Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spoken English, TESOL and Applied Linguistics: Challenges for Theory and Practice

This collection of essays by leading researchers in the field of spoken discourse and language teaching pursues two aims. Its first aim is to present an issues-led discussion of the present state of research into spoken language. Contributors address issues concerning, for example, the extent to which new data regarding the nature of spoken discourse challenge existing language theories, models or paradigms; and the question whether there is a ‘paradigm-shift’ taking place due to the weight of evidence that spoken discourse is a distinctive form in its own right, or whether this evidence will be absorbed into existing models and theories.  
The collection’s second aim is to address some of the complex and rewarding opportunities offered by these emerging insights for language teaching. Can the insights of current research on spoken language easily be accommodated into existing language teaching, whether at the level of pedagogic grammars, or methods; or do they present challenges which break new ground? Is there such a thing as a ‘spoken genre’, and how can this concept inform materials production or language teaching? Will current research on spoken forms have an impact on the assessment of speaking? And what weight should be given to the phonetic and paralinguistic meaning-bearing elements of the spoken form, either in language description or in the curriculum?

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