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02

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Shadowing vs Oral reading (=Ondoku)

This is my posting on the discussion board of "Second Language Acquisition" course of TESOL program. It's fresh from the press, so to speak ;-) Hope you enjoy reading it.


During the last session, I remember that we touched on “shadowing” as one of training methods for interpreters. While ago I read some literature on the effectiveness of shadowing, and the difference between shadowing and oral reading (reading the text aloud, Ondoku in Japanese) for the course project of Method 2. So I’d like to share some thoughts with you also because shadowing, according to the literature, is expected to enhance learners’ automatization of speech perception which could be related to this week’s topic of Cognition.

“Shadowing” is different from “oral reading” in a sense that it is more cognitively demanding. Kadota (2007) states in his literature that shadowing is effective for automatization of speech perception, and has potential to encourage internalization of newly learned items and improve learners’ prosody in oral production. In terms of the best target group for shadowing practice, Kadota refers to Tamai’s research (2005) that shadowing practice can be effective for intermediate and beginning level students implying that through shadowing practice the students at those levels will acquire the procedural knowledge and skills to comprehend what is being spoken that the advanced level students already have.

I actually put more emphasis on oral reading than shadowing in my teaching context. Low-intermediate level learners that I’m teaching lack the procedural knowledge and skills to comprehend what is written to begin with. They also lack lexical, morph-syntax knowledge necessary for comprehending what is written or spoken. So during listening practice, I try implementing oral reading after students initially listen to materials without text and check the vocabulary and the structures in the text that they are not familiar with. I also insert oral reading practice during reading comprehension practice since I think it improves the procedural knowledge and skills for speedily processing written texts without intervention of L1. I guess some of you have been adding this kind of “output” elements into tend-to-be receptive listening/reading skill training. I’m interested in sharing ideas for enhancing learners’ automatization of speech perception as well as reading comprehension skill if we have time in the following sessions.


Reference: (Sorry, available only in Japanese.)

Kadota, S. (2007). Shadowing to ondoku no kagaku. Tokyo: CosmoPier Publishing.

Tamai, K. (2005) 「シャドーイングは万能薬なのか」Retrieved February 15.from http://www.eigokyoikunews.com/columns/taishukan/2005/02/post_37.html


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