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Table 6. Adding fillers and backchannels to textbook dialogue

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Table 6. Adding fillers and backchannels to textbook dialogue

activities introduces new phrasal chunks to the students, raises their awareness, and helps them incorporate the new words and phrases into their speech through practice.

Multiple spoken grammar features

The previous activities and suggestions isolate specific characteristics of spoken gram- mar in order to introduce the features, raise students’ awareness, and provide controlled practice. However, the fact is that natural, authentic conversation usually includes mul- tiple features of spoken grammar. Accord- ingly, many of the activities can be adapted to include a focus on multiple characteristics of spoken grammar at the same time. For example, students could add multiple char- acteristics of spoken grammar to written conversations over the course of the semester, giving continuity to the instruction and allow- ing them to clearly see how their conversation changes with each new addition. At the end of the course, students could act out both the original and the final conversation for the class, followed by a discussion of the role of spoken grammar in face-to-face conversation. Similarly, after introducing a number of fea- tures of spoken grammar, teachers could ask

students to watch a video and count several features of spoken grammar at once or fill in blanks in a script for multiple characteristics of spoken grammar. Focusing on multiple fea- tures highlights how these characteristics work together to create smooth, natural speech and help speakers cope with the pressures of real- time conversation.

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