Your Speaking File
This year you should start a Speaking File. This doesn’t exclude speaking in the classroom! It’s just some extra practice.
Here are some ideas…
CREATING THE FOLDER AND THE AUDIO
Create, e.g., a folder in your computer called “english2013-14″ and then a folder inside called “speaking.“
With a digital recorder, your mobile/cell phone, whichever other gadget or this amazing user-friendly (easy-to-use) program/programme — thanks, Angela! – Vocaroo (save later as an mp3), record yourself as you speak, and then save the recording with a descriptive title.
Don’t record yourself improvising just now, please. Do some work before doing the mon.
THE ASSIGNMENT: DURATION & TOPIC
For the time being, work on a 3-minute monolog/monologue a week, on a topic we heard audios about in class, or you have heard native speakers develop in English (textbook audios, podcasts, TV, radio…).
Don’t’s!!! Don’t write it down. Never ever write it down. You would be doing a Writing and a Reading Aloud exercise, and not training in Speaking! You can only use an OUTLINE in your performance.
- Brainstorm on topics and pick one.
- Brainstorm on points to develop the topic.
- Brainstorm on language items you can use — tenses, modals, types of clauses, adjectives, Saxon Genitive, expressions… This constitutes your Language Range.
- DO the monolog/monologue (once, twice, three times – record them all or after the third try!)
- Listen to the monolog/monologue, critically and work on your LoM if necessary.
- Then record it again whenever trying not to make those mistakes.
- Send me the best versions for feedback, with your nickname and the title of the piece in a brief compound descriptive title, e.g. michelle_psychics.mp3 . You can also comment your LoM in class, so we review common or fossilized mistakes.
Your text needs a presentation: “I’m going to speak about…” and then a beginning, a development and an ending. Finally, just signal the end, “And that’s all.”
If you encounter problems once you are recording, try to practice/practise the typical sentences we use to fix mistakes we made or overcome obstacles, like going blank or not finding a word. Please, check this out: Developing Communicative Strategies and What’s the word for? (of course, an examining board cannot answer this, but you can ask rhetorically and then, when you have found a way-out, just say: “Never mind, I mean…”)
Practice FIXING YOUR MISTAKES ON THE SPOT, like you should do in real life. In exams, if you fix your mistakes, that means you are capable of listening to your English and overcoming problems to succeed in communication, so the mistakes you actually fix do not count as mistakes you ignore or never fix.
Every month you can choose your best pieces (one or several) to send me as mp3 files, with your full name as the name of the file or the folder with the files