Next week we’ll be running our workshop on the VCE EAL (English as an Additional Language) task. While listening to and comprehending spoken texts is not typically a major part of mainstream English classrooms around the country, there are some things we’ll be sharing at the workshop that all teachers can use with their students. For example, identifying and having something to say about tone. As we’ve said numerous times in the past, vocabulary spectrums can be a much more powerful way to support students to identify the word with the right nuance to describe a thing or situation you’re focusing on. Below is an example of a basic spectrum we could use with EAL students to identify tone in a spoken text, but also with mainstream students to identify tone in written texts.
Students start by identifying one of the bold words at the top or bottom of the first three columns which they think identifies the tone. Then they look up or down the list – is there a more specific word?
For EAL students and weaker students, many of these words will need an introduction. As in the past, we recommend Collins’ Learners Dictionary for it’s accessible definitions: https://www.collinsdictionary.com