Although often criticized as an old-style instructional method associated with passive learning, the much-maligned lecture remains a core genre of higher education. Lectures are still the most practical way to teach large numbers of students in a globalized academic world in which universities are under growing pressure to increase enrollments for competitive and economic reasons. Lectures are therefore a crucial but often challenging component of the higher education experience of the vast numbers of international students who study in English-medium universities around the world. Indeed, the cognitive and linguistic complexities of lectures can cause significant difficulties for nonnative speakers of English, even those at relatively advanced proficiency levels. This chapter will open with an overview of the evolution of the lecture as a teaching method, including recent ICT-driven transformations of the genre, e.g. ‘virtual’ lectures available through OpenCourseWare digital platforms. The focus will then shift to lectures in the context of EAP, with particular reference to critical aspects of listening comprehension for nonnative learners who must decipher oral language in order to construct meaning. These include not only skills necessary to assimilate the phonological, lexical, syntactic, discursive and pragmatic features that all come into play during a lecture, but also the ability to activate knowledge from prior educational and world experiences. This discussion will be followed by a review of key research that has analyzed authentic lecture discourse from a variety of methodological perspectives, aiming to gain insights into which features of lectures create obstacles for nonnative listeners, and thus need special attention in EAP settings. Current instructional practices that have been proposed in the literature to meet these needs will also be discussed. The chapter will conclude with recommendations for further actions to help nonnative listeners successfully cope with lectures delivered in English, also with reference to innovative ICT resources that are now available in higher education.

Chapter 24. Lectures

Crawford Camiciottoli B.
;
2016

Abstract

Although often criticized as an old-style instructional method associated with passive learning, the much-maligned lecture remains a core genre of higher education. Lectures are still the most practical way to teach large numbers of students in a globalized academic world in which universities are under growing pressure to increase enrollments for competitive and economic reasons. Lectures are therefore a crucial but often challenging component of the higher education experience of the vast numbers of international students who study in English-medium universities around the world. Indeed, the cognitive and linguistic complexities of lectures can cause significant difficulties for nonnative speakers of English, even those at relatively advanced proficiency levels. This chapter will open with an overview of the evolution of the lecture as a teaching method, including recent ICT-driven transformations of the genre, e.g. ‘virtual’ lectures available through OpenCourseWare digital platforms. The focus will then shift to lectures in the context of EAP, with particular reference to critical aspects of listening comprehension for nonnative learners who must decipher oral language in order to construct meaning. These include not only skills necessary to assimilate the phonological, lexical, syntactic, discursive and pragmatic features that all come into play during a lecture, but also the ability to activate knowledge from prior educational and world experiences. This discussion will be followed by a review of key research that has analyzed authentic lecture discourse from a variety of methodological perspectives, aiming to gain insights into which features of lectures create obstacles for nonnative listeners, and thus need special attention in EAP settings. Current instructional practices that have been proposed in the literature to meet these needs will also be discussed. The chapter will conclude with recommendations for further actions to help nonnative listeners successfully cope with lectures delivered in English, also with reference to innovative ICT resources that are now available in higher education.
Crawford Camiciottoli, B.; Querol Julian, Maria Mercedes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/661064
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