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En route to spoken fluency via task repetition – the ‘4, 3, 2 technique’

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by gianfrancoconti1966, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. gianfrancoconti1966

    gianfrancoconti1966 Occasional commenter

  2. gianfrancoconti1966

    gianfrancoconti1966 Occasional commenter

    My colleagues have tried it with year 7s and 8s this week and they said that it worked very well with them too.
  3. JosianeSandy

    JosianeSandy New commenter

    48% increase in rate of speaking in 10min is impressive!
    Any advice on how to apply it successfully with mixed ability year 10? Would providing a speaking frame or vocab mat help my students in your opinion? Thanks
  4. gianfrancoconti1966

    gianfrancoconti1966 Occasional commenter

    Hi Josiane. Sorry for the late reply - just found this. With a mixed ability class you could have a serious of pre-tasks that build up to the 4,3,2, activity and, yes, use frames to support on day 1 and maybe 2. On day 3 you could withdraw the support. A few days ago I tried the 4,3,2 technique with a weak kid in my year 11 class. I first asked him to practise the technique with a very good and patient student. He then came to me and did it under my supervision. He was so proud he had managed under two minutes, couldn't stop boasting I think one thing to bear is the fluency is the goal not so much accuracy, so one should not be a stickler for minor errors with less proficient students.
    Best wishes. Gianfranco
    JosianeSandy likes this.
  5. lifereallyistooshort

    lifereallyistooshort New commenter

    Very interesting. I have recently been doing "speed speaking" with my weak yr 11 group. It has proved both popular and effective. It works in the other direction - more 1 - 2 -3. They have 5 minutes to prepare to speak for 1 minute on a given bullet point. The group then sits either side of a row of desks and a timer is set for 1 minute. All the partners on one side of the row speak for a minute, then the timer is reset and the partners on the other side speak for a minute. They then move one place to the left, which quickly creates new partners all round, and off they go again. Initially, they struggle to fill a minute, but after the 3rd partnering, they are filling a minute with ease. Their notes serve to get them going, but by the third attempt, they are speaking largely without looking at their notes. I have not analysed why it works - my instinct is that the repetition and also hearing their partners' ideas are key elements. Once they are doing 1 minute comfortably, we pause for another 5 minutes and think about how to add value to what they are saying - linking sentences, adding detail etc. They can make a few more notes. Then we set the timer for 2 minutes and repeat the process. It has transformed the way I prepare this class for speaking assessments. Previously they were expected to produce a written draft and learn it - but it never worked well. This method seems to be much more effective.
    bonxie, taradh and JosianeSandy like this.
  6. taradh

    taradh New commenter

    This sounds like a great idea to extend answers; I already do 'speed dating' anyway, so I am going to try this!
  7. gianfrancoconti1966

    gianfrancoconti1966 Occasional commenter

    The purpose of the 3,2,1 technique is different to what you call 'speed speaking'. I practise the technique you mention in the 'expansion phase' of teaching a set of grammar structures and/or vocab- although I don't call it speed speaking, as it does not mean at speech rate increase - ; however, for it to be successful in terms of fluency and accuracy this and other similar activities need to be prepped and scaffolded adequately as they often lead to error production. The 3,2,1 technique should be used after this kind of activities have been performed successfullly to consolidate the retrieval of the developed speech plans under time constraints.
    bonxie likes this.
  8. gianfrancoconti1966

    gianfrancoconti1966 Occasional commenter

    Oops I meant 'as it does not aim at speech rate increase'.
  9. precolombian

    precolombian New commenter

    great idea. I read about market place activities in a book, however, it was not explained clearly how to implement it.Your article clarifies it, Thank you! Grazie mile.
  10. BrightonEarly

    BrightonEarly Occasional commenter

    Hi gianfrancoconti1966
    I clicked on the link to your article and it is throwing up site security issues. I really want to read this - so I'll try on a different computer tomorrow.

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