Shared resources for teaching fluency

My colleague, Mara Haslam, who joined me in the live conversation about Teaching Fluency on 7 June, has prepared some material on Teaching Listening Fluency Through Structured Input. She says she was inspired by my difficulty distinguishing between ele [he] and ela [she] in Portuguese (see my conversation with Tore in the Teaching Fluency page). You can download Mara’s material here, and be inspired or use it as is!

During the live conversation, someone wondered how you can establish the vocabulary size of your learners in order to work with fluency at an appropriate vocabulary size level (Nation tells us that in fluency work, 98% of the words learners encounter should be familiar). Fortunately, Nation has left us many resources to establish our learners’ vocabulary size, at least if the target language is English. Take a look at this website about vocabulary tests.

I am currently developing a course on vocabulary and fluency development for teachers of English. Hopefully, it will run as a summer course in 2022. Let me know if you are interested in this! Always happy to discuss!

Shared resources for Target language only?

Language allocation policies calling for strict language separation continue to prevail in schools, even as they are continuously violated and negotiated by educators and students.

(García & Otheguy, 2020)

BethAnne Paulsrud mentioned some texts in our interview:

Openly available texts

Jim Cummins’ iceberg model of translanguaging from Wikimedia The_Iceberg_Model.gif

For those who have access to a university library or funding to buy literature:

Please share any of your own resources for this topic. Mail us at circle@isd.su.se.

Study with us!

Stockholm University

If you want to develop in your teaching, or you are often frustrated in your reading by paywalls, you may consider becoming a masters student with us, which will give you free access to the entire Stockholm University library as well as a world class education! Read about our online master courses in Language education which are taught in English.

Current courses

The Department of Language Education at Stockholm University offers courses and programmes at all levels. You may be interested in our Advanced level courses which can be taken as part of a masters or as stand-alone courses. The courses are generally open for late applications. Most are online and many are in English.

  • Language education: Theory, methods, application
    • Spring 2022 online in English as US535F Apply by 15 October
  • Issues in language education research
    • Autumn 2022 online in English as US542F
  • Technology-enhanced language learning and teaching
    • Spring 2022 online in English as US541F Apply by 15 October
  • Third Language Research and Language Education
    • Autumn 2022 online in English as US543F
  • Språkbedömning ur olika teoretiska perspektiv
    • Spring 2022 on campus in Swedish as US534F

Read more and ask questions at the Department of Language Education.

Teaching pronunciation

Reading

John M. Levis at Iowa State University is a major contributor to the field of second language pronunciation teaching. Take a look at this interview with him by Martha C. Pennington, another well-respected researcher in the field. Conversations with Experts – In Conversation with John Levis, Editor of Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. You will also enjoy Martha Pennington’s very recent position paper:

John Levis also convenes the annual Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, and the Proceedings from these are available for open access. One such paper is by Anna Jarosz at the University of Lodz, in Poland, and another by Mara Haslam (and colleague Elisabeth Zetterholm) from Stockholm University. Our researcher interview for this module is with Anna and Mara.

The Proceedings volumes from this conference series have some more very interesting reading, such as:

and while we are at it, a last treat from my friend and colleague in Lodz, Ewa Waniek-Klimczak:

Reading questions

Lots of reading this time, but choose what ever you find interesting and relevant to dig into. Here are some questions to help focus your reading. Feel free to comment below, join our live conversation (sign up below), and/or set up one of your own.

  1. Pronunciation teaching has been called the Cinderella of language teaching. Do you agree that pronunciation teaching is not given enough attention? Why do/don’t you think pronunciation should have more focus in language teaching?
  2. Going back to Nation’s Four Strands model of language teaching (re-view Tore’s presentation in the module on Grammar teaching if you need to refresh your memory on that), where would the teaching of pronunciation fit in. Is it only in the language-focussed strand, or is there a way to make pronunciation teaching more meaning-focussed.
  3. What about the input and output side of it? Pronunciation has both a role for the speaker and for the listener. Can learners hear sound distinctions they cannot pronounce, and vice-versa?
  4. Where do you yourself stand on the teaching of pronunciation? What is the role of “say after me” vs explicit teaching using phonetic symbols and terminology? How can we help learners notice sounds and sound combinations that they are mispronouncing?

Interview

In this module the interview is with two pronunciation teaching researchers who have not (yet) published together, Anna Jarosz and my colleague at the Department of Language Education at Stockholm University, Mara Haslam.

Live conversation

There was a live conversation about Teaching pronunciation on 26 August 2021.

Language learning beyond the classroom

selective focus photography of man facing computer
Photo by hitesh choudhary on Pexels.com

Readings

In Sweden, the topic of the language learning that happens outside the classroom was brought to the attention of many teachers through Pia Sundqvist’s Ph.D. thesis:

Sundqvist, P. (2009). Extramural English matters: Out-of-school English and its impact on Swedish ninth graders’ oral proficiency and vocabulary (Doctoral dissertation, Karlstad University).

Well worth reading, or at least delving into parts of! Pia has continued her work in this area, and another open-access text:

Sundqvist, P. (2019). Commercial-off-the-shelf games in the digital wild and L2 learner vocabulary. Language Learning & Technology, 23(1), 87–113. https://doi.org/10125/44674

Hayo Reinders and Phil Benson, both based in Australia, are also key players in the field of Language learning beyond the classroom. This article from 2017 set out a research agenda:

Reinders, H., & Benson, P. (2017). Research agenda: Language learning beyond the classroom. Language Teaching, 50(4), 561-578.

Reading questions – feel free to comment on these questions, the readings, the interview or anything else relevant to the topic in the comments section at the end of this page

  1. What is your own experience of language learning beyond the classroom, as a learner or as a teacher?
  2. Do you recognise the aspects that Pia mentions in her article about learners’ vocabulary and their gaming habits?
  3. Reinders and Benson point out that “classroom learners can also engage in language beyond the classroom”. Can teachers encourage this, or must the entire activity be learner initiated?

Interview

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Pia Sundqvist herself about her work in the area of extramural English.

Pia refers to the work of James Paul Gee, e.g. Gee, J. P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. Revised and updated edition. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. That is a book, and not available through open access, but Gee wrote this open access article which may be of interest:

Gee, J. P. (2013). Learning systems, not games. Texas Education Review, 1.

There was a live conversation about Language learning beyond the classroom on 30 September 2021.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Willingness to communicate

GPE/Midastouch CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In many language teaching contexts, teachers work hard to help their students to dare to use the target language for spontaneous communication. Classroom culture is very different across the world, and learners are often unused to speaking in class at all, let alone in a language they are learning. The perceived risk of losing face is one aspect of this. Another is teacher and student beliefs about how languages are learned.

Peter D. MacIntyre applied the term Willingness to communicate (WTC), referring to the intention to speak or to remain silent given free choice, to second language learning. Since then researchers have investigated the relationship between WTC and other relevant concepts, such as self-confidence, classroom environment, personality traits, language anxiety, perceived communicative competence and motivation.

Reading

Henry, A., Thorsen, C., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2021). Willingness to communicate in a multilingual context: Part one, a time-serial study of developmental dynamics. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-20.

Shirvan, M. E., Khajavy, G. H., MacIntyre, P. D., & Taherian, T. (2019). A meta-analysis of L2 willingness to communicate and its three high-evidence correlates. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 48(6), 1241-1267.

Khajavy, G. H., MacIntyre, P. D., & Hariri, J. (2021). A closer look at grit and language mindset as predictors of foreign language achievement. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 43(2), 379-402.

Reading questions

  1. Is WTC different for learners of a third language than for learners of a second language? If so, is this related to their perceived communicative competence as suggested in Shirvan et al.’s article?
  2. How is WTC affected by factors in a) the learners, b) the teaching, or c) the context?
  3. How has the move to online teaching during the pandemic affected WTC?
  4. What can language teachers do to help learners build WTC?
  5. What is your experience as a language teacher or language learner of individual variation in WTC and its consequences?

Interview

 We are very happy to offer you an interview with Professor Alastair Henry from Högskolan Väst in Sweden, on the topic of his research into WTC and related matters.

During the interview Alastair mentions the work of Zoltan Dörnyei, specifically this book:

Dörnyei, Z. (2001). Motivational strategies in the language classroom. Cambridge University Press. It is not available as open access, but those with access to a Stockholm university account will find it as an e-book in the university library.

See also the second part of the research discussed in the interview:

Henry, A., Thorsen, C., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2021). Willingness to communicate in a multilingual context: Part two, person-context dynamicsJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-16.

Please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

If you want to be sent the Zoom link to this and other live conversations, send a mail to circle@isd.su.se or subscribe to the mailing list here. You just need to do this once.

Discussion

Share your thoughts about the reading and the interview in the forum at the bottom of this page. Feel free to respond to others when you have posted your own text. Please try to build on others’ responses. The discussion is moderated, so your text will not appear immediately.

You can fill in your email address and/or your name if you choose, or you can remain anonymous.

 

 


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Vocabulary development

black and white book business close up
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The importance of vocabulary

Paul Nation (1994) wrote “Vocabulary is not an end in itself. A rich vocabulary makes the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing easier to perform.” Generations of language teachers since have worked intensively with both incidental and intentional vocabulary development. This module offers some of Paul Nation’s work on vocabulary, as well as the work of Per Snoder and his collaborator Barry Lee Reynolds. Per is our colleague at the Department of Language Education at Stockholm University, and we are very happy to be working on an interview with him for this page.

Reading

Nation, P. (2014). How much input do you need to learn the most frequent 9,000 words? Reading in a Foreign Language, 26(2), 1-16.

Nation, P. (2015). Principles guiding vocabulary learning through extensive reading. Reading in a Foreign Language, 27(1), 136-145.

Snoder, P., & Reynolds, B. L. (2019). How dictogloss can facilitate collocation learning in ELT. ELT Journal, 73(1), 41-50.

Video

Compass Publishing shared this video of Professor Paul Nation talking in at a conference in 2013 about Dealing with Vocabulary in Class: Vocabulary and Intensive Reading

 

Reading and viewing questions

  1. In the above video, Paul Nation talks about both extensive reading and intensive reading and the difference between them in terms of a) vocabulary development and b) the Four Strands. What do you think about the claim that intensive reading belongs to the Language-focussed strand rather than to the Meaning-focussed input strand?
  2. Why is it important to focus on the most frequent words in the language, and how can this be done?
  3. Why is it interesting to look at collocations? How can knowledge of a word’s collocations contribute to learners’ vocabulary development?
  4. Dictogloss is a popular learning activity. Which of the four strands are involved in a dictogloss activity?

Interview

We had the pleasure of an interview with Dr. Per Snoder, first author of the article above. Enjoy the conversation, and please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Live conversation

Join us for a live conversation on this topic on Thursday 18 November at 16:00-17:00

If you want to be sent the Zoom link to this and other live conversations, send a mail to circle@isd.su.se or subscribe to the mailing list here. You just need to do this once.

Discussion

Share your thoughts about the reading and the interview in the forum at the bottom of this page. Feel free to respond to others when you have posted your own text. Please try to build on others’ responses. The discussion is moderated, so your text will not appear immediately.

You can fill in your email address and/or your name if you choose, or you can remain anonymous.

 

 


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.