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The group chosen for the collection of teachers language samples was a CAE one (B2
moving towards C1). The learners in this group, whose ages range between 16 to 25 years
old, have been studying English for at least 7 years (some of them since they were children).
The recorded lesson aimed at giving learners the chance to revise previously taught art
related lexis in order to practice for the speaking paper of a proficiency exam. Learners were
engaged in different speaking tasks and some word meaning recognition activities in which
they were given the chance to notice how to use them in context.
The samples of teachers language that follow arose from a complete lesson and they
vary from rigid patterns (McCarthy 1991:12) in which the response follows a somehow
rehearsed and expected turn-taking between teacher and learners in their roles to more
natural exchanges, or some may say more authentic ones, considered appropriate due to
what is seen as natural norms and conventions for speaking within the group (Wennerstrom
2003: 5).
1. I think his answer is a very good one!
This sentence was said in response to a third learner who was wondering about the meaning
of a word. Not only is it accurate, but it is also appropriate it encompasses different kinds of
functions, such as of expressing an opinion or the function of being primarily messageoriented (Brown & Yule 1983:13), which means, the teacher intended for the learner to
accept that the other answer was a good one or maybe the correct one -.
2. Be critical about your performance! It will help you prepare for your speaking test.
I used this sentence when asking learners to listen to the recordings of their speaking mocks
while analyzing what they wish they would have done different and why. In terms of
phonology, due to the fact that this is an imperative sentence an exponent to the function of
giving orders all of the words are stressed and the intonation fell at the end of it. It was
successfully used to make learners understand how they were supposed to act towards the
activity they were assigned with.

3. T: Can we say that a place is vivid?

L: Yes it is obvious that a place is vivid.
T: Is it? ()
This exchange happened during a delayed feedback moment when I asked the whole group
if they could use the adjective vivid to describe a physical place. When analyzing discourse,
this is an example of a framing move which is expected by the learner and thus of
appropriate use for a classroom. According to McCarthy (1991:16), these transactions

naturally start with a question. Their follow up move (which is the case of is it) is withheld
() so that the pupils are likely to suspect that something is wrong with the sentence.
4. Some people said I will get married. The correct sentence wouldve been
While noticing language, I used some of the sentences learners produced during their first
speaking task to show examples of the expected verb tense. The highlighted portion above
shows a) an example of reduced pronunciation with the verb have eliding into a schwa (/
w/ or /wv/); and b) the use of discourse completion or collaborative completion
(Thornbury & Slade, 2006:132) to have learners understand it was their turn to answer.
The following samples of language contain, conversely, either inaccurate or
inappropriate language:
1. I was supposed to have said Victor, you too.
When inquired by a learner on what I had meant by you too, I tried to explain that I should
have said it in a different way and that was the reason why he had not understood what I had
said. The first inaccuracy in the sentence is presented with the was supposed to have said
extract: suppose suggests, literally, that someone assumes or imagines, which is not the
case here. The use of the perfect modal should have would have been more appropriate.
The use of should have would also indicate that I wanted to repair or redirect what had been
said (Clark in Wennerstrom 2003: 8).
2. What do you call tela in English?
While eliciting the equivalent word for tela in the target language, I misused the phrase
above. Instead, I would have used How can we say for what do you call is followed by the
definition of the word and not the word itself: i.e. what do you call the white blank piece of
fabric you use to paint?

Just write it down what you think it is.

On reminding learners what they were supposed to do at that moment (a definition dictation),
I used a dummy it where it was clearly not needed: there was no subject to be referenced nor
was this reference unclear. The only correct it in the aforementioned sentence is the second
one for it refers to definition (here implied for the whole extract is not scripted).

4. I have three situations here related to art.

This sentence was used to refer the learners to the board right before giving instructions to
an activity. The first highlighted error shows signs of L1 influence in the form of transfer: due
to the fact that the meaning of there to be is translated as have in Brazilian Portuguese. The
other inaccuracy is related to the free use of adverbials: Portuguese tends to have a freer
word order in this case, the word here should not separate subjects from verbs. The
sentence should have been: There are three art-related situations on the board.

In general, most of the inaccuracies and inappropriate expressions produced were

unconscious and did not impede communication. Nevertheless, as a teacher, more reading
and practice specially concerning Portuguese influence on second language should be
done to avoid certain utterances to occur. The habit of recording lessons might also be of
great help so that I can avoid mistakenly expressing myself.


Brown, G. Yule, G. 1983. Teaching the Spoken Language. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
University Press.
McCarthy, M. 1991. Discourse Analysis for language teachers. New York, USA:
Cambridge University Press.
Side, R. Wellman, G. 2002. Grammar and Vocabulary for Cambridge Advanced and
Proficiency. Harlow, England: Pearson Education Limited.
Slade, D. Thornbury, S. 2006. Conversation: from description to pedagogy. Cambridge,
UK: Cambridge University Press.

Swam, M. Smith, B. 2001. Learner English: a teachers guide to interference and other
Thornbury, S. 2006. An A Z of ELT: A Dictionary of Terms and Concepts Used in
English Language Teaching. Oxford, UK: Macmillan Education.
Wennerstrom, A. 2003. Discouse Analysis in the Language Classroom Volume 2:
genres of writing. Michigan, USA: University of Michigan Press.