Martin Bygate

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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This article focuses on the skill of speaking. The study of speaking—like the study of other uses of language—is properly an interdisciplinary enterprise. It involves understanding the psycholinguistic and interpersonal factors of speech production, the forms, meanings, and processes involved, and how these can be developed. This article views speaking as a multilevel, hierarchical skill, in which high-level plans, in the form of speaker intentions, are realized through the processes of formulation and articulation under a range of conditions. For the purposes of this article, spoken language is taken to be colloquial in the two senses of representing dialogue and of representing the features typically associated with the everyday use of language. This article first outlines the need for an integrated account of oral language processing. It then presents such an account, considers the range of formal features that characterize spoken language, and reviews oral language pedagogy in the light of this account. The conclusion outlines issues for further exploration.

Keywords: speaking; interdisciplinary enterprise; psycholinguistic; speech production; pedagogy

Article.  4621 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Language Acquisition

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