Monday 11 June 2012

Analysing Spoken English: A workshop for English Language teachers

Date of Event
4th July 2012

Queen Mary, University of London, Mile End Road, E1 4NS

Places Available

The workshop aims at disseminating the insights obtained from scholarly research into language variation and change, and to provide teachers with an overview of databanks and resources available on-line for use in the classroom. The focus of the workshop is on the use of so-called discourse-pragmatic features, i.e., features such as innit (e.g. It’s only an hour from Edinburgh and Newcastle, innit? – Oh, I’ve answered this one before, innit?), be like (e.g. And they were like, “we divn’t want you here.” And we were like, "why?") or dead (e.g.It was dead funny.). These features are often wrongly dismissed as mere fillers which contribute nothing to the content or communicative force of an utterance. Even worse, their use is often perceived to be a sign of inarticulateness, laziness or lack of intelligence. We aim to break down persisting prejudices against the use and users of these features. We will demonstrate how these features develop, what communicative function they perform in interaction (e.g. to signal tentativeness or assertiveness, to facilitate speaker change, etc.), and how they change over time.
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