Speaking discussion forum

Speaking discussion forum
Thursday, 14 January 2021, 5:32 PM



This is a forum for discussion on the topic speaking, based on the readings. Take a look at some of the contributions by other students:



As Stanley (2013) states, when it comes to improve their speaking skills, learners may benefit from endless tools that technology provides. I agree with the author concerning the advantages of recording learners´ speaking. Indeed, students may perform better, since they will understand how well they speak and what they need to do to get better. Plus, they have plenty of time to practice before they are happy with the results.


Indeed. Recording learner's voice facilitates assessment, ensuring that all students will speak and have feedback. As it provides students with an opportunity to listen to themselves, it also engages them on revising, facilitates noticing and - especialy if they re-do the task - leads to improve language (accuracy).

Chapelle begins the chapter by stating that when asked about our language abilities, we usually answer by saying "I speak english", instead of saying I write English for example, and it happens because Speaking seems to be the ability that requires the knowledge from all other skills considering we would have to be using grammar and vocabulary for example, in order to speak. So, it is possible to argue the this would be one of the most difficult skill to master.
Dealing with teaching, Stanley points out the importance of recording by stating that it is quite beneficial considering a teacher could really assess students development in terms of speaking. This is a relevant contribution technology has made to the field, however the amount of possibilities internet has provided to learners is something worth to be mentioned. For example, the possibility to talk to foreigners might be a motivation to students, as this project created by CNA language school in which students had the opportunity to talk to old foreign people( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CYFPe2POWg ) I remember showing that to my students at the time, and they were quite excited, and I am sure they would be even more excited if they have the chance to do something similar.


When my students told me about this project from CNA that XXXXXXXX mentioned, they were really excited about it. So, I had the idea of inviting my friend, who is American, to join our class one day through Skype. Before the call, the students really put effort making the questions they wanted to ask the person. Despite being basic level students, they were really happy after the activity, because she understood them and they could understand most of what she said. It was very motivating to them. As we spoke in class, if we adapt the activity, even very basic students can take advantages from the activity proposed. So, instruction is very important. Today, we can also use Facetime, WhatsApp video call and other apps to promote this type of interaction.



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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Tatiana Köerich Rondon (202000714) - Saturday, 20 March 2021, 8:37 PM

Good evening, everyone! smile

Stanley (2013) explains that computer-assisted language learning has only recently incorporated a focus on spoken language. The author points out that, nowadays, many tools allow teachers to record students’ oral production. One aspect Stanley does not explore is that recording learners’ speech facilitates planning for speaking, which is an essential step for beginners. He mentions that students are likely to spend more time thinking about the language they will use and make an effort to do their best. When recording their speech, students tend to practice several times before they are satisfied with the results. Another point Stanley brings is that making recordings aids teachers in giving students individualized feedback, which represents a challenge for teachers with crowded classrooms.

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Natália Pinheiro (202001301) - Monday, 22 March 2021, 11:33 AM

Yeap, based on what I said in the previous forum I think it's easy to assume that I agree with Stanley when he argues in favor of the benefits of recording students. My take on that would be to make students produce a podcast, as a project.

Now, another thing that I have already mentioned is the importance of students' engagement and how it impacts their willingness to communicate. When students are talking about something they like they tend to be less self-focused and this helps them overcome issues relating to being ashamed of speaking in another language. Indeed, studies on which aspects interact with students' willingness to communicate have shown that the topic is of keen importance (c.f. Mystkowska-Wiertelak, 2021, p. 95).



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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Fernanda da Costa Alves (202001313) - Monday, 22 March 2021, 5:16 PM

Speaking is one of the hardest skills to work in the classrooms. Students often feel pressured by their colleagues and compare themselves to anyone who is "better" than them. As Stanley (2013) has mentioned, technology can help teachers to work with this ability through audio recordings which probably will make it easier for the students to speak (since they can perform this at home). However, I agree with Tatiana when she mentions that this would be a challenge for teachers with crowded classrooms if he/she wanted to give individual feedback to all the students.

I also agree with Natália that speaking about something that we like make us less self-conscious and more motivated to interact. Therefore, it should be an aim for the teacher to work with topics that the students are interested in. 

Chapelle and Jamieson (2008) argue that one of the reasons why it is hard to work with pronunciation in the classrooms is that teachers are not well prepared to do it (or do not feel confident enough), which is true. We are not well prepared during our Letras - Inglês program to work with pronunciation in the classrooms. In this sense, technology can help a lot in terms of preparing or aiding teachers when teaching this skill. The authors also propose five pedagogical principles in pronunciation teaching: 

  1. Learners must produce a large quantity of sentences on their own;

  2. Learners must receive pertinent corrective feedback; 

  3. Learners must hear many different native models; 

  4. Prosody (amplitude, duration, and pitch) must be emphasized; 

  5. Learners must feel at ease in the learning language situation.

I think this gives us a good idea of how we can start to think about activities to do in class with the students. 

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Thaisy da Silva Martins (202001387) - Wednesday, 24 March 2021, 4:56 PM

When teaching English in a classroom context, I believe it is important to dedicate a great amount of the class time to speaking. Reading, writing and listening are usually easier to do at home, as homework or on their free time watching TV and listening to music. Speaking, however, can be neglected in a foreign context where the students only use English to speak in the class. Thus, I think it is important to develop activities that allows students to talk a lot and to express themselves in the second language, as well as to interact with others in order for them to feel more confident using the language. 

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Janaina Fernanda de Almeida (202001525) - Monday, 29 March 2021, 10:44 PM

Hello! smile

In the introductory text of the speaking chapter, Stanley (2013) mainly addresses the relevance of recording learners speaking. I agree that this action can help students be more aware of their oral performance, which can facilitate identifying the aspects important to be practiced. However, in my opinion, the most significant advantage of technology for speaking activities is that it can expand practice opportunities, especially outside the classroom. Likewise, some tools can provide more individualized feedback to students, which is not always possible for the teacher to do in a crowded group. Therefore, teachers should try to highlight these benefits and teach learners how to make the best use of the available tools so as they can overcome time constraints in class and help improve their speech skills.

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by William Gottardi (202003499) - Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 3:51 PM

Hey there,

As previously mentioned by the other colleagues, Stanley (2013) makes clear that recording can be a great tool for learners to improve their speaking skills. Using automated voice recognition (ASR) tools in combination with it might be a more sophisticated learning strategy once learners can have instant feedback provided by the ASR applications. Besides, I would recommend some real-life context to it, using some language learning community to send voice clips to language learners of different countries. Moreover, the abovementioned suggestions can be an opportunity for students to practice their oral skills outside the classroom and they follow Chapelle and Jamieson's (2008) third teaching tip on "speaking".

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Celso José de Lima Junior (202001592) - Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 8:09 PM


Besides the wealth of “listen and repeat” activities online, there is a variety of free tools that we can use to get your learners speaking to each other in English, via the internet. As I mentioned before, as teachers, we need to know how to use them as a pedagogical tool. Maybe, it is arguably the most challenging part of teaching using digital technologies. smile

Picture of Mauricio de Bortolli Lattmann (202004435)
Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Mauricio de Bortolli Lattmann (202004435) - Wednesday, 31 March 2021, 10:18 PM

Hello everyone,

I think language teachers in general may sometimes face some challenges motivating students to practice on their speaking. Students usually tend to be embarrassed to speak in front of others making it more difficult for teachers to be able to evaluate their pronunciation. Stanley (2013) in his book provides some activities connected to technology devices that language teachers could use to instigate students to practice speaking. Moreover, the author states that since nowadays most smartphones have built-in voice recorders, it becomes easier for students to record themselves, consequently allowing them to be able to check on their pronunciation and also improving on aspects they think should be improved. It is also easier for teachers to correct students on their pronunciation since some activities could be done as homework, consequently not having any noises that usually come from crowded classrooms. I really liked some of the activities proposed by the author and I also believe these days language teachers should make the best use of these technology devices to try to make their students' learning journey more enriching and engaging, allowing them to use technology as a way of improving their own skills.

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Rayla Rocha dos Santos (202001012) - Thursday, 1 April 2021, 7:06 AM

As Chapelle starts the chapter, “speaking is a fast-mental and physical activity”, thus it requires a lot of effort from the speaker. Moreover, speaking a second language involves a lot of knowledge, such as pronunciation. In addition to that, learners always have difficulties when pronouncing sounds that are from their L1, and usually are worrying about sounding “native-like”. However, as Chapelle states, learners must be focused to be intelligible.
The tip that I found most important was that “learners must hear many different native models”, in which learners would perceive different ways of speaking. Thus, they can perceive that the matter is being intelligible.

Picture of Andreia Dalla Costa (201901088)
Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Andreia Dalla Costa (201901088) - Tuesday, 6 April 2021, 4:55 PM

I agree with some colleagues that speaking is one of the hardest skills to be developed in class, especially when you work with large classes of about 20 to 40 students. The amount of time is not enough to develop this skill in a way that students would really learn how to communicate in English. However, with the aid of technology, there are many possibilities for students to work on that, and I agree with Stanley that recording is a very nice and fruitful tool when considering the speaking development. Students are able to work from home and share with others, teachers can have the time to hear each student and provide individual and tailored feedback, and the recordings also function as a way of documenting students' progress. 

Picture of Flávia Roberta Felippi Rucki (201905682)
Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Flávia Roberta Felippi Rucki (201905682) - Tuesday, 6 April 2021, 7:38 PM

When it comes to speaking practice, Stanley points out the advantages of using CALL, particularly, the voice recording apps. He emphasizes that recording learners speaking is a good way of assessing learners' oral skills, as in crowded classes it may be time consuming and difficult. In these times of asynchronous classes, the recording resources are really necessary, however, I think that giving appropriate feedback is not that simple; teachers need to be careful and sensitive when correcting and suggesting improvement as learners are usually afraid of exposing themselves.   

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Re: Speaking discussion forum
by Pierre Silva Machado (202004425) - Wednesday, 7 April 2021, 6:40 PM

As we all know, students' focus is usually speaking. However, first, they have to be aware of how they can do it and it means they need to know fluency will only be a reality if they practice the other skills as well. 

In terms of speaking itself, I think Stanley gets it right when he focus on the importance of students' recording as a way for them to evaluate how they can improve. Still in relation to this skill, I believe we have found lots of problems when the issue is speaking and its practice. In my opinion, as we are usually forced to follow certain methodologies (in the case of private language institutions), we may find it hard to include activities to make this ability improved. 

Even though it may be difficult, it is not impossible. I remember organizing tasks for them to do at home and, as a warm-up, we would discuss the topic of it in class as a possible alternative for the lack of oral practice we usually see in this kind of schools.