David Bradshaw recently posted his third part of Tips for Speaking Tests. In this third of the series, he started talking about the importance of Interactive Communication and that it is marked as a part of the exam.  He specifically noted that Interactive Communication:

“allows the candidates to use a wider range of language than they could if they were just answering the questions they were asked by the examiner. As they work together, they use language to propose different ideasexpress agreement and disagreement and negotiate to a final decision.”

I have to agree that interactive communication brings about a fuller use of language and at the same time improves listening and speaking skills. Students must improve their “art of listening“(Sheryl Connelly) as well as reach a higher level of Active Listening that requires them to repeat, paraphrase, or even reflect on what is said. Imelda Bickham’s diagram clearly shows the progression of levels:


These items point heavily towards the concept of Creative Conversation that TheTalkList is based on.  We describe creative conversation as learning in context.  By putting the students interests in the middle of the conversation, and by using 1 to 1 tutoring to gently improve their conversation skills, it is easy to see how interactive communication, active listening, and other coaching techniques will help our students “speak like a native.”

I appreciate the work the David, Sheryl, and Imelda are accomplishing / publishing as it gives me greater assurance that TheTalkList is on the right track.  Thanks to all of them and I’m personally looking forward to seeing our talkists using their techniques to improve their speaking skills.