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Developing Oral and Written Interpersonal Communication • Proficiency: the ability to use language to perform global tasks or language functions within a variety of contexts/content areas, with a given degree of accuracy, and by means of specific text types.
The Influences on Enhancing Proficiency via Interpersonal Communication • The ACTFL (American Council for Teachers of Foreign Languages) Oral Proficiency Guidelines • The OPI (Oral Proficiency Interview)
ACTFL Guidelines • Provide detailed information about performance in listening, speaking, reading, and writing at four major levels. • Each level indicates performance in terms of functions, context, content, accuracy, and text type. • Language proficiency increases exponentially.
Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) • Standardized procedure for the global assessment of oral proficiency. • Face-to-face, recorded interview lasting from 5-30 minutes. • One has to be a certified OPI tester in order to be able to conduct and assess the OPI. • Not designed to be used as a classroom test.
The Impact of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines and the OPI on foreign language teaching • They have encouraged the development of instructional materials that focus on communicatively-based and performance-based instruction. • They have influenced the interpersonal nature of face-to-face oral tests. These tests are more meaningful and contextualized. • They have had an impact on classroom testing in that they have stressed the need for an oral component in testing.
Influence of the OPI on Testing of Oral Skills • Interviewing • Role plays • Oral monologues • Conversation cards • Situation cards • Narration/Description of topics
Types of activities to reach proficiency levels • Novice: acquiring vocabulary through physical activities; using contextualized vocabulary in short conversations and presentations • Intermediate: Engaging in spontaneous conversations involving familiar topics; asking questions; negotiating meaning in conversations.
Types of activities to reach proficiency levels • Advanced: Conversing in a participatory manner; speaking in paragraphs using connector words; narrating and describing in present, past, and future; participating in situations with unanticipated complications. • Superior: Discussing topics concretely and abstractly; supporting and defending an opinion; hypothesizing; conversing in linguistically unfamiliar situations; engaging in circumlocution.
Interactive Activities • Movement activities • Paired activities and interviews • Conversation cards • Role plays – present the situation card in the native language so that students completely understand the task. • Sharing opinions, debating, narrating, describing, explaining: advanced classes.
The need to bring in culture • Language and culture are intertwined; they gain meaning from each other. • Knowledge of L2 culture is necessary for successful interaction with the culture. • Knowledge of other cultures can increase students’ awareness of and appreciation for diversity.
Incorporating Culture Cultural mini-drama: Students listen to, watch, or read a series of scenarios in which miscommunication is taking place; each successive episode reveals additional information; the reason for the misunderstanding is revealed in the last episode.
Simulations and Gaming • Help the teacher overcome the limitations of the classroom. • Great in lowering the affective filter. • Develop language skills. • Can teach and evaluate language and cultural awareness. • Can change attitudes by placing students in “real-life” situations.
Teaching Interpersonal Writing • Dialogue journal: • Written conversation in which students communicate one-on-one with the teacher or with one another. • Recommended for all ages and all levels of language development. • Can be conducted through e-mail.
Teaching Interpersonal Writing • Key Pal and Pen Pal Exchanges • Very effective way to obtain new information and cultural perspectives. • Students should be told that the main focus of the communication should be on meaning and not on linguistic accuracy.
Teaching Interpersonal Writing • Synchronous Electronic Interaction • Offers more equal participation than face-to-face interaction. • Provides more time for processing input and monitoring and editing output through self- pacing and assessment.