Sounding natural: improving oral presentation skills

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2018 Language Value  
Author/s Maria Grazia Busà University of Padua, Italy ABSTRACT This paper discusses how multimodal resources can be used to teach oral communication strategies, as exemplified in a course taught at the University of Padua, Italy. The course focused on lexicon and language structures in use, pronunciation and intonation, body language, and cultural awareness. A variety of multimedia resources were used, including: pictures and illustrations; digital slides; audio files for pronunciation
more » ... and for audio-video feedback with the speech analysis software Praat; video clips from online English courses and other YouTube videos of authentic interviews, talk shows, news, monologues, and presentations. The main class activities were: listening and watching video clips; metalinguistic discussions on the use of verbal and non-verbal language in different linguistic situations; pronunciation practice; and speaking. Students were filmed while speaking and received feedback on their oral and communicative skills. Overall, the course appeared to be highly effective in raising students' awareness of facts about English communication and its workings.
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