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Differences: Spoken vs Written. There are many differences between the processes of speaking and writing. Writing is not simply speech written down on paper. Learning to write is not a natural extension of learning to speak. Unlike speech, writing requires systematic instruction and practice. Here .... ID: 644722Direct Link: Link:https://www.docslides.com/aaron/spoken-v-s-written-language Embed code:
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SPOKEN V.S. Written LanguageSlide2
Differences: Spoken vs Written
There are many differences between the processes of speaking and writing. Writing is not simply speech written down on paper. Learning to write is not a natural extension of learning to speak. Unlike speech, writing requires systematic instruction and practice. Here are some of the differences between speaking and writing that may clarify things for you and help you in your efforts as a writer and speaker.Slide3Slide4Slide5
Glossary: Spoken Language Features
NOTE – this is far from an exhaustive ‘list’ – just some basic terms that students should be familiar
with for analysis of spoken data. Students are reminded, however, of the primacy of context in
studying transcripts – approach such texts with an open mind rather than mechanically applying
The ways in which words are pronounced. Accent can vary
according to the region or social class of a speaker.
Parallel expressions used across the boundaries of individual
speaking turns. They are usually ritualistic and formulaic
socially. For example: ‘How are you?’/ ’Fine thanks’
Words, phrases and non-verbal utterances [e.g. ‘I see’, ‘oh’,
‘uh huh’, ‘really’] used by a listener to give feedback to a
speaker that the message is being followed and understood
A reduced form often marked by an apostrophe in writing – e.g.
can’t = cannot; she’ll = she will. See also
Words such as ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘here’, ‘there’ which refer
backwards or forwards or outside a text – a sort of verbal
pointing. Very much a context dependent feature of talk
Spoken Language Features: Cont.
The distinctive grammar and vocabulary which is associated
with a regional or social use of a language.
Words and phrases which are used to signal the relationship
and connections between utterances and to signpost that what
is said can be followed by the listener or reader. E.g. ‘first’, ‘on
the other hand’, ‘now’, ‘what’s more’, ‘so anyway’, etc.
The omission or slurring [
] of one or more sounds or
syllables – e.g.
= going to; wannabe = want to be;
= what is up
The omission of part of a grammatical structure. For example,
in the dialogue: “You going to the party?” / “Might be.” – the
verb ‘are’ and the pronoun ‘I’ are missed out. The resulting
ellipsis conveys a more casual and informal tone.Slide8
This is when the speaker begins an utterance, then stops and
either repeats or reformulates it. Sometimes called
Items which do not carry conventional meaning but which are
inserted in speech to allow time to think, to create a pause or
to hold a turn in conversation. Examples are ‘
’, ‘um’, ‘ah’.
Grice proposed four basic conversational ‘rules’ [maxims] as
criteria for successful conversation:
[don’t say too
much or too little];
[keep to the point];
[speak in a clear, coherent and orderly way];
Words and phrases which soften or weaken the force with
which something is said – e.g. ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘sort of’’,
‘possibly’, ‘I think’.
An individually distinctive style of
Language in conversation used for interpersonal reasons
Typical and normal characteristics of spoken language that
interrupt the ‘flow’ of talk. Some examples:
[though can be used for emphasis],
– it is the use of gestures, facial
expressions + other non-verbal elements [such as laughter] to
add meaning to the speakers message beyond the words
Conversational utterances that have no concrete purpose other
than to establish or maintain personal relationships. It’s related
– and follows traditional patterns, with stock
responses and formulaic expressions: ‘How are you?’ / ‘Fine’;
‘Cold, isn’t it?’ / ‘Freezing’
An approach to discourse analysis which focuses less on
structures and more on
talking to each other. Crystal: ‘Pragmatics studies the factors
that govern our choice of language in social interaction and the
effects of our choice on others.’Slide11
Includes features such as
– which are used by speakers to mark out key
meanings in a message. Essentially, how something is said.
An alteration that is suggested or made by a speaker, the
addressee, or audience in order to correct or clarify a previous
A social dialect or variety of speech used by a particular group,
such as working-class or upper-class speech
Strings of words normally added to a declarative sentence to
turn the statement into a question. E.g. “It’s a bit expensive
round here, isn’t it?”Slide12
Language to get things done or to transmit content or
information [used when the participants are exchanging goods
A turn is a time during which a single participant speaks, within
a typical, orderly arrangement in which participants speak with
minimal overlap and gap between them. The principal unit of
description in conversational structure.
An utterance is a complete unit of talk, bounded by the
Statements that sound imprecise and unassertive. E.g. – ‘and
so on’, ‘or whatever’, ‘thingummy’, ‘whatsit’Slide13
Spoken Language Study
Spoken language study
The Spoken language study is all about understanding how we speak. It looks at the way
is reflected in the way we use language. It also looks at how our language
changes with society and new technologies
Your assessment will be a response to the use of spoken language – whether it was you or someone else speaking. You might be asked to
the spoken language of a public figure, or to compare two transcripts of spoken language.
Examples of spoken language are all around you. Everything should be based on real-life conversations. You need to keep a record of the kind of words you hear and then
your data as you would any other text. Depending on your exam board you will use a recording, a transcript or your notes and memory.
Studying spoken language requires four different skills:
Listening to how we speak
Understanding different contexts
Considering the impact of social change and technology
The ways in which spoken language changes depends on who is speaking, who they’re talking to and what their purpose is, just like in written language. This is a chance to look at up-to-date and real-life examples of language.Slide14
Listen to how we Speak
in the same way as written language. There are only a few small differences:
Instead of reading and
how a writer writes, you listen to and
how a talker talks. This is called their idiolect.
Speech does not fit into 'genres' in the same way as writing (for example letters, leaflets or magazine articles). Instead, you need to think about the 'context' of where someone is talking (for example a playground, hospital, police station) or the 'mode' of how they are communicating (
face-to-face or online).
As with writing, you still need to think about who the speaker is talking to and what they want out of the conversation.Slide15
Analyze Spoken Language
conversations you are looking at things like words, expressions, accent and tone. You then need to hear how they change according
The factors that influence changes in the way people speak are:
Background: geography, age and social class all influence accent and word choice.
Context: people change the way they speak according to where they are. People will be more informal in playgrounds or pubs. They will be more direct in hospitals where they need to explain important information. They will be more formal in job interviews.
Audience: the way we speak changes according to who we are talking to: friends, adults or people in authority.
Mode: the way we express ourselves changes according to whether we are talking face-to-face or remotely by text or online chat (known as 'multimodal' talk).Slide16
you know what you are listening out for, you should record the data. You will need to keep it in a form that allows you to refer back to it so you can
it for your assessment. Here are two ideas for doing that:
Transcripts of voice recordings: transcripts are recorded conversations you have written down. You don't need hours and hours of talk but you do need to make sure you write speech down as you hear it - don't correct grammar or add missing punctuation. Transcribe around half a page of speech.
Questionnaire: interview people and capture the data in a grid. Remember you are looking for are variations in vocabulary and accent. You will also need to make a note of the person who is speaking - so you can spot patterns not just in the way individuals speak, but also groups of people.Slide17
Analyzing the Data
English is very different from written English. In written English, words on a page are carefully considered and neatly laid out. Spoken words usually tumble out of people's mouths as they work out what they are trying to say. There are pauses, corrections and fillers such as 'you know' or 'like'. There are requests for patience such as 'hold on', 'wait a minute'. Often people talk over each other. All this depends, of course, on the context. For example, in a law court there are very strict rules about who talks and when.
spoken English focus on:
: volume, pitch, tone, intonation and accent.
: dialect (
Yorkshire, Cornish, Jamaican) or sociolect (
Standard or Multicultural London English), slang, jargon, vague language.
: how does the conversation flow? Are speakers hesitant or fluent? Are there repetitions, false starts, pauses, fillers?
: how do people make a conversation work well? Who dominates and how? Are there questions and interruptions? How do people get involved in the conversation? Are some people shut out?Slide18
- our own particular, personal way of
Dialect - a way of speaking shared by a particular group of people, usually from a particular geographic
Sociolect - a social dialect: a way of speaking shared by a particular group of people from a particular age, ethnic group or social
Vague language - 'whatever', 'sort of', 'like', as well as 'lots', 'plenty' and
Fillers - 'sort of', 'you know', 'like'Slide19
Understanding Different Context
Your speech in context
One question you might be asked to think about is: how do you change your speech and language to fit different situations? You should use the techniques above to think about your word choice and accent in contexts such as
in the classroom
with your mates
with your parents
at the doctors
in front of the head teacherSlide20
Understanding Different Context Cont.
Understanding different contexts
Identifying the features of different kinds of speech is the first step in understanding spoken language. The second is hearing how speech changes to fit different contexts. These can be different places (such as the playground, a doctor's surgery, a law court or a job interview) and different audiences (
adults, friends, potential employers).
Key to each context is purpose - why we are having the conversation in the first place. Are we sharing gossip with friends in order to bond more tightly with our social group? Or boasting of some achievement in order to raise our status within that group? Are we giving or asking for important information? Are we persuading someone we are trustworthy so they will give us a job?Slide21
Another, related question, you might be asked to address is: how does speech change in different genres? This refers to different kinds of speaking, and can include: public talks, political speeches, TV presenters, even school assemblies. With these questions it is important to consider the audience. Notice how the speakers use language that will be understood and accepted by the people they are talking to.
One tip is to notice the dress code. Politicians, for example, like to remove their ties if they are trying to appear more relaxed or 'in touch' with ordinary people (although that raises the question: what do we mean by 'ordinary' people!).
You might also look at the way media
and advertising agencies have started to embrace regional accents. You should note which accents are preferred for which products. Some market research surveys, for example, have suggested that the public trust some accents more than others. In one, a Yorkshire accent was deemed the most trustworthy in the UK, ahead of Newcastle and Welsh.Slide22
Speech Genre: Continued
'Created speech' is another genre you might be asked to look at. This is speech that has been written by scriptwriters to sound like ordinary, everyday speech. It is the type of speech you hear on soap-operas, from Coronation Street to
. There is a great art to making dialogue 'believable' or 'authentic', but how like actual speech is it?
To answer this question you will need to consider the needs of the scripts and the realities of social interaction. A script needs to be clear so that viewers can follow an argument or a plot. Actors therefore tend to take turns in speaking. While this may be true for more formal social situations, it is not generally how we actually speak. Our conversations are marked with overlaps, interruptions, repetitions, false starts and mumbles.
Repertoire - the different ways we have of speaking in different contexts
Language routines - what we say when we meet various people (
at the Doctor's: "Good morning, how are you? What seems to be the problem? Really? Yes, ok if you'd just like to roll up your sleeve...")Slide23Slide24