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Speaking - Communicative Strategies
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Developing Communicative Strategies
Negociating meaning and understanding each other
by Your Teacher 2005-8

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You need to imagine scenarios in your life or in the exam and work on language you could use to overcome potential obstacles and make communication possible.

On Talking People there is a section devoted to Useful Language. The Talking People Podcast also has a category called Useful Language external link so you can find all the episodes devoted to that.

More ideas…

Expressing what the problem is

While avoiding SILENCE & the use of SPANISH, because using these is not a very communicative thing, learn to ask for help or inform about what’s wrong. This is a basic communicative resource. If you don’t say what’s wrong, nobody can help you and you won’t get the time you need to solve it!

Avoiding translation!

Simplify your message. Think of things you want to express and think about English and Spanish, about how different they are. Think about English syntax: the heart of it all is the Subject + Verbal Phrase (and then the Object). Give some examples of how to translate a Spanish sentence into English using just the idea, and avoiding literal translation.
Remember: Avoid word-by-word translation: Visualize the scene, or think of the idea, not the words!

Some scenarios…

Overcoming language problems

What can you say when you don’t understand what they’re telling you?
What can you say when you can’t find the right word?
Rephrasing: How can you explain the meaning of a word, so that the listener can tell you the word?
Interaction. What can you say when you want to help someone to get her/his message through? How can you help?
What can you say when you need some time to think or check something?
Repair strategies. What can you say when you need to stop someone from doing something, because you don’t understand or because you need some time to get ready?
Repair strategies. What can you say when you want to change subjects because you can’t follow?
Interaction. What can you say to indicate the speaker that you are following, that you are listening and understanding?
Interaction. What can you say when you want to speak? and nobody respects it’s your turn!

Repairing/Preventing misunderstandings

Interaction. How can you interrumpt people when there is a misunderstanding? Or something is not taking the course it should?
Repair strategies. What can you say when you know they have misunderstood you?
Deducing/Inferring what is going on. What can you do/say to indicate you don’t know what’s happening but you are guessing?

Send your answer to the TP Forum or the website so we can publish them!