Overall Strengths

  • You were generally able to communicate your ideas easily and fluently (mentioned by multiple raters regarding both your OPI and TEACH) ☺

 

 Thought Grouping

Strengths:

  • Your thought grouping is soooooooooooooooo much better than before. . . .I’m SO proud of your progress in this!!! ☺

Weaknesses:

(FYI: The 4/3/2 activity linked below is powerful for helping oneself grow in this area, as you’ll see if you regularly record your first 4-minute talk on a topic to your 2-minute version or if you compare your first 2-minute talk to another 2-minute talk a week or two later — make sense? ☺) — Is this where I want this comment located?

Pausing often breaks up logical thought groups and thought groups are too short

  • In both your TEACH exam and OPI, you paused very, very often and unfortunately, sometimes these pauses were in “illogical” places (i.e. in the middle of a grammatical phrase rather than at its boundaries), making your “students” have to work very hard to build an understanding of your lesson. Please therefore focus on breaking your talk into thought groups only at grammatical phrase boundaries — make sense? (Multiple raters mentioned that your speech sounded “choppy” and/or “halting” in your OPI — though apparently you were quite fluent in your TEACH ☺— so this is the #1 priority weakness for you to work on.)
  • Continue to work on breaking your thought groups only at grammatically logical points, so that your thought grouping matches the grammar and meaning of your sentence (and also, if possible, on lengthening your shorter thought groups).
  • You were sometimes “choppy” in the OPI, i.e. you sometimes paused in grammatically unnatural places and/or tended to break your speech into overly short thought groups. (However, the raters thought this was only because you were a little nervous, not because you really have trouble with fluency. . . .because sometimes your fluency was quite good ☺)

Pausing often breaks up logical thought groups

  • You were sometimes “choppy” in the OPI, i.e. you often paused in grammatically unnatural places, making it hard for listeners to follow the logic of your talk. You therefore need to work on making sure your thought grouping matches the grammar and meaning of your sentence.
  • Actually, your biggest pronunciation problem is that you have accidentally broken up grammatically natural thought groups with pauses, e.g. you said “a. . .famous. . . African. . . country.” Please therefore focus on making sure your thought grouping matches the grammar and meaning of your sentence.
  • A much more important thing to work on is that although you otherwise correctly pronounced and stressed “participatory” both in isolation and in your sentence, when saying your sentence you accidentally divided the one phrase “participatory research” into two thought groups (i.e. You said “Participatory. . . .research. . . .”). Breaking up grammatically natural thought groups can affect your listeners’ understanding and even when they do understand, will negatively affect their assessment of your English fluency — make sense? Therefore, please focus on making sure your thought grouping matches the grammar and meaning of your sentence. (Please ask if you don’t understand this because it’s important!)
  • Your pronunciation of “full” by itself is excellent! However, when you used it in a sentence, you paused after saying the word “full” a little too long and so accidentally broke up the thought group it’s part of. Therefore, you should continue to work on fluency when using “full” in sentences — make sense?

Thought groups are too short

  • You’re doing much better at breaking your phrases mostly at logical points ☺ (If possible, try to work on making your phrases longer, though ☺)
  • Continue to work on lengthening your thought groups. . . .while much of the time, they’re much longer and more grammatically logically broken than before, you still sometimes have several one-word thought groups in a row. (Admittedly, however, I noticed this most when you were answering questions, not when you were giving your prepared lecture.☺)

Using overly-frequent pausing as a substitute for final consonants

  • Your thought groups continue to be very short and often broken via apparent pauses in grammatically “illogical” places. (Actually, I think your thought groups sometimes seem short when they really aren’t because you are working very hard to avoid connecting your words together. . . i.e., because if you follow English norms for connecting all the words in a thought group together, thereby making phrases sound like a single very-long word, English speakers often can’t understand you because you tend not to pronounce the final consonant(s) of words and syllables! It is true that breaking up your words does help English-speaking listeners figure out where the word boundaries are and so helps them figure out the individual words you’re trying to say☺. . . .but it also makes your thought groups sound broken ☹. Therefore, I think the most important thing for you to work on next is pronouncing your final consonants clearly + keeping good thought grouping by making sure your thought grouping matches the grammar and meaning of your sentence — make sense? If not, please ask me about it. . . .it’s super-important!!!)
    • Analyze2Imitate: Ending Consonants
    • Use Anki to build new habits each Anki-scheduled review day of pronouncing with their final consonants final-consonant-containing common words, technical terms, and problem words (perhaps identified in your OECT or 180D presentation feedback) by 1) practicing such words’ pronunciation in isolation several times and 2) creating 2 or 3 new sentences containing each problem word (checking afterward your pronunciation and fluency in using that word in context).

Need to mark thought group boundaries by lengthening their last stressed syllable

Stumbled Over Difficult Word

  • Your pronunciation of “socioeconomic group” was perfect, but not yet fluent, so please do keep working on it till you can pronounce it correctly and fluently (and not only in isolation, but also in sentences! ☺)
  • Your pronunciation of “full” by itself is excellent! However, when you used it in a sentence, you paused after saying the word “full” a little too long and so accidentally broke up the thought group it’s part of. Therefore, you should continue to work on fluency when using “full” in sentences — make sense?
    • Use Anki to build new habits each Anki-scheduled review day of pronouncing problem words/phrases (perhaps identified in your OECT or 180D presentation feedback) by 1) practicing each problem word’s/phrase’s pronunciation in isolation several times and 2) creating 2 or 3 new sentences containing each problem word/phrase (checking afterward your pronunciation and fluency in using that problem word or phrase in context).

 Appropriate Speed

  • You talked at an appropriate speed in both your OPI and TEACH ☺
  • Your speed of talking in both your OPI and TEACH exams was perfect (mentioned by multiple raters) ☺
  • Your speed of talking in your OPI was perfect ☺ (This is fantastic because in the American context, listeners nearly always complain that “Indian English speakers talk too fast”!)

Spoke Too Slowly

  • In your OPI, one rater mentioned you spoke quite slowly and sometimes seemed as if you were struggling to express yourself fluently and naturally, including as regards transitioning fluently and naturally from one idea to the next
  • In your TEACH exam, you spoke quite slowly (Is this because you were trying hard to avoid speaking “too fast” because you know this is often a problem for Indian speakers in the American context?)

Spoke Too Quickly

  • Relative to U.S. norms, you paused only very, very briefly between long phrases spoken very, very quickly— I’m therefore afraid that unless you 1) pause longer between phrases 2) perhaps even slow down a little, it will be hard for students and other listeners in the American English context to follow what you’re saying in order to build an understanding of your overall message — which is, of course, a big problem when you’re trying to teach them something!
  • You spoke very, very, very quickly! My guess is that your number of words per minute is 1 1/2 times to double what American English speakers generally speak — your students will understand much better (and you will probably get much better course evaluations!) if you can slow down. Also, since you do tend to speak quickly, it will help if you do more comprehension-checking than most teachers to be sure that your students are understanding what you’re teaching — make sense?
  • Because of the errors listed above, the raters needed a little more time to process what you were saying and so they felt you spoke a little too quickly.
  • You spoke very quickly on the TEACH (which you explained to me later was due to your misunderstanding that you were required to teach everything discussed in the TEACH materials you were provided one hour before your TEACH exam) — (mentioned by all raters)

Struggled to Find Needed Vocabulary/Repeated Yourself

  • You seemed to struggle during your OPI to find the vocabulary needed to express your ideas, e.g. the terms “rude” or “impolite,” and sometimes expressed the same idea repeatedly, maybe because you couldn’t think of anything else to say(?)
  • In your TEACH exam, you often failed to complete your sentences and/or finish expressing your ideas. You also sometimes started to say something and then ended up restarting or repeating it.
  • You tended to use simple vocabulary and grammar structures vs. more sophisticated vocabulary/grammar and had trouble transitioning smoothly from one idea to another
  • Although you did okay with the more concrete OPI topics, you apparently sometimes had trouble thinking of the vocabulary you needed in order to be able to talk about the more abstract topics
  • You apparently spent quite a bit of time looking at your notes before being able to provide an example ☹
  • “He did not try to compare two places; instead he focused on one place only.”

Miscellaneous

  • In reading through my feedback on your last two presentations of the semester, I see I never commented on your being “choppy.” While this may be the result of progress you’ve made in our class, I agree with you that your speed problem on your previous OECT was due to a misunderstanding of how much you were expected to cover in your 5-minute TEACH lesson. I, therefore, I don’t think it’s fair to assume (merely because neither of your last two presentations’ feedback—nor, as I recall, that of any of your earlier presentations— indicated concern about your speaking too quickly) that your apparent progress in fluency is, in fact, the result of our class. Perhaps it is simply due to the fact that when you took the OECT, you didn’t clearly understand the TEACH requirements, so it didn’t do a good job of measuring your already-proficient fluency?

Comments

Feedback Master — No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *