in touch with real speech
In touch with real speech

Training for textbook authors

I offer workshops for textbook authors in how to exploit authentic recordings. Currently, there is a profession-wide failure to exploit the riches of the authentic recordings that now feature in many textbooks. There is a gap between what is conventionally taught about speech, and what actually happens in the sound substance of real-world recordings.

These real-world recordings are full of moments which challenge the conventional view of speech as a stress-timed rhythmic flow of an orderly sequence of words in grammatical structures. The language we use to describe speech (metalanguage) has not caught up with the challenges of real-world recordings. We continue to claim that speech is rule-governed (stress-timed, nuclear stress placement, question intonation) despite the contradictory evidence of the recordings. This  lack of fit between metalanguage and sound substance results in the continued use of tools of prediction, schema activation, and coping strategies and the avoidance of decoding work which would focus on the sound substance of the recordings.  (For more, read this blog.)

I offer day-long workshops to textbook authors to train their ears to hear the rich variety of features in such recordings, so that they can incorporate new types of listening activity – based on the sound substance of the recordings – in their textbooks.

The workshop will introduce both conceptual tools (the Window on Speech) and technological tools (AudioNotetaker and Audacity) to help textbook authors exploit the richness of the recordings.

Workshop titles include:

  • Treating recordings as gold-mines
  • A syllabus for listening