Interaction, authenticity and spoken corpora : building teaching materials for adult English language learners

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Courtney Cunningham (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Chandrika Balasubramanian

Abstract: This study investigated the needs and challenges of adult ELLs in the community college setting in the United States. The study was conducted in Western North Carolina (WNC), where administrators, teachers, and students of three different community colleges were interviewed. Interviews determined the needs and challenges of this group of learners, the language skills they are most interested in acquiring, and how effective current teaching materials are in helping meet their needs. Interviews were transcribed to detect patterns in participant responses. The learners were primarily interested in increasing speaking and listening skills so that that they could communicate in their communities in situations they encounter on a regular basis. Results from the interviews, as well as extensive research conducted regarding effective ELT for adult ELLs helped establish criteria for teaching materials that would be beneficial for this group of learners, specifically with speaking and listening. Textbook evaluations were created and applied to three textbooks that were commonly used within all of the community colleges that participated in the study. The evaluations were also applied to a corpus-based textbook that was created using the Cambridge Corpus of Spoken North American English, which focuses on spoken English, to compare with the other textbooks. The findings of this study suggest that there needs to be teaching materials, both textbook and computer programs, created for this group of learners that focus on the qualities of native spoken English within situations that adult ELLs in the U.S. will encounter in their day to day lives.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
adult English language learners, authentic, corpora, interaction, teaching materials
English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers
English language -- Study and teaching -- North Carolina
Adult education -- North Carolina
Language experience approach in education -- North Carolina

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