The New English Teacher: Vol. 4, No. 1 (January 2010)

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    The roles of uh/um in conversational management and implications for teaching English conversation
    The ubiquitous uh/um (with alternate spellings of er, ah) in English conversation have had limited analysis in spoken discourse, generally being included under the undifferentiated label "hesitation expressions''. This paper first reviews how these utterances are represented in a variety of dictionaries, mostly for English as a Second Language users. Research in theirfunction in spoken discourse is examined in terms of the interactive functions they have in spontaneous dyadic interaction as well as casual story telling and informal tutorials. The analysis isframed by the dominant exchange structure processes (Berendt 1988, 2006). Three strategic discourse functions have beenfound in the data samples: preparatory expressions, tur'n keeping and emphasis of key expressions, providing important oral signals for managing the flow of a conversation. These function as vital signals to give coherence in the negotiation of interactive meaning. The data includes spontaneous conversation/ chatting, casual narratives, group discussion, informal tutorial lecture and argumentative complaints. Implications of these strategic signals for managing and developing spontaneous speech are discussed for second language learners with suggestions for robust conversational management.
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    The tale of a materials development project
    This paper is based on a materials development project with the Book of Mumimu (2007) written by Namptip Conlon. The project was a part of the Materials and Media Development in the Asian Context course in the Graduate School of English (GSE) at Assumption University, Bangkok, Thailand. The paper will discuss the links between the Materials Development and the Teaching Practice courses in the GSE before describing the project. The project aimed to provide a first hand experience to student-teachers in materials production instead of using published materials. The course participants were responsible for the learning outcomes of their activities. Students' journals will be used in the discussion to show their experience of the project and examples of activities designed in the project will be given in the appendix.