We all know how important English is nowadays. In order to function effectively in the global economy, non-native English speakers must be able to communicate, collaborate and operate successfully in the global lingua franca—English.
Here you can find an article about how companies are using English nowadays
For most of our business English students, the idea of “knowing” a language means being able to converse in that language. It is safe to presume that for most of them speaking is the most highly valued skill. They need to be able to interact in English, spoken interaction is vital.
In interactive activities participants act as speakers and listeners with one or more interlocutors and together they construct, through the negotiation of meaning following the co-operative principle, conversational discourse.
Reception and production strategies are employed constantly during interaction.
There are discourse strategies and co-operation strategies, concerned with managing interaction such as turn-taking and turn-giving, framing the issue and establishing a line of approach, proposing and evaluating solutions, recapping and summarising the point reached, and mediating in a conflict.
“Most researchers agree that fluency in speaking involves smooth, automatic production. However, evidence from spoken corpora suggests that fluency in dialogue also involves attention to the linking of speaking turns to create mutual ‘flow’. “
Michael McCarthy’s current research involves the creation and analysis of spoken learner corpora in connection with the English Profile project, with special reference to the development of spoken fluency. He is co director (with Ronald Carter) of the 5-million word CANCODE spoken English corpus project, and the one-million word CANBEC spoken business English corpus.
He is delivering a webinar for IATEFL on Saturday 22 February 2014, at 3:00 GMT. You can check your local time here
‘Spoken fluency revisited’
Teaching and assessment systems typically consider fluency in speaking to be one of the factors that determine a learner’s competence and level, especially at higher levels.
Furthermore, examination systems, alongside level descriptors in systems such as the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), frequently mention fluency in speaking and attempt to define it and set tasks to assess it. Most researchers agree that it involves smooth, unhesitant production, and that being able to produce language automatically is a key element in being fluent. However, evidence from spoken corpora suggests that fluency also involves a repertoire of interactive items, and attention to linking what you say to what other speakers say in dialogue to create a kind of mutual ‘flow’. How do we achieve this sense of interactive flow, and what sorts of things do learners need to master to achieve smooth dialogue? This talk reports on corpus research for the English Profile, an interdisciplinary research project aimed at a better understanding of what earners know and can do at different levels in English. The English Profile considers the interactive dimension of fluency to be a “fifth skill”, over and above what we normally consider to be speaking skills.
To join the webinar please go to http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/mikemccarthy/
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