‘The most natural way to communicate is simply to speak.’---Orange telecommunications company
Learning Objective:What is ‘Spoken Language?’How do we distinguish it from ‘Written Language?’ By the end of the lesson: *All of you will be able to tell me some of the features we use in our spoken language. *Mostof you will be able to suggest why our spoken language is important/precious. *Some of you will begin to consider how contextual factors may influence our spoken language.
What’s in store? From now until Half-Term, you will be studying Spoken Language. This unit is important preparation for being able to access the texts that will appear in your exams next June.
Starter Write your own definition for the verb ‘speak’.
Possible definitions... Speak – to utter words, to talk, to discourse, to make a speech, to pronounce, to utter, to express, to declare, to mention. Speaking is combining sounds in a recognised and systematic way, according to language-specific principles, to form meaningful utterances.
Game Pair-up and sit back-to-back. I will give one of you an image and you must describe it to your partner so that they can have a go at drawing it. You cannot simply tell them it’s a vase of flowers- you would say ‘draw a rectangle, draw 3 straight lines coming out of the top of the rectangle.’
Sounds Individual phonemes combine to form words. We use a phonetic alphabet because often sounds and spellings don’t correspond ‘hymn/him’ Intonation There are 2 basic patterns: rising and falling. The voice falls to mark the end of an utterance ‘I didn’t know’ and rises to indicate a question/surprise/disbelief, ‘really?’ Pace This is often linked to pitch. Louder speech tends to be slower (perhaps for emphasis. whereas softer speech is faster. The components of speech Rhythm English is a ‘stress-timed’ language. Words have a certain position of stress. BUT this stress can shift ‘contro’versy’ or ‘con’troversy’? Pitch The voice can get louder or softer for many reasons: mood emphasis, content, asides.
Task We are going to look at a transcript of a conversation. This is how your exam text may be presented – don’t panic, it will take some getting used to. What are these speakers doing? Can you spot any features from our mind map?
Analysing Spoken Language 14.09.12 Transcribing a conversation
First, a game. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006s5dp Play the game after hearing a few examples from the radio show.
RECAPIt is crucial to consider the following areas when analysing spoken language: • CONTEXT – All language is created in context and the context gives language meaning. WHEN did the speech take place? WHERE did it take place? • PURPOSE – All speech performs a function; we could be making a promise, a threat, delivering a warning, offering congratulations. • RECEIVER – speech is directed to someone. The receiver often plays a an active role , helping to shape the conversation.
Your first bit of important theory: Politeness principle – this is a theory that can be divided into a series of maxims Robin Lakoff (1973) formulated these maxims as:- don’t impose- give options- make your receiver feel good
Transcribing Using the conventions grid you now have, transcribe your conversation. Next, swap your transcription with your partner. What can you tell from the transcription about the: context, purpose, and participants? Then, look through it and try to spot instances where Lakoff’s politeness theory is either adhered to or ignored. Also, highlight where you spot any general features of speech.