As We Speak (SPLIS)

SPLIS News, Volume 2:2 (March 2005)

by User Not Found | 11/03/2011
In This Issue... Leadership Updates Message From Your Chair-Elect

By Laura Hahn, e-mail:

Dear SPLIS colleagues,

I'm looking forward to this next year as chair of SPLIS! It's an honor to be a part of such a committed and creative group of people.

I would like to encourage each of you to think creatively about the interest section and to let me know if you have any ideas about how we can continue to be a strong group. We already have great communication venues in place--the e-mail list, the Web site (, this newsletter, and TESOL conventions. So if you have ideas for or would like to help with any of these things, please let me know. The sky is the limit, and I would love to hear from you. In addition, it's not too early to start thinking about submitting a proposal for a SPLIS topic for TESOL 2006 in Tampa. Most proposals will be due June 1. Visit for details, when available.

That being said, I know all of us are extremely busy with our own work-and it seems impossible to keep up with the articles to read, the lessons to plan, the intonation curves to analyze. . . . So in the spirit of finding balance in our lives, I would just like to share a thought from my license plate. . . .

Schwa 99 license plate.

. . . it's unstressed!

I'm looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

Convention Updates Letter From Your Editor

By Paula Baird, e-mail:

Dear SPLIS members,

I am in trouble now. I used the online planner offered on the Web site for the conference and built my itinerary. The problem is that I now need to be in about 20 places at one time--all day--for three days. This is wonderful. We have grown so much over the few years that we have been an interest section. The related topics "now showing" at TESOL in San Antonio cover all aspects of speech, listening, and pronunciation.

I must see these presentations…

First there are the presentations that address teaching pronunciation, plus the presentations on using suprasegmentals, gesture, accent and identity, and intonation.

There are curriculum-based presentations on implementing speech, listening, and pronunciation courses. But I also want to attend the presentations that address having these courses in my curriculum, so I must go to the presentations on expanding pronunciation gains past the classroom.

I want to attend the presentations on the roles of listening including bottom-up listening, prelistening, and listening comprehension.

I want to attend the task-based presentation related to speech, listening, and pronunciation. They include using voicemail, building telephone conversation partners, and assigning functional/notional tasks such as turn taking and negotiation. I can't leave out the presentations that discuss using games, drama, and political cartoons as classroom tools to build communication skills.

But I can't miss these presentations…

I should also attend the academic-related presentations because I often give advice about giving public presentation, being members of discussion groups, and note taking.

Because I want to consider the role of testing or assessment as it relates to speech, listening, and pronunciation, I need to go to the presentation on using listening tests and the Academic Speaking Test.

I can't forget the presentation on English for special purposes because you never know who is going to ask for tutoring.

Last but not least, I am interested in the presentations on language fossilization and world Englishes.

In summary…

The presentations at TESOL this year related to speech, listening, and pronunciation include something for everyone. I loved the itinerary-building feature on the Web site. But this year, it will be impossible for me to go to everything on my itinerary unless I first go to the workshop on cloning.

Have a wonderful time at TESOL if you are going. If you can't go this year, check into the services that give you access to taped sessions that you can order. Or send your requests with someone who is going.

See you in San Antonio!

TESOL Highlights

By Janet Goodwin, past chair of SPLIS, e-mail:

Wednesday 2:00-3:45 p.m.: Strategies for EAP Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation

This colloquium on Wednesday is organized by John Murphy with David Mendelsohn (listening) and Keith Folse (speaking). As part of that colloquium, Janet Goodwin will describe an EAP pronunciation course she teaches and will cover the following points:

  1. determining learners' EAP speech intelligibility needs
  2. prioritizing teaching points
  3. practical teaching suggestions
  4. setting tasks and providing feedback
  5. additional resources

Thursday at 9:30-11:15 a.m.: Intersection: Speaking, Listening, and Pronunciation connects to Applied Linguistics to discuss Gesture and Prosody

This InterSection with Applied Linguistics, organized by David Olsher, is called "Embodied Second Language Learning: Gesture & Prosody." As one of three presenters, Janet Goodwin will present a drama-based teaching technique using brief video clips for analysis and imitation. This technique illustrates the importance of gestures as both a communication tool and a learning tool. Sample videos will illustrate the technique and performance of advanced ESL learners in a pronunciation class.

SPLIS Booth Brings Pizzazz to Interest Section Exhibition Area

By Mary Diaz, e-mail:

Many TESOL conventions ago, the SPLIS leadership turned on a very special light bulb at its booth in the form of the innovative Ask the Expert Series event on convention Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Well before the convention starts, SPLIS pronunciation, speaking, listening, and speech professionals sign up to donate an hour's time (or more) at the SPLIS booth to answer questions posed by attendees who drop by specifically to ask these experts their pressing questions. The Expert Booth event has remained a major highlight of the SPLIS events at TESOL.

SPLIS giants and pioneers such as Joan Morley, Judy Gilbert, Sandra Browne, Janet Goodwin, David Mendelsohn, John Levis, Rebecca Dauer, Laura Hahn, Sue Miller, Linda Grant, and Beverly Goetz, among many others, regularly grace the SPLIS Booth during the Expert Series and offer their expertise to anyone who drops by the booth. What a wonderful opportunity for conventioneers to get some one-on-one time with those who have helped shape and make TESOL the great resource it is today! Drop by this year. The schedule is always posted at the booth!

About This Community What Is the SPLIS E-List?

By Nancy Hilty, e-mail:

SPLIS-L is the electronic discussion list for the Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section of TESOL. Its function is the exchange of information, questions, and answers about instructional techniques, learning challenges and successes, and research findings related to speech listening and pronunciation. SPLIS-L, along with the SPLIS Newsletter, also provides information about SPLIS-related issues, projects, and interest section business.

There are 137 members in the discussion group, many of them published authors. The focus is very practical, most often related to teaching issues and questions. No job advertisements or promotion of commercial products is allowed on the list. To join the list, go to the official site of the SPLIS Interest Section at, which will direct you to the TESOL site and lead you through the process of subscribing to the list. Alternately, visit and check the box for SPLIS-L. You must be a TESOL member to join the list. Welcome and enjoy participating in SPLIS-L!

Call for Submissions

If you are a presenter in San Antonio this year for our interest section, please consider expressing your ideas in writing and submitting an article for publication in our newsletter.

Have you used a new textbook in your class? Have you read an interesting book that relates in some way to speaking, pronunciation, or listening? If so, please consider writing a review or a summary for our membership.

Are you working on an interesting paper? Have you developed a new teaching technique? Have you done research within the theory of language acquisition that relates to speech, pronunciation, or listening? Add a publication to your academic resume by submitting an article to the spring newsletter.

So don't wait. If you have a project or paper in mind, contact the SPLIS newsletter editor, Paula Baird, at Your idea may turn into the feature article in our next issue. Spring submission deadline is April 15, 2005.

About SPLIS Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS)

TESOL's Speech, Pronunciation, and Listening Interest Section (SPLIS) provides an exchange of ideas, information and expertise on teaching techniques and research in pronunciation, speaking, and listening comprehension as well as the integration of these skills with other areas of oral/aural language use and non-verbal communication; develops awareness in the TESOL community of the importance of spoken English and its relationship to overall language development.

SPLIS Community Leaders 2004-2005

Chair: John M. Levis, e-mail
Chair-Elect: Laura D. Hahn, e-mail
Editor: Paula W. Baird, e-mail
Past Chair: Janet M. Goodwin, e-mail
Steering Committee Member: Marsha J. Chan, e-mail

Web sites: and

Discussion e-list: Join SPLIS-L online at, or visit if already subscribed.