• Megan Walsh deposited Assessment of Pragmatically Complex, Authentic Listening Tasks on MLA Commons 2 years, 5 months ago

    The use of authentic materials has grown in second language (L2) classrooms within the last decade due to contributions in technological accessibility. This is beneficial for the L2 classroom, as communication does not exist within a vacuum but instead is experiential and multi-modal. A speakers’ performance constructs a more complex, dynamic relationship between verbal and nonverbal expression. It is our duty as language teachers to prepare students for the world beyond the classroom: a dynamic world. Such dynamism can be seen in the accompanying media of a culture, where conversations include contextualized pragmatic exchanges and their nonverbal compliments.

    In this one-directional listening assessment of complex pragmatic exchanges between native speakers of English, students view clips from authentic American sitcom media (Friends). Each scene is framed around a large, overarching speech act context and involves a point of contention or misalignment in understanding between characters. Students are assessed based on their ability to identify the source of conflict, infer meaning of interactions involving physicality-linked communication or prosodic cues, and predict and support rationale for future outcome.