Richard Cauldwell interview

Беседа о Listening decoding

Предисловие от Анны Ермягиной:

«Прогуляемся по саду?» – можно услышать от Ричарда Колдуэлла на занятии. А еще он может пригласить студентов в настоящие страшные джунгли и попробуй откажись.  

Но и в джунглях можно выжить, если ты преподаватель английского и был на семинаре Ричарда «Listening Decoding». Я сама только начинаю разбираться в вопросе, а некоторые коллеги побывали на семинаре и вчера на тичерпренерской встрече поделились впечатлениями.  

Вопрос-страдание многих преподавателей - «Почему студенты не слышат знакомых слов?». Даже если запись четкая, чистая и акцент не йоркширский 😊  

Начинаем разбираться…  

У слова есть визуальный образ и аудио образ. При этом у каждого слова бесконечное количество аудио форм – это то, как каждый из нас слышит слово. Отличный пример из русского – слово «сегодня». Как только мы его не произносим: сёдня, сёня…  
Вот здесь и начинаются любопытные прогулки в сад. Но сначала…в теплицу.  

Ричард выделяет 3 аудио формы того, как мы произносим слова, и называет их:  

1. Green house. Здесь мы произносим слова изолированно друг от друга, максимально четко и по слогам. Эта форма существует только в учебниках и то не во всех. Чаще всего мы встречаем следующий тип -  

2. Garden. Это то, что мы называем «Connected speech». И наконец -  

3. Jungle - реальная речь. Быстрая, скомканная, путанная. 
Здесь как раз и кроется бесконечное множество форм произношения.  

Что дальше с этим делать? Смотрите интервью с Ричардом. :) 

А пока хочу заострить внимание на самой главной мысли Ричарда: отпустить навязчивую потребность понимать каждое слово. Это желание рождает у студентов панику, когда они не слышат то, что хотят услышать: всё, что они ловят - «сёня» вместо искомого «сегодня»…  

Предисловие от Аниты Модестовой

This October I was extremely lucky and had a chance not only to attend Richard Cauldwell’s first ever workshop in Moscow but even talk to him in person after that.

I’ve been a big fan of the Greenhouse-Garden-Jungle metaphor for more than a year now. I like it because it’s visual, it takes 5 minutes to explain to your students and then you can make it part of the everyday routine in your class, taking any piece of audio for a Botanic walk (if you’ve no idea what I mean, watch the video).

Lots of students struggle with Listening. And even after having passed CPE with flying colours, they still can’t understand real life speech. Why is that? - Because real life speech is not in the classroom. So “How do we teach the invisible? - By not pretending it’s visible”. By showing our students what language really looks like, starting at the Beginner level. As Richard said, “our teaching is all about avoiding difficulty”, it’s like we’re trying to protect our students from the real life, but that’s just not possible anymore.

There was a time, when we lived in a more isolated world without internet, so the approach of not introducing “the messiness” of the language might have worked, but it’s definitely not working now. Let’s introduce “difficult” language both in terms of vocabulary like, say, “modal verbs” or “I have never done that” and possible sound shapes for those even at low levels, so our students won’t struggle trying to hear a clean and neat Greenhouse form, which is never there.

Текст интервью

- For people who are not here today one coming tomorrow so you introduced this metaphor of botanic walk over a green house, garden and jungle. How did you come up with this idea with the metaphor?
- Thank you, that's a good question. While I was at the University of Birmingham I was in charge of a group of Japanese secondary school teachers of English - some junior high school, some senior high school teachers of English who came over the Japanese government scholarship. And they had learned English and they'd learnt it to an expert level and they were very good at speaking but they were kind of lost when it came to interacting around the university and around the city. Because all kinds of unexpected things happened and they were kind of bamboozled by the kind of language that came at them and they found it quite difficult to understand. So I said to them: well it's a jungle out there compared to what you're used to in the classroom. And then I promptly forgot it. But the following day somebody came in wearing a T-shirt with a jungle pattern on and was extremely disappointed when I didn't notice it. I was mortified myself of course but I suddenly realised: ah, that's a powerful metaphor and so I developed the greenhouse idea at the other end, but without the garden, and then I gave a seminar at the University of Birmingham and somebody came up at the end and said: but what about the connected speech rules? And then I said: ah, that's the garden and so that's the power of the question you see. All of a sudden somebody asks you a question that you hadn't thought of, but the answers there, but it wouldn't have come out if they hadn't asked the questions. So from then on whenever I used it people took it up and they were using it immediately so I thought: oh, this is really powerful. You can use it descriptively and you can use it practically for other activities in the classroom.
- I could just give a brief example.
So the greenhouse form of language of what the citation form if you like. For example "everyone always does this" so the words are separate like plants in a pot carefully nurtured as individual and presented one by one. They don't come into contact. The garden is where the words come into a gentle genteel contact according to the rules of connected speech. "Everyone always does this, everyone always does this" so that's the garden. The garden isn't always as boring is that or is monotonic. That would be a more reasonable garden version but in the jungle all rules and expectations stop and language becomes very messy.
- Today you give us several examples of different listening mostly from Outcomes series and I have a question from one of the teachers of my community – she asked me where on this metaphor would you put the recordings and these books would there be more of garden and greenhouse or garden and jungle?
- Thank you for that question, that's a good question. Even at the very beginner level they give slow and fast versions of certain sentences. They are there, you have the two versions side by side one is very tame garden and the other actors are instructed to speak it's just do a fast version of that. Those are jungle forms. The past questions are really jungle. Let's pretend that one of the sentences is "my boyfriend sometimes takes my things". So which in the slow version is something like "my boyfriend sometimes takes my things" and the fast would go something like "my boyfriend sometimes takes my things". And so the faster one is very much messy and jungle-like and the slow one is very much in the garden and quite close to the greenhouse.
- Something we tried to decode today, you give us some bits of Outcomes beginners audio and we were like a whole group of English teachers ... It was about "how much are they” or "how much per day" or "how much..." - Yes, so in the fast version of something given in the beginners book the "how much are they" in the fast version is "how much are they" - something like that. And I isolated the last two words. The sound substance of the last two words "are they". And I ask people what they made of made of it and we came up with a list of about 10 things that people thought it meant. - So including "did they, do they, good day". - What that Illustrated is there are lots of reasonable hearings of their sound substance that people come up with that are responsible attempts to try and represent what's there in the in the jungle forms. And the jungle forms are messy, unpredictable and surprising. And so yes there in the beginner level. One conclusion you might reach from hearing me speak about my work is that it doesn't apply to beginner level but it does because you can take any set of words and give them a jungle treatment. So a standard thing in the old fashioned textbooks was "this is a pen". Greenhouse - "this is a pen. Garden - "this is a pen". Jungle - "sss pen".
- So you think we should do the jungle starting the beginner level?
- Yeah absolutely. Introduce the metaphor from the very beginning.
- What you also said today in the ideal world of publishing books you would start with the recordings themselves and maybe work out the material right. So if you were writing your own course book or together with somebody how would you structure the listening lesson?
- The listening lesson can be attached to any components of a course book but that's too long a story to go to go into right now. Let's imagine that we want to make a recording for listening purposes and I think the idea of doing a slow version and the fast one is really good but instructing the actors to do things a certain way. So well in the slow thing they're good at, they couldn't because they're experienced actors and their directors are experienced but then training that the director is probably from the publisher to instruct the actors to do things with word clusters such as well "I'm gonna, I'm gonna" do in the fast version to do things like that. And just to do to train them to or to get them to forget their training in terms of recordings for English language textbook and to imagine that they're in a film a fast-moving film where they get to decide what happens how they say it and what happens happening around them as they're saying it. And above all to speak fast. So get those jungle recordings done and then come back and do some materials writing around those.
- I see, still not scripted listening but more of like a framework for listening? - Well you can do that with scripted you can start with your script but before you finish writing the materials around it the activities around it you take it into the recording studio and you say to actors well what I've just explained “do it wild, do it, just do it wild” and then bring that back so and of course book authors hopefully have read my stuff and they can hear jungle effects and then make it make a feature of them.
- And the final question will be not for the teachers but for the students. For example, I have an amazing student, I’m really lucky to have him, his name is Vadim. He usually does all the transcripts for all the audios and videos I make, for all the interviews. So basically we're doing the Outcomes pre-intermediate book and Vadim is really worried that he doesn't understand everything because he believes that he has problems with listening. That's what many students struggle with, that's why we're here today. So could you recommend something maybe for the people who would like to work on their listening skills and who are not the teachers. What it would be the best way for them to work their way through the jungle?
- That's a really good question. I think what you need to do is to let go of the idea that there's a correct way of saying something. There's a whole variety of ways of saying anything and you can find these on the internet in the Ted corpus search engine and in youglish and other sites. Devote some time to very short examples mouthing the mimic, mimicking them listen to them slow and fast and normal speech which you can adjust speeds on the on these sites but realizing that the difficulty this is so important realizing that the difficulty you have with listening is not your fault. It's the fault of English language teaching which pretends that English when spoken is much tidier than it actually is. English, when spoken naturally, is untidy it's indeterminate it's in between it’s mushy and that's a fact that makes it difficult for people who are learning to listen. So the fault is not with you, the fault is with them, with the inherent nature of English but perhaps it's wrong to call it a fault - it's just in the nature of things. So if you can say it's not my fault, it's this language spoken naturally but don't be angry because that's the nature of things.

Комментарий от Юлии С.

Listening Decoding - резюме тренинга Ричарда Колдвелла в Москве

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