As We Speak (SPLIS)

SPLIS News, Volume 3:1 (November 2005)

by User Not Found | 11/03/2011
In This Issue...
  • Leadership Updates
    • A Letter From the Chair
    • Letters From the “As We Speak” Coeditors
  • Articles and Information
    • TESOL Quarterly Special Issue on Pronunciation
    • Review of College Oral Communication 1
    • Focus on SPLIS Members: Our Official Members-at-Large
  • About This Community
    • What Is SPLIS-L?
    • Call for Submissions
    • SPLIS Community Members
Leadership Updates A Letter From the Chair

Laura Hahn, Chair, SPLIS,

Dear SPLIS colleagues,

I hope all of you are doing well. This is a random collection of thoughts for October….

Our Interest Section…
We have 483 members! This makes us midsized compared with the other 19 interest sections of TESOL. We are planning to hold online elections for our leadership soon, so please let us know if you'd like to get involved.

Have you ever wanted to get…
…descriptions of English vowel and consonant sounds, along with audio and video examples?
…resources for authentic listening material including written transcripts?
…a list of minimal pairs for many vowel and consonant contrasts?

You can find these (and many other interesting and useful resources) via links on our SPLIS Web site at
You should check it out-and let us know of other good links we should add! Thank you, Holly Gray, for maintaining this site.

TESOL-Drama is a community that discusses the use of drama techniques in second/foreign language teaching. This area of interest is so relevant to speech, pronunciation, and listening! TESOL members can join this list by visiting

TESOL 2006…
I would like to thank everyone who read proposals for SPLIS for TESOL 2006 in Tampa. TESOL has still not finalized the program, but I predict that there will be many exciting topics and presenters for SPLIS. We will provide you with an agenda of SPLIS events when the event gets closer.

Keep in touch!


Letters From the “As We Speak” Coeditors


Welcome to a new academic year. I hope that this newsletter finds you happy and comfortable in the midst of yet another semester. The day I am writing this marks the first day in Chicago that we have been able to pull out our sweaters and begin dressing for cool weather. Fall semesters always bring me joy and make me wish I were a student again. Okay, maybe that's going a little too far.

This new academic year also brings us a new "As We Speak" e-newsletter. I am thrilled to be working with Paula Baird on our electronic newsletter. We have big plans and hope that you will contribute to this wonderful forum for communication and education for all SPLIS members.

We hope that you will contribute not only your articles and teaching techniques to future newsletters, but also your questions and suggestions for how to make this newsletter work for you. Paula and I are developing new sections for our newsletter and are looking forward to your contributions. We will begin accepting submissions for our spring edition soon. Please feel free to contact either Paula or myself if you would like to contribute to this newsletter.


Kate Hahn
SPLIS newsletter coeditor

Dear SPLIS Members,

Greetings from your other coeditor! Like Kate, I hope that the fall semester has begun smoothly. I am in New England. Here our leaves are beginning to change to the oranges and golds we are so famous for.

I especially want to send greetings to SPLIS friends whose lives have been disrupted by hurricanes this fall. You will remain in our thoughts over this academic year as you begin to regain some balance and stability in your personal and academic lives.

You will notice that I am now one of two coeditors for the SPLIS e-newsletter. I want to thank Kate Hahn for volunteering to help with this publication. It is both more fun and easier to build a newsletter as a twosome.

Now I would like to challenge our readers. We need input from you. Did you try to implement the mirroring technique that was described in our newsletter last fall? If so, was it successful? Please consider writing a review of what worked and what was difficult to implement. Did you use a new book this year? Did it meet your expectations? Please consider writing a book review. Are you doing classroom-based research on a topic of interest? Do you have a problem for which you need a solution? Do you have a unique solution to a common problem?

Answers to any of the above questions would be of interest to our readers. Please consider submitting an article. We want to hear from you!


Paula W. Baird
SPLIS newsletter coeditor

Articles and Information TESOL Quarterly Special Issue on Pronunciation

John Levis, Iowa State University,

Hot off the presses is a special issue of TESOL Quarterly, the preeminent journal in the field of TESOL. Focusing on pronunciation, this issue features seven longer papers on a variety of pronunciation-related topics, four shorter papers, and two reviews of cutting-edge software. There has been a tremendous amount of interest in this topic. An initial call for abstracts resulted in 66 submissions, almost double the previous highest number for a TESOL Quarterlyspecial issue. The authors for over 30 of these abstracts were invited to submit papers for peer review. Each paper was reviewed by two to four anonymous reviewers, and the papers that were of the highest quality and that most effectively targeted the areas of the special issue were chosen. Everyone, from researchers to classroom teachers, will find something of value in the articles from this international group of teachers and researchers. (Two other excellent papers, which could not appear in this issue because of space limitations, will appear in a future issue of TESOL Quarterly, so you have a couple more papers on pronunciation to look forward to!)

TESOL Quarterly Special Issue
Reconceptualizing Pronunciation in TESOL: Intelligibility, World Englishes, and Identity


Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching
John M. Levis, Iowa State University

Second language accent and pronunciation teaching: A research-based approach
Tracey M. Derwing, University of Alberta, Canada
Murray J. Munro, Simon Fraser University, Canada


Intelligibility and the listener: The role of lexical stress
John Field, Birkbeck College, University of London

Listening to Estuary English in Singapore
David Deterding, National Institute of Education, Singapore


Phonetic parameters and perceptual judgments of accent in English by American and Japanese listeners
Timothy J. Riney, International Christian University, Tokyo
Naoyuki Takagi, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Kumiko Inutsuka, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Pronunciation issues and EIL pedagogy in the periphery: A survey of Greek state school teachers' beliefs
Nicos Sifakis, Hellenic Open University, Greece
Areti-Maria Sougari, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece


Learners' ethnic group affiliation and L2 pronunciation accuracy: A sociolinguistic investigation
Elizabeth Gatbonton, Pavel Trofimovich, & Michael Magid
Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

Becoming "Black Lambs" not "Parrots": A poststructuralist concept of intelligibility and identity
Paula Golombek and Stefanie Rhen, Pennsylvania State University


Implementing an international approach to English pronunciation: The role of teacher attitudes and identity
Jennifer Jenkins, King's College, London

The Lingua Franca Core: A new model for pronunciation instruction?
Rebecca M. Dauer, University of Massachusetts

Using student-produced recordings with monolingual groups to provide effective, individualized pronunciation practice
Robin Walker, Escuela Universitaria de Turismo de Asturias, Spain


Streaming Speech: Listening and Pronunciation for Advanced Learners of English
Dorothy Chun, University of California Santa Barbara

Connected Speech
Lucy Pickering, Georgia State University

Review of College Oral Communication 1

Marianne Brems, Mission College, Santa Clara, CA,

I teach in an academically based community college ESL program. The main purpose of the program is to prepare second language students for mainstream college study. I have much choice in my selection of texts for the courses I teach across the ESL spectrum. It is rare, however, for me to find a textbook that so precisely meets the needs of our students as College Oral Communication 1-part of the Houghton Mifflin English for Academic Success series. The book consists of six chapters, each containing an Effective Academic Listening section, an Effective Academic Speaking section, and an Assessing Your Listening and Speaking Skills section. Through the presentation of authentic academic lectures and rigorous support activities, this text provides students with a sound framework on which to build academic competence.

Three Strengths of the Book

The greatest strength of the book is that it assumes that the lecture is the major listening component in the academic learning process. It therefore structures all of the other listening activities around the following:

  • learning vocabulary, pronunciation, and stress, rhythm, and intonation related to the lecture
  • learning language patterns used in the lecture
  • listening for key words, numbers, and discourse markers in a lecture
  • identifying main ideas and details in a lecture
  • taking effective notes on a lecture

The result is that students develop useful listening and note-taking strategies to apply when taking any college course. Consequently, the goal of the activities becomes long range and far reaching.

A second strength is the wide range of speaking activities that serve to help students to internalize the content and oral skills of the lecture. These activities include:

  • retelling the content of the lecture with the help of a partner
  • participating in discussions on the lecture theme
  • giving short talks that demonstrate an understanding of the lecture theme
  • presenting personal experience to expand on the lecture content
  • using body movement to express the rhythm of language

When students must synthesize what they have learned in order to talk about it, understanding and retention are increased.

A third strength is the review activities at the end of the chapter. The instructor can assign as homework two or three activities that provide a ready-made test prep, then go over them with students just before the test. This way instructors can quickly assess students' readiness. These activities include the following:

  • questions about main ideas of the lecture
  • questions about the language patterns presented in the lecture
  • practice with pronunciation, stress, and fluency

The instructor can also give an in-class dictation as an additional assessment, if desired.

Other Aspects That Make This Book Useful

Other aspects of the book that make it attractive and user-friendly for instructors and students alike are listed below:

  • robust support materials including
    -four CDs with the audio program to accompany the activities
    -downloadable transparencies, student handouts, and quizzes
  • number, length, and density of chapters suitable for a 16-week semester
  • interesting, thought-provoking lecture topics
  • appropriately placed Master Student Tips to emphasize important points for students

One Concern About the Book

My only concern about this text is that one of its greatest strengths is also its greatest challenge to students. As stated, each chapter is built around a lecture, and a main speaking task is retelling the lecture with the help of notes and a partner. In many cases students need more help than this, and as an instructor I find it difficult to get to everyone who needs nudging. Perhaps it would be helpful if students were given some smaller chunks of information to retell before being asked to retell the main points of an entire lecture. For instance, a short paragraph from the lecture could be given with an example of how a student might retell the main point using a short simple sentence or two. Such an activity could be done with the support of a study group just prior to the retelling activity.


Overall this text presents a relevant well-designed program of oral communication that meets the academic needs of students. I believe it delivers above expectations on the listening and speaking objectives that appear on the first page of each chapter.

Note: Readers can obtain a free examination copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Faculty Services by calling (800) 733-1717.

Focus on SPLIS Members: Our Official Members-at-Large

Member-at-Large: Carolyn Quarterman

Carolyn Quarterman teaches at North Carolina State University. During the regular academic year, she teaches pronunciation classes and oral communication courses for international teaching assistants. In summer, she is assistant director for the intensive Summer Institute in English. Her most recent project is developing and teaching an online pronunciation course. Prior to teaching at North Carolina State, Carolyn taught business and technical English in Japan for several years. Thus, she also maintains an interest in teaching English for specific purposes.

Member-at-Large: Marnie Reed

Marnie Reed is an assistant professor at Boston University with dual appointments in the Program in Applied Linguistics, housed in the graduate school, and in the Graduate TESOL Program, housed in the School of Education. Marnie teaches the theoretical linguistics course, a course in second language acquisition, and other child language acquisition courses in the Program in Applied Linguistics. She also recently published a pronunciation textbook with McGraw-Hill entitled Sound Concepts: An Integrated Pronunciation Course with a doctoral advisee and a graduate of Boston U’s TESOL master’s program. You may know Marnie from the PCI entitled “Essentials of Pronunciation” that she has presented for the past two years at TESOL or the TESOL Academy workshop entitled “Sound Concepts for Teaching the Sound System” that she has held over the years, most recently at the D.C. Academy at George Washington University.

Both Carolyn and Marnie serve as SPLIS members-at-large.

About This Community What Is SPLIS-L?

Nancy Hilty,

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, as well as 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 483 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 are 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 subscription process. You must be a TESOL member to join the list. Welcome, and enjoy participating in SPLIS-L!

Call for Submissions

If you have submitted an abstract to be a presenter in Florida this year on a topic related to our Interest Section, please consider also putting your ideas in writing and submitting them 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 speech, 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 something in mind, contact the SPLIS editors now at or

SPLIS Community Members

SPLIS Community Members

Chair: Laura Hahn
Chair-Elect: Carole Mawson
Past Chair: John Levis
Secretary: Marsha Chan
Historian: Judy Gilbert
Members at Large: Carolyn Quarterman, Marnie Reed, Karen Taylor, Sue Miller, Betty Pow
Booth Coordinator: Mary Di Stefano Diaz
Newsletter Editors: Kate Hahn and Paula Baird
Webmaster: Holly Gray
E-list Managers: Nancy Hilty and Bill Acton