For the first post of the year, let’s talk about pragmatics, prosody and pronunciation. Our voice tells the other person whether we are serious, joking, offended or something else. Stress emphasis communicates what information is new or important. And our way of expressing thought groups enhances comprehensibility. When our implicit meanings are clear, we come across as more trustworthy, more likeable, and easier to understand.
But this takes practice, lots of it. We don’t always have time in class, and it’s even harder online. Here’s where a video can help.
Technology has given us a simple way to structure interactive dialogs as videos. We can read partner A in a recording, and our students can log in and read partner B. In this way, they can participate in a one-on-one scripted dialog on their own, practicing not only phrases that frequently occur in target language functions such as apologizing but also those tricky prosodic elements that reveal personality.
I’ve been experimenting with this in my online classes to give students a chance to drill on their own. Feedback has been fairly positive, so I’m going to share a couple that go with the pragmatics dialogs in the Drama Book (Alphabet Publishing).
So, yeah, these are not slick professional performances, but your students might find them helpful. At the very least, you could say to yourself, “Well, I can do that!” and make your own!
Click the link below to go to the Youtube channel, and I hope you have fun with the idea!