Tasks Based on Spoken and Written Texts TBLT Workshop Davis, California August 2011 Reading/Listening as a Communicative Process Provide: • a context for reading/listening. We normally process language with background knowledge and/or expectations. • a reason for reading/listening. We are looking for an outcome: information, arguments, solutions … Prediction Tasks Here is the headline for a newspaper article: £180,000 violin left on train Work in groups. Think of five questions which will probably be answered in the article. Try to think of one question no other group will have thought of. Cues for prediction tasks: 1 Questions to be answered 2 Arguments to be listed 3 Headline/title + key sentences/phrases 4 Selected words or phrases Quizzes/ Student as Question Master Here are eight statements about sharks. Say whether each one is true or false. 1 There are nearly two hundred different species of sharks. 2 The smallest sharks are about 20 centimetres in length. 3 Most sharks are less than a metre in length. 4 The biggest sharks are around 6 metres in length and weigh up to 2000 kilograms. 5 The biggest sharks are the most dangerous of all. 6 Sharks are found in rivers as well as in the seas and oceans. 7 Only about two hundred people are killed by sharks each year. 8 More people are killed by dogs than by sharks. Jigsaw Tasks Jim Burney, aged 24 – all alone in New York over Christmas – jump off the Empire State building – 85th floor – a television station – decided to give up the idea – poured myself a stiff drink decided to kill himself – the top floor, the 86th – over 1,000 feet below – found himself on a narrow ledge – Mike Wilson was on duty at the time – had a great Christmas Discussion Tasks 1 Teacher introduction 2 Questionnaire 3 Related texts How strict were your parents? Work in groups. Talk about your childhood. Whose parents were the strictest? Whose parents were the most easy-going? (With thanks to Tim Marchand, Smith’s School of English, Kyoto, Japan) 1.Were your parents were strict or easygoing? 2.Did they allow you to stay out late at night? 3.Did they let you go on holiday on your own? 4.Did they make you help about the house? 5.Did you have to wash the car? 6.What other jobs did they make you do? 7.When you went out did you always have to tell them where you were going? 8.Did you always have to do your homework before supper? My Dad is a quiet man really, so he didn't really make me do much at home. He sometimes asked me to wash his car or cut the grass, but I was never forced to do it, and I could usually get some pocket money for it as well. I think my Mum was also pretty easy-going; she let me stay out late with my friends. As long as she knew where I was, she wouldn't mind so much what I did. My father was definitely stricter than my Mum. If I had been in trouble at school, it was always left up to him to tell me off. But I wouldn't say that my Mum was easy-going exactly. She would sit me down sometimes and make me do my homework in front of her, or force me to eat my greens, things like that. I guess I was just more scared of my father. Recycling texts • Corrupted text (blanks or re-ordering) • Quizzes/Student as Question Master • Group dictation • Spot the mistakes • Communal memory • Summaries The Tension Between Communication and Learning: Reading/listening is largely a lexical process. Efficient processing ignores grammatical minutiae. Efficient learning requires attention to grammatical signals. An effective teaching strategy must allow for both processes.