The article discusses effective rhetorical techniques of accessible presentation of material in an English lesson and raises the question of the place of explanation in pedagogical communication.
Keywords: explanation, rhetorical techniques, the explanatory speech of the teacher.
Teacher’s explanatory speech has recently become the subject of analysis of modern researchers (Suprunova, 2015; Sergeev, 2014). It can be defined as a speech genre of an informative type, which is realized by the teacher in the speech situation of the lesson. It is in the explanatory speech of the teacher that one can find the rhetorical techniques that the teacher applies [2, p. 50–51]. The substantial component of the teacher’s explanatory speech includes explanations of concepts (analysis stage, comparison stage, abstracting stage), patterns (observation, isolation, concretization) and facts (communication, correlation, generalization). Each component obeys a certain logic of explanation [1, p. 307]. The predominant process in pedagogical communication is the transfer of knowledge from the explainer to the one who accepts the premise of explanation. Therefore, we cannot deny the highest importance of the process of explanation within the framework of pedagogical communication of any nature, be it the model “student-student”, “teacher-student” or “teacher-teacher”, “source of information — student”.
The speech strategies of pedagogical interpretation are the speech means by which the teacher makes the knowledge as accessible as possible for students. The techniques are based on various lexical and syntactic means of imparting speech to imagery and expressiveness—trails and rhetorical figures. A teacher being rhetorical personality is able to apply speech strategies, combine their elements for a more successful explanation. The transfer and popularization of knowledge in a foreign language lesson in no way give, for example, complete scientific understanding of a related subject, if we are not talking about bilingual programs in which the exact and humanities are taught in a foreign language. A foreign language lesson is a kind of symbiosis of a communicative task and related subjects that motivate students to use a foreign language. Let us turn to some speech methods of pedagogical interpretation, consider their structural and functional components.
Analogy. The analogy creates a verbal-figurative visualization, which is based on the personal experience of the student (going to the museum, a significant fact, hobby, transmission on television). Concrete personal experience is the key to discovering educational material. Thanks to the use of analogy, knowledge is systematically structured in the student’s mind, supplementing the already known information about the picture of the world. By introducing an analogy into his explanatory speech, the teacher takes care of the listener, creates a model of dialogue communication. The process of finding the “unfamiliar” “acquaintance” gives the listener a chance to feel like a pioneer and accomplice in the process of cognition. Referring to the personal life experiences of students, a teacher clarifies a complex legal term by translating an abstract concept into the category of childhood memories.
Pronouncing. An equally important aspect of the teacher’s explanatory speech is intonation techniques. Timbre and pitch control, change of intonation model, its flexibility in relation to various educational and speech situations explaining new information.
The teacher uses intonation models and volume of sound to concentrate students' attention to the central objects of explanation, namely words to indicate the beginning of completion of any reasoning in English. Through descending and ascending intonation, he highlights the word “Finally,” and also focuses students on the word “Eventually” with a long logical pause and increase the volume of sound.
Comparisons. It’s hard to imagine an explanatory speech teacher without the use of comparisons that create imagery, verbal visibility and, most importantly, the popularity of the presentation of the material.
The teacher produces an explanation of the situational semantic difference between the verb grow and grow up through a subtle comparison of their use in real-life situations. The teacher also makes a comparison between the term “plant” and the completely neutral word “child”. Both concepts in their manifestation in real life are capable of growth, therefore, the verb grow and the phrasal verb grows up is equally applicable in the understanding of students.
However, there is a difference in situational application, and the teacher demonstrates it through comparison, pointing out the possible erroneous logic of the student on the subject the use of words that are similar in semantics but different in terms of syntagmatic criteria.
Introducing Fictional Speech. The introduction of a fictional speech is a technique that manifests itself in the use of sentences with direct and indirect speech. The teacher introduces statements, other people, including participants and interlocutors. Using this technique, the teacher motivates and involves students as their own voices thoughts, questions, and conjectures. Material which is the answer to the question is always perceived better, for this it is advisable to voice a fictitious question, which may be rhetorical on behalf of a student before introducing new material.
At this stage of the lesson, students develop their critical thinking and anticipation. They were given the task to predict the truthfulness or falsity of the statements of the inhabitants of the Indian city about rickshaws. For more authentic the teacher resorts to accept the introduction of a fictional speech. The teacher voices the presented statements with the intonation inherent in a group of people who expresses his opinion. So the teacher says on behalf of a dissatisfied/consonant group of people, giving discuss authenticity and credibility. This approach motivates students to reason and analyzes, since it is easier to object to an uncertain opinion group of people whose words the teacher speaks, than to the teacher’s own opinion, who is a slightly mocking manner imitates the speech of dissatisfied their neutral position and readiness to reason. Moreover, the teacher deliberately ahead of the students and the answers the questions posed and thereby introduces into his speech their alleged answers are “... / when you think of London / What do you think of / Black cabs / red buses / Big Ben / those represent London // ". In this case, the teacher resorts to a fictitious speech strategy, to keep students focused on discussion and reasoning, and not on answers to simple questions that should only stimulate the reasoning process.
Thus, considering application examples a teacher of some rhetorical techniques of accessible presentation of material in an English lesson, you can talk about their importance and effectiveness since they simplify the understanding of the material and emphasize students on important aspects of explained material and stimulate their mental activity.
- Pospelova Yu.Yu. Pedagogical discourse and its characteristics // Bulletin of KSU. 2009. P. 307–308.
- Suprunova L. V. Theoretical problems of the study of rhetorical means in the explanatory speech of the teacher as a speech genre // Bulletin of SUSU. Series: Linguistics. 2015. No2. P. 51–52.
- Sergeev S. F. Communication as a source of pedagogical influence in the learning environment // Educational resources and technologies. 2014. No3 (6). P. 23–25.