Investigating the Use of Interactive Whiteboards During the Pre-Task Phase of Speaking Tasks in the Secondary English Classroom

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Language: English

© 2012


Working within a task-based approach to the teaching of speaking, two interactive whiteboard-based pre-task activities focusing on different phases of the speech production process (Levelt, 1989) were developed and compared with an activity based on the speaking activities currently offered in English as a foreign language course books. The first activity, Dialogue Expansion, was based on expansion drills/back-chaining (Larsen-Freeman & Anderson, 2011) and intended to focus on articulation. The second, Dialogue Reconstruction, was based on total text reconstruction activities, e.g., Storyboard (Levy, 1997), and intended to focus on formulation. The comparison focused on their impact on the quality (fluency and accuracy) of students' oral productions in follow-up dialogue activities. Three classes of 12-13 year old Spanish learners of English participated in the study which had a within-participants design. The independent variable was the pre-task activities. The dependent variables were the (1) fluency, and (2) accuracy of the language produced during follow-up dialogue tasks. The activities developed in this study had a differential impact on both fluency and accuracy, with the Dialogue Expansion activities promoting accuracy and the Dialogue Reconstruction activities promoting fluency. This evidence corroborates previous research which suggests that the focus of pre-task activities has an impact on the quality of language that students produce during the task cycle and demonstrates that teacher-fronted interactive whiteboard activities can play a role in a task-based approach to language teaching.

Keywords: interactive whiteboard, speaking, task-based language learning, English, secondary.


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Handley, Zöe. (2012). Investigating the Use of Interactive Whiteboards During the Pre-Task Phase of Speaking Tasks in the Secondary English Classroom. In Linda Bradley, Sylvie Thouësny (Eds), CALL: Using, Learning, Knowing, EUROCALL Conference, Gothenburg, Sweden, 22-25 August 2012, Proceedings (pp. 111-116).

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