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Interactive communication


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:28 by NZTecAdmin

The Interactive Speaking and Listening progression, which is identical in the two strands Speak to Communicate and Listen with Understanding, describes the learning a person needs in order to become an active participant in the most dynamic of speaking and listening situations – face-to-face interaction. The progression focuses on particular speaking skills:26

  • Skills in the management of interaction. These can include taking the floor, interrupting, redirecting a conversation, agreeing while disagreeing, reiterating a point of view and closing a discussion. Other examples include hesitation and withholding a turn.27
  • Skills in negotiating meaning. These skills are important for all adults. Participants negotiate meaning by using communication strategies to ensure they have expressed or understood meaning clearly. Examples include the ways in which listeners (and speakers) check that they understand correctly (“So what you’re saying is …; But I thought you meant …”). The negotiation of meaning that can occur around meaningful interaction is an excellent context for ESOL learners who are working to improve their language knowledge. Further examples of these strategies are given in Learning Progressions for Adult Literacy.
  • Skills in using appropriate conversational formulas and fillers. Effective speakers and listeners are able to give and respond to feedback, using such oral language forms as appropriate formulas (“I see what you mean ...”; “Would you mind …?”), conversation fillers (“Isn’t that always the way?”; “Really?”; “You wouldn’t read about it”) and evaluative comments (“That’s right”; “I know just what you mean”), as well as repetition.28
  • Skills in taking short and long speaking turns. These skills enable people engaging in conversations to take speaking turns of increasing length and complexity. Such speaking skills are a mark of expertise. They are more likely than the other kinds of speaking skills to be constrained by a speaker’s lack of language knowledge because they cannot be based on memorised or formulaic oral language.

26 Nunan, 1989.

27 Oprandy, 1994.

28 Franken, 2001.

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