ERIC Number: ED368174
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-19
Staying in the Game: Making Conversation in the Classroom.
The ways in which second language learners and teachers together can develop learners' ability to carry on conversation in the target language are examined. The discussion is based on the idea that practicing language skills, therefore creating opportunities to gain additional knowledge, is essential to continued learning, whereas using such techniques as miming, pointing, avoiding particular topics, or shifting from one topic to another when vocabulary runs out is unproductive. Emphasis is on English-as-a-Second-Language teaching. It is proposed that because conversation is purposeful, unpredictable, and jointly negotiated, and uses language patterns unlike those used in textbooks, second language learners must be taught strategies for managing conversation. Four classroom teaching principles are offered: using one's own creativity, flexibility, and listening skills; exploiting what learners bring in the way of language knowledge and social competence; using authentic texts; and taking advantage of the classroom as a social setting in which genuine interaction occurs. Teachers can use problem-reducing and problem-creating strategies to either avoid risk to students or to challenge them. Learners can be taught to use reduction strategies (playing it safe) and achievement strategies (directly addressing problems, for both coping and fine-tuning). Specific behaviors corresponding to these strategies are outlined. (Contains 12 references.) (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at an International Symposium on English Language Teaching (2nd, Taipei, Taiwan, November 19-21, 1993).