nigel a caplan michigan state university caplan@msu edu n.
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Nigel A. Caplan Michigan State University caplan@msu

Nigel A. Caplan Michigan State University caplan@msu

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Nigel A. Caplan Michigan State University caplan@msu

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  1. Video IS Strand: Evolving Uses of Video From Screen to Stage to Real Life:Focusing on Pragmatic Form through Video-Inspired Drama Activities Nigel A. Caplan Michigan State University

  2. Outline • Rationale • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are ESL Students • A Streetcar named Drama • Whose Afraid of Video Watching? • O! Video, video (wherefore art thou videoing me, teacher?) • Shameless plug for TESOL-Drama

  3. Communicative Competence • Dell Hymes’ definition of communicative competence: “the competence as to when to speak, when not, and so what to talk about with whom, when, where, in what manner.” • Jenny Thomas on pragmatic failure: “While a speaker who is not operating according to the standard grammatical code is at worse condemned as ‘speaking badly’, the person who operates according to differently formulated pragmatic principles may well be censured as behaving badly; as being an untruthful, deceitful, or insincere person.” (Hymes, 1972, p. 277; Thomas, 1983, p. 107)

  4. Focus on (Pragmatic) Form • “It is important to note that every hierarchical level of language – from phonology to morphosyntax to the lexicon to discourse and pragmatics – is composed of both forms … and rules [ie. form] … Furthermore, although there is, as yet, little evidence of the efficacy of attention to the form of language at the discourse and pragmatic levels, we believe that the principle will still apply.” • FonF suggests: positive (enhanced) comprehensible input, attention-raising, noticing the gap, structured and unstructured practice, negative input (feedback), and opportunities to produce modified output, sometimes as a result of negotiation. All this within a meaningful, communicative context. (Doughty & Williams, 1998, p. 211-212; Pica 1999, Billmyer 1999).

  5. provide sufficient positive comprehensible input that is natural and complete focus learners’ attention on pragmatic form through input enhancement and tasks that promote noticing present rules explicitly encourage implicit learning through problem-solving, data analysis and rule-search activities provide opportunities for practice (structured and unstructured, scripted and unscripted) provide opportunities for negative input: feedback on pragmatic errors, focusing on “the effect of the utterance on the hearer and the cost to the speaker” develop learners’ metapragmatic skills: how to name and discuss pragmatic features and describe pragmatic failure to encourage focused self and peer correction raise students’ awareness of cross cultural variation in pragmatics be interesting, motivating, relevant, appropriate and varied (Billmyer, 1999,p. 18-23) Billmyer’s Pragmatics CurriculumMaterials should:

  6. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead • Excerpt from Act I • Play “Questions Only” • Pragmatic Focus: Avoiding the topic • Practice: Strategic Interaction (DiPietro, 1987)

  7. A Streetcar Named Desire • Awareness-raising of emotions (pre-viewing) • Noticing activity (while viewing) • Structured practice using “emotional dialogues” (post-viewing) * • Awareness raising activity on pause and interruption (second viewing) • Explicit presentation of rules • Structured practice activity: “Listen to me!” † *Gerard Finger, 2000, p. 44; Burke & O’Sullivan, 2002, p. 50-1. † Maley & Duff 1982, p. 168

  8. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? • The “dictophone” activity – noticing, metapragmatic awareness and structured practice. • Watch the clip and write in as many stage directions as possible • In groups of 4, re-create the scene! Developed from an idea in Billmyer, 1999, p. 19

  9. Romeo and Juliet • Shakespeare mini-lecture (pre-viewing) • Compare and contrast activity (while/post-viewing) • Free practice: modern balcony scenes (post-viewing) • Opportunity for negative feedback (peer, self and teacher evaluation)

  10. Introducing TESOL-Drama TESOL’s electronic community for all teachers of language through drama. To join, e-mail: Or visit: Sign up any time this week at the SPLIS Booth in the exhibition hall Meet the moderators – Friday 12-1pm at the SPLIS Booth!