carter (2002) has argued that the more people know about the forms and structures underlying the processes involved in effective oral communication, the more they will be able to resist formulaic and routinised talk. An explicit inspection of spoken English may contribute to a greater understanding of how habitus – that is, the dispositions that regularly incline us to act and react in the way we do but are not governed by any set rules – affects spoken communication. The purpose of nurturing such an understanding would be to help to extend institutional notions of what constitute legitimate speech acts. This would affect the means by which speaking skills are assessed, and directly contribute to the development of students’ confident use of language for a range of purposes.