Using signpost words (discourse markers) - National Centre of ...

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Tertiary Education Commission Teaching Adults to Listen and Speak to Communicate: Using the Learning Progressions. 3. Discuss the words learners have ...

3. Discuss the words learners have heard and

Using signpost words (discourse markers) LiVoc




extend the discussion to include other ways in which speakers help listeners to keep track SpL&T

The purpose of the activity

of what they’re saying. 4. Play track 2 and ask the learners to listen for the words the interviewer uses to prompt or

In this activity, learners explore the words used

direct the talking. What is the interviewer doing

to indicate different parts of a spoken text. The

when she uses the word “so” like this? How

activity allows learners to listen for discourse

does the builder respond? What other words are

markers in a recorded text, then consider when

used to keep the interview moving along?

and how they use these markers themselves.

5. Explore one or more other discourse markers

The teaching points

in oral texts, for example the use of “you

• We use certain words and phrases as signposts

know”, or the use of intonation to imply

when we talk. • These signposts help the listener to follow a talk or conversation; they help the speaker to manage the conversation. • Learners will identify discourse markers in a recorded text and discuss their effects. • Learners will consider the ways in which they can use discourse markers as they listen, speak and engage in conversations. Resources

meaning (“Sorry?” on a rising tone may mean “What did you say?” or it may imply the speaker disagrees with what has been said – it can even imply a demand for an apology). Follow-up activity Learners can listen to or think about other kinds of speech, for example a debate, a social conversation, a news report, or ko- rero on the marae. They can compare the ways in which discourse markers are used in these situations. Learners can explore the markers that signal

• CD track 6, track 2.

questions. These often use intonation to turn

• CD player.

a word or phrase into a question (“You’ve been

The guided teaching and learning sequence 1. Explain the purpose of the activity to the learners, defining discourse markers as the words that act as signposts and keep us on track when we’re listening or speaking. They are the words that indicate a turn starting or

where?”, “She gave you her best t-shirt?”). Learners can pay attention to their own speaking habits, noticing the discourse markers they use and considering some they might want to vary (such as the use of “yeah” or “ok”) to keep talk going.

ending, a question, a new piece of information and many other parts of a spoken text. 2. Play track 6 through once, then ask learners if they noticed words that kept the talk going. Examples include the greeting, If I could have,

But remember, You all got that? Okay, So, Sure. Tell the learners to listen again and try to identify other ways in which the tutor keeps the explanation on track. Play the track again.

32    Tertiary Education Commission  Teaching Adults to Listen and Speak to Communicate: Using the Learning Progressions