Lecture+15-Intelligibility+and+miscommunication+II -...

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Unformatted text preview: Intelligibility and Miscommunication II 5/21/14 2 Misunderstandings in Aviation English   Turkish Airlines – landing in France, 1972   caution sign on cargo door written only in English   Garuda Indonesian Airlines – landing in Japan, 1996   problems communicating evacuation plans   American Airlines – landing in Colombia, 1995   miscommunication between English-­‐speaking pilot and Spanish-­‐speaking controller   KLM & Pan American Airlines – taking off in Canary Islands, 1977   miscommunication between Dutch-­‐speaking pilot and Spanish-­‐speaking controller 3 Misunderstandings in Aviation English   Should there be one standard variety of aviation language?   Is it fair to require proficiency in English as entry into the field of aviation (regardless of locale)? 4 International teaching assistants (ITAs)   Novice teachers (both native and non-­‐native speakers) deal with negotiating their position and managing many tasks   These tasks require very different kinds of fluencies:   linguistic, discourse, interactional   ITAs deal with these issues, as well as the need to adapt to a new culture and different educational system “Although the communication problems of ITAs are often perceived as a problem of English oral proficiency effectiveness… for ITAs the aim is effective language usage while performing the role of TA.” (Hoekje & Williams, 1992) (Plakans, 1997) Significant findings from ITA research   Many more students believe having an ITA hurts (rather than helps) course quality positive U negative   Students are more critical of ITAs who do not share their major   Students rank pronunciation and the ability to relate to students as the top criticisms of ITAs   Students were unaware of the testing and training that exists for ITAs   There’s a U-­‐shaped attitude curve towards ITAs (for year of enrollment) 5 6 Assessing language proficiency   TOEFL test (Test Of English as a Foreign Language)   Taken by over 27 million people   Scores accepted by more than 9,000 universities and institutions in 130+ countries   120 total points; individual schools set their passing score requirements 7 Assessing language proficiency http:// .org/ toefl/ibt/ about/ content/   Beginning in March 2013, the listening and speaking sections began including native-­‐English accents from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia.   “ETS is adding these accents to better reflect the variety of native English accents you may encounter while studying abroad” 8 Assessing language proficiency   SPEAK test (Speaking Proficiency English Assessment Kit)   Produced and distributed by TOEFL program   Designed to measure non-­‐native English speakers’:         comprehensibility fluency grammar pronunciation -­‐tests 9 Types of competence   Whether (and to what degree) something is:   possible   feasible Dell Hymes’ theory of   appropriate competence   performed   ITAs must have:   linguistic competence (what’s grammatical, possible to say)   sociolinguistic competence (what’s culturally appropriate in the classroom   discourse competence (what’s easy to understand in [oral] form)   strategic competence (what’s strategically effective) (Hoekje & Williams, 1992) 10 Significant findings from ITA research   “It’s incomprehensible”   non-­‐native-­‐like pronunciations and grammar   initial obstacle, but become accustomed to it   less elaboration on key points (Rounds, 1987)   less use or misuse of discourse-­‐structuring cues/markers (Williams, 1992) 11 Discourse markers (I mean, you know, like, yeah…) Macro-­‐markers: lexical items that work like sign posts in a text   Openings: “Today I want to spend a few minutes to explain what trigonometric function are.”   Supporting examples: “The second element of physiology is study about transport system. For example, our heart will transport blood to all the part of our body.”   Contextualizing in the present: “Now I’d like to give you the definition of the molecule.” (Williams, 1992) 12 Discourse markers Macro-­‐markers: lexical items that work like sign posts in a text   Introducing new topics: “I want to speak something about temperature.”   Restatement: “That means between these times the car we think it’s the same acceleration”   Summary: “That’s what it mean a binary operation.”   Such discourse markers greatly aided comprehensibility (Williams, 1992) 13 Study of attitudes   Interviewed and observed math professors and Chinese ITAs at a Midwestern university   All interviewed ITAs passed the TOEFL test requirement, but did not meet the minimum requirement for the SPEAK test   Miscommunication/misattribution over the use of silence (Jenkins, 1997) 14 Cultural communication patterns Politeness strategy: use of silence, avoiding formal contact with faculty sincerity and seriousness ignoring instructions, lack of cooperation 15 Strategy for intercultural competence D-­‐I-­‐E Description Interpretation Evaluation without judgment explanation of behavior personal reaction ITAs live and interact just with each other; don’t take English classes ITAs are not motivated to learn English; are uncooperative Dissatisfied with the ITAs’ role 16 Where to go from here   Understand that issues related to ITA proficiency are complex:   ITAs themselves are very aware of language barriers and struggle with native English accents themselves   ITAs may not be fully aware of many U.S. social/pragmatic norms, and this takes time   Comprehensibility has to do with discourse/ interactional styles as well as pronunciation 17 Where to go from here   Recommendations from campus centers like the CETL:   Remember that you have an accent too   Speak more slowly and clearly, though still         naturally Emphasize the most important words in your questions/comments Use non-­‐verbal cues (gestures, facial expressions) Avoid slang and unfamiliar idioms Send email -­‐tas/ 18 Where to go from here   When listening to your TA:   Expect an accent, but be confident that you can get used to it   Don’t automatically assume that you won’t succeed in a class because your TA speaks English differently than you   Becoming familiar with new concepts and vocabulary ahead of time will help you understand a lecture delivered with an unfamiliar accent   Focus on the content of the lecture; ignore the grammar mistakes or pronunciation differences that are noticeable but are not seriously confusing ...
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  • Fall '09
  •   Students, ITAs, English     Garuda, Chinese  ITAs

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