Understanding the Spoken Word

Event date: 
Saturday, October 6, 2018 - 14:00
English Language Teaching Centre, University of Sheffield
78 Hoyle Street, Sheffield, S3 7LG
Extra info: 
Handouts and downloads
Understanding the Spoken Word - hancockmcdonald.com/node/583/edit

At the beginning of the workshop, participants will do a paused transcription activity to bring the listening processes employed by expert listeners to a level of consciousness. Expert listeners usually understand what they hear with a seemingly high degree of automaticity and lack of effort. However, and rather worrying for language teachers and learners, they are often deaf to the nature of spontaneous speech (Cauldwell, 2018). Having briefly discussed bottom-up and top-down listening processes, we will consider several characteristics of spontaneous speech which make understanding particularly difficult. We’ll then look at short transcription written by a B1 level Spanish student, which sheds light on some specific problems non-expert listeners encounter and the strategies used to improve performance. Participants will then try out some classroom activities and look at a few web-based resources, all of which are useful to help non-expert listeners deal with problems and develop their understanding of the spoken English word.


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