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ERIC Number: EJ1180307
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0192-401X
Developing Undergraduate ELL's "Quick Response" Skills
Rice, Jennifer
ORTESOL Journal, v35 p36-38 2018
After spending several years investigating the needs of non-native English speakers in undergraduate courses at a large public university, it became apparent to Jenifer Rice that one of the main challenges facing these students is speaking up during large lecture classes. In such classes, two specific speaking skills students need are (1) asking questions for clarification, either to the professor or other classmates, and (2) conferencing with nearby classmates to answer clicker questions. Clickers are a type of personal response system used by instructors to make large lecture classes more engaging and participatory (Mayer et al., 2008). Instead of asking 100 or more students to raise hands to answer an adjunct question, clickers allow everyone in the class to answer the question, giving the teacher an immediate opportunity for formative feedback. This becomes a speaking task when students are given the chance to confer with neighbors about the possible answers, which is common practice. Both of these speaking tasks--asking clarification questions and conferencing with nearby classmates--require students to quickly formulate utterances in English. However, the introductory listening and speaking course for undergraduate ELLs at Rice's institution has no such objectives and does not offer students much practice with these "quick response" skills. The course instead focuses on planned speaking tasks like presentations and leading discussions. Seeing this gap, Rice describes how she implemented a new objective she piloted in the course: ELLs will be able to quickly formulate short, meaningful, coherent comments and questions in response to an audiovisual message.
Oregon Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. PO Box 15148, Portland, OR 97293. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A