Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Spoken English Assignment

The Spoken English assignment is divided into two parts, submitted and assessed separately, but combining to produce a single assignment with an overall mark. There are no double assignments for this module. Assignment Question PART 1 Collect and transcribe an example of spoken English. Write an accompanying text of 800-1,200 words discussing (a) the procedures you followed in order to collect the data and (b) the reasons for your choice of transcription system, noting any unusual features of this. You should also comment on any matters of particular interest relating to the recording, data collection or transcription process.The following notes are intended for guidance:

1 The transcribed passage(s) should normally be between three and five minutes in length in total. The passage(s) may be taken from a longer recording if appropriate. 2 The talk may be of any kind (e.g. conversation, classroom exchange), but it must be collected in the field (i.e. not from a computer or broadcast source). 3 There is no limitation on what you choose, but you should have a clear purpose in mind. For example, you may wish to record a story (in which case you might focus on story structure, aspects of delivery, discourse markers, etc.), classroom exchanges (in which case you might be interested in questions, repairs, the IRF sequence, etc.), casual talk (in which case you might be interested in aspects of turn-taking, delivery, etc.) or planned and unplanned talk (in which case you will need to collect at least two extracts from at least one speaker). Please read point 1 in the next section (‘Assignment Question Part 2’) for an indication of relevant topics. 4 You may either transcribe the recording in full (if it lasts between three and five minutes), or you may transcribe an extract or extracts from it. 5 Accuracy in transcription is important, but since there can be no definitive version and recording conditions determine the clarity of the resulting recording, allowance will be made for acceptable inaccuracies. Marks will not be deducted for specific elements, but if, in the opinion of the marker, the transcription as a whole has not been approached with due attention, this will be reflected in the mark assigned. 6 You are advised to use one of the transcription systems introduced on the module, but this is not a requirement. It is expected that whatever system you use, minor modifications may be necessary. 7 Make sure that your transcription system is presented clearly and that all the symbols used in your transcription are explained. 8 Do not worry if things go wrong in the recording process. If they do, make sure that you comment on this and show what you have learned from it. This assignment focuses on the development of relevant skills and we encourage examples that demonstrate your ability to identify and respond to problems. If you would do something in a different way in the future, you should discuss this. Please note that any assignments exceeding the 1,200-word maximum limit will be penalised. Please submit your recording in the form of a clearly labelled CD-ROM playable via a Windows Media Player. This, together with the accompanying transcription and text should be submitted by no later than 12:00 on Wednesday 14 November. Assignment Question PART 2 Analyse and discuss your extract in terms of one or more of the topics covered on the module. You should explain why you have chosen this approach and relate your findings to other research in the field. You should also briefly discuss the relevance of your analysis to language teaching. The length of this submission should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words. The following notes are intended for guidance:

1 If you wish to analyse your recording in terms of a topic not covered on the module, you must first obtain permission from one of the module tutors. The following topics will be covered:· grammatical, lexical and other differences between planned and unplanned speech;· paralinguistic clues to speaker characteristics;· speech events;· conversational stories and story grammars;· turn taking, preference organisation and repair;· classroom interaction. 2 You may focus on any aspect of the talk. Some assignments will require a discussion of a number of aspects of the talk, while others may focus on a single aspect. For example, if you are looking at aspects of delivery, you will need to consider a number of these, but if you are interested in a particular discourse marker it would be acceptable to focus on this, exploring how it features in the talk. 3 Similarly, you may focus your discussion on one part (or selected parts) of the recording, or the whole recording. This will be determined by what you have chosen to explore. 4 You may, if you wish, incorporate brief extracts from your transcript and/or published transcripts (normally no more than 5 or 6 in total) into the assignment for the purposes of illustration, comparison, etc. These need not be included in the final word count. 5 You must relate your analysis and discussion to other work in the field. The extent of your references will depend in part on the amount of research undertaken in the area you have chosen and its relevance to your own analysis.Please note that any assignments exceeding the 2,000-word maximum limit will be penalised.