In this article is given the conventions for interaction, the negotiation of meaning, the understanding of social relationships expressed in a foreign tongue, and the options available for formality and informality in speech. Here, we can see, the role of dramatic game and conversational act in teaching foreign language.
В этой статье с учетом конвенций для взаимодействия, переговоры по смысл, понимание социальных отношений выражается в иностранном языке и параметры, доступные для формальность и неофициальности в речи.Здесь мы можем видеть, роль драматической игре и разговорный действовать в преподавании иностранных языков.
All specialists know that teaching intermediate or advanced students of EFL and ESP conversational English is difficult and almost impossible. Conversing involves far more than a broad knowledge of the language; it has to do not only with words and structures but with the conventions for interaction, the negotiation of meaning, the understanding of social relationships expressed in a foreign tongue, and the options available for formality and informality in speech. To define “conversation” we should start by saying that it is an activity at the upper end of the cline or continuum of oral language-the lower end being formal oral discourse, and the upper end free and spontaneous speech. It is an unplanned activity of which the main characteristic is spontaneity; unpredictability is frequently observed, and a sense of involvement of both speaker and listener is present [Tannen 1989]. The great variety of topics and the use of fragmented language, with lexis dependent on content, where turn-taking is fast and where posture, gestures, and quality can interfere with meaning, are of paramount importance and cannot be overlooked in the conversational event.
The conversational act: The need for conversing is always present in the teaching-learning process of EFL. Our students demand activities that will ensure the development of conversational skills, and teachers must be able to develop conversational competence in the target language, which is as important for the student as is grammatical competence.
One way is to rely on the learners’ knowledge of conversing in their mother tongue; they are used to interacting and exchanging information in their Ll; they know how to negotiate meaning and action in communicating with others. But there are cross-cultural differences between Ll and L2 that render the activity of conversing in one different from the activity of conversing in the other, and there are norms and conventions that must be identified in one and in the other if we are to consider a speech event as conversation and not merely as talk.
Another alternative is to follow Cook’s suggestions in his book Discourse [Cook: 1989]. He says that there are ways in which the “insights of conversation analysis can be exploited in the classroom” [Cook: 1989:117], and he adds that there are phrases, words, expressions, and paralinguistic features associated with particular turn types that can be taught. In addition to this, formulaic speech such as greetings, introductions, and farewells can also be made explicit to the student. But telling someone how to open and close a conversation is not enough. We have seen-more than once-that if a student is given a flow diagram to convert into a dialogue or a piece of conversation, he or she will follow the instructions given but the result will not qualify as a conversational event nor will it lead to one, because of the artificiality of the language chosen and because the student does not consider the face-to-face interaction with all that that implies.
However, we believe that the problem of developing conversational competence has a solution if we take into account the following assumptions:
- Conversation has a specific structure that is different from that of other forms of oral speech, such as interviews, talks, debates, lectures, and so on, and therefore should not be studied and developed in the same way.
- We should speak of stimulating students or participants to converse rather than giving them ready-made formulas.
- We should emphasize the interactional encounter, which is the centre of the conversational process, and stimulate the negotiation between participants on the basis of chains of utterances rather than chains of sentences.
These assumptions are the frame that holds together the design of what we believe stimulates the students, and they determine the type of activity that will be undertaken.
The dramatic game: The tool we have used with my students is the dramatic game: an activity where the participants improvise dialogues to fit a situation that is described beforehand, and then perform it. There are two kinds of improvisations. In both the participants act without referring to a script. In the first, the situation is described and analyzed with the teacher/director in a sort of panel meeting. The story is studied and alternatives proposed for the action and the development of the plot. Once it is performed, the teacher/director corrects language mistakes and gives suggestions for the performance. Then the scene can be played once more and evaluated again.
In the other type of improvisation, time for preparation is limited to five minutes and then performers act it out, inventing the dialogue as they proceed. This is the true dramatic game. The actors do what they think best and enjoy their experience; the teacher does not interfere in any way, and the spectators-the rest of the participating group-can give their opinion only at the end of the performance. The scene cannot be done over again; another interpretation of the situation would be another improvisation, a new one altogether. Therefore, it is a unique experience for both actors and spectators.
If we want students to play the game, we must introduce them little by little to free spontaneous work. If we do not supply them with appropriate warm-up sessions, the participants will not be able to fight their own natural inhibitions, and thus will not learn how to extend their abilities gradually. We must get them to relax and gain some practice in dramatics, so that they will become more self-confident and less reluctant to enter into the game.
- Cook, Guy. 1989. Discourse. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Richards, J. C. and R. W. Schmidt. 1983. Conversational analysis. In Language and communication, ed. J. C. Richards and R. W. Schmidt. London: Longman.
- Tannen, D. 1989. Talking voices-Repetition, dialogue and imagery in conversational discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.