Spoken Discourse


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3. Know the differences between spoken and written language

          -Spoken discourse often leaves out important grammatical pieces, and yet meaningful communication takes place. Look at
           the examples below:
                                   A: Where is that bookstore you like?
                                   B: Portland.

                                    A: Can you get the phone?
                                    B: My hands are full 

                     The first example uses a fragment, yet you can assume that the listener would understand. 
                     The second example doesn't follow the conversational maxims, that state conversations make sense, yet you understand 
                              why the second speaker won't answer the phone (Lobeck 2005, Curzan & Adams 2012). 

                    -By studying the differences between spoken and written discourse, students can analyze their grammar and study 
                      language by providing the missing information (Lobeck 2005).  

                    -A good way to generate conversations about discourse and dialect is to have a class take a "quiz" where they fill in the 
                     blanks with what they feel is the correct form of a verb (Hazen 2005). 
                                    Speak: Yesterday, she ___ to me.
                                    Leak: Yesterday, the window ___ during the rainstorm.
                                    Seek: For years, I ___ the desire of my heart. 

                    -Spoken language uses more discourse markers than written language. These words indicate a change in conversation 
                     and provide clues on how to listen. Examples might include: so, however, oh, look, and, then, you know 
                                    Listen for the discourse markers that your students use and teach them to listen for each others'.

                      This site has activities to help explain and teach discourse markers: 
                            http://busyteacher.org/10076-how-and-why-to-teach-discourse-markers.html

                      This lesson plan walks teachers and students through role play and discussion about discourse
                               markers: http://www.indiana.edu/~dsls/publications/LeeWell.pdf

                      These language fluency tips are all about spoken discourse. Take a look, and ask your students if they agree. Which ones do
                               they struggle with the most? 
                                http://reallifeglobal.com/the-3-most-powerful-english-fluency-secrets-they-dont-teach-you-in-school


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