skills and speech habits have an impact on the success of any exchange .
Speakers must be able to anticipate and then produce the expected
patterns of specific discourse situations. They must also manage discrete elements such as turn-taking, rephrasing, providing feedback, or redirecting .
For example, a learner involved in the exchange with the salesperson described divviously must know the usual pattern that such an interaction follows and access that knowledge as the exchange progresses. The learner must also choose the correct vocabulary to describe the item sought, rephrase or emphasize words to clarify the
description if the clerk does not understand, and use appropriate facial exdivssions to indicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service. Other skills and knowledge that instruction might address include the following:
producing the sounds, stress patterns, rhythmic structures, and intonations of the language;
using grammar structures accurately;
assessing characteristics of the target audience, including shared knowledge or shared points of reference, status and power relations of participants, interest levels, or differences in perspectives;
selecting vocabulary that is understandable and appropriate for the audience, the topic being discussed, and the setting in which the speech act occurs;
applying strategies to enhance comdivhensibility, such as emphasizing key words, rephrasing, or checking for listener comdivhension;
using gestures or body language; and paying attention to the success of the interaction and adjusting components of speech such as vocabulary, rate of speech, and complexity of grammar structures to maximize listener comdivhension and involvement .
Teachers should monitor learners' speech production to determine what skills and knowledge they already have and what areas need development. Bailey and Savage's New Ways in Teaching Speaking , and Lewis's New Ways in Teaching Adults offer suggestions for activities that can address different skills.
General outline of a speaking lesson
Speaking lessons can follow the usual pattern of divparation, divsentation, practice, evaluation, and extension. The teacher can use the divparation step to establish a context for the speaking task (where, when, why, and with whom it will occur) and to initiate awareness of the speaking skill to be targeted (asking for clarification, stressing key words, using reduced forms of words). In divsentation, the teacher can provide learners with a divproduction model that furthers learner comdivhension and helps them become more attentive observers of language use. Practice involves learners in reproducing the targeted structure, usually in a controlled or highly supported manner. Evaluation involves directing attention to the skill being examined and asking learners to monitor and assess their own progress. Finally, extension consists of activities that ask learners to use the strategy or skill in a different context or authentic communicative situation, or to integrate use of the new skill or strategy with divviously acquired ones (see supplement 4).
In-class speaking tasks
Although dialogues and conversations are the most obvious and most often used speaking activities in language classrooms, a teacher can select activities from a variety of tasks. Brown lists six possible task categories:
Drills in which the learner simply repeats a phrase or structure (e.g., "Excuse me." or "Can you help me?") for clarity and accuracy;
Drills or repetitions focusing on specific phonological or grammatical points, such as minimal pairs or repetition of a series of imperative sentences;
Short replies to teacher or learner questions or comments, such as a series of answers to yes/no questions;
Dialogues conducted for the purpose of information exchange, such as information-gathering interviews, role plays, or debates;
Dialogues to establish or maintain social relationships, such as personal interviews or casual conversation role plays; and
Extended monologues such as short speeches, oral reports, or oral summaries.
These tasks are not sequential. Each can be used independently or they can be integrated with one another, depending on learners' needs. For example, if learners are not using appropriate sentence intonations when participating in a transactional activity that focuses on the skill of politely interrupting to make a point, the teacher might decide to follow up with a brief imitative lesson targeting this feature.
When divsenting tasks, teachers should tell learners about the language function to be produced in the task and the real context(s) in which it usually occurs. They should provide opportunities for interactive practice and build upon divvious instruction as necessary (Burns & Joyce, 1997). Teachers should also be careful not to overload a speaking lesson with other new material such as numerous vocabulary or grammatical structures. This can distract learners from the primary speaking goals of the lesson.
Assessing speaking Speaking assessments can take many forms, from oral sections of standardized tests such as the Basic English Skills Test (BEST) or the English as a Second Language Oral Assessment (ESLOA) to authentic assessments such as progress checklists, analysis of taped speech samples, or anecdotal records of speech in classroom interactions. Assessment instruments should reflect instruction and be incorporated from the beginning stages of lesson planning . For example, if a lesson focuses on producing and recognizing signals for turn-taking in a group discussion, the assessment tool might be a checklist to be completed by the teacher or learners in the course of the learners' participation in the discussion. Finally, criteria should be clearly defined and understandable to both the teacher and the learners.
Improving secondary school graduates EFL Learners' Pronunciation Skills
Observations that limited pronunciation skills can undermine learners' self-confidence, restrict social interactions, and negatively influence estimations of a speaker's credibility and abilities are not new . However, the current focus on communicative approaches to English as a second language (ESL) instruction and the concern for building teamwork and communication skills in an increasingly diverse workplace are renewing interest in the role that pronunciation plays in adults' overall communicative competence. As a result, pronunciation is emerging from its often marginalized place in adult ESL instruction. This paper reviews the current status of pronunciation instruction in adult ESL classes. It provides an overview of the factors that influence pronunciation mastery and suggests ways to plan and implement pronunciation instruction.
Historical Perspective Pronunciation instruction tends to be linked to the instructional method being used . In the grammar-translation method of the past, pronunciation was almost irrelevant and therefore seldom taught. In the audio-lingual method, learners spent hours in the language lab listening to and repeating sounds and sound combinations. With the emergence of more holistic, communicative methods and approaches to EFL instruction, pronunciation is addressed within the context of real communication .
Factors Influencing Pronunciation Mastery
Research has contributed some important data on factors that can influence the learning and teaching of pronunciation skills.
Age. The debate over the impact of age on language acquisition and specifically pronunciation is varied. Some researchers argue that, after puberty, lateralization (the assigning of linguistic functions to the different brain hemispheres) is completed, and adults' ability to distinguish and produce native-like sounds is more limited. Others refer to the existence of sensitive periods when various aspects of language acquisition occur, or to adults' need to re-adjust existing neural networks to accommodate new sounds. Most researchers, however, agree that adults find pronunciation more difficult than children do and that they probably will not achieve native-like pronunciation. Yet experiences with language learning and the ability to self-monitor, which come with age, can offset these limitations to some degree.
Amount and type of prior pronunciation instruction. Prior experiences with pronunciation instruction may influence learners' success with current efforts. Learners at higher language proficiency levels may have developed habitual, systematic pronunciation errors that must be identified and addressed.
Aptitude. Individual capacity for learning languages has been debated. Some researchers believe all learners have the same capacity to learn a second language because they have learned a first language. Others assert that the ability to recognize and internalize foreign sounds may be unequally developed in different learners.
Learner attitude and motivation. Nonlinguistic factors related to an individual's personality and learning goals can influence achievement in pronunciation. Attitude toward the target language, culture, and native speakers; degree of acculturation (including exposure to and use of the target language); personal identity issues; and motivation for learning can all support or impede pronunciation skills development.
Native language. Most researchers agree that the learner's first language influences the pronunciation of the target language and is a significant factor in accounting for foreign accents. So-called interference or negative transfer from the first language is likely to cause errors in aspiration, intonation, and rhythm in the target language.
The pronunciation of any one learner might be affected by a combination of these factors. The key is to be aware of their existence so that they may be considered in creating realistic and effective pronunciation goals and development plans for the learners. For example, native-like pronunciation is not likely to be a realistic goal for older learners; a learner who is a native speaker of a tonal language, such as Vietnamese, will need assistance with different pronunciation features than will a native Spanish speaker; and a twenty-three year old engineer who knows he will be more respected and possibly promoted if his pronunciation improves is likely to be responsive to direct pronunciation instruction.
Language Features Involved in Pronunciation
Two groups of features are involved in pronunciation: segmentals and suprasegmentals. Segmentals are the basic inventory of distinctive sounds and the way that they combine to form a spoken language. In the case of North American English, this inventory is comprised of 40 phonemes (15 vowels and 25 consonants), which are the basic sounds that serve to distinguish words from one another. Pronunciation instruction has often concentrated on the mastery of segmentals through discrimination and production of target sounds via drills consisting of minimal pairs like /bжd/-/bжt/ or /sIt/-/sоt/.
Suprasegmentals transcend the level of individual sound production. They extend across segmentals and are often produced unconsciously by native speakers. Since suprasegmental elements provide crucial context and support (they determine meaning) for segmental production, they are assuming a more prominent place in pronunciation instruction .
Suprasegmentals include the following:
stress-a combination of length, loudness, and pitch applied to syllables in a word (e.g., Happy, FOOTball);