UNIT 3: DEVELOPING LINGUISTIC SKILLS: ORAL COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION,…
UNIT 3: DEVELOPING LINGUISTIC SKILLS: ORAL COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION, WRITTEN COMPREHENSION AND EXPRESSION. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE IN ENGLISH
Learning a foreign language in Primary education has a practical objective: To be able to communicate in that language. It implies using the four skills with ease: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Listening and reading are receptive skills; speaking and writing are productive skills. Listening and speaking concern the oral medium, reading and writing concern the written medium.
The most important ideas to take into account are:
The information is usually accompanied by repetitions, pauses...
The grammatical structure of oral language is simpler.
The spontaneity of oral language means that errors will be considered as normal within the learning process.
The fact that oral means are tran sitory makes the listener pay special attention to the understanding of the message.
Oral language is usually acquired before writing
Oral understanding (listening comprehension)
In order to have effective communication the learner should have a solid receptive base. The listening material should be varied and broadly comprehensible
The input hypothesis claims that the student should understand the linguistic input contained in a structure of the following stage.
The auditory material should be varied, comprehensible, graduated in difficulty and within a context
Stories, instructions, recipes, descriptions, conversations, discussions, songs, poems, rhymes, videotapes and films adapted
Listening strategies (micro skills)
Extracting specific information
Understanding in detail
Identifying the main idea of what he/she is listening to
Predicting what they are going to listen to
The teaching of listening should be systematic
Activities should have a communicative purpose
The auditory material should be varied, graduated in difficulty and within a context
A listening lesson follows these stages:
while-listening stage: the student performs activities designed by the teacher to develop listening strategies.
Extensive listening are activities for global understanding.
Intensive listening also requires a specific search for sounds, words or facts
Post-listening stage: the student perform tasks connecting what he/she has listened to with his/her experience
Pre-listening stage: the teacher sets the topic and teach the pupils key words.
Typology of activities. It is essential that the student has a reason to listen. This reason can be: getting information, entertaining or socializing
Ear training to distinguish sounds, stress and intonation patterns
Connection type activities
Oral expression (speaking)
There are often periods of silence which cannot be interpreted as learning absence. The ability to speak with fluency arises after the acquirer has built up linguistic competence
Errors will also be normal
The main aim of oral production is to speak fluently
Varied and focus on the learner´s interests.
Vocabulary related to numbers, colours, greetings and social conventions, routines, instructions, asking for permission and communicative strategies
Strategies (micro skills)
Expressing elementary grammatical structures, logically and clearly
Expressing the grammatical forms they have to say coherently, using hte language in an appropriate way with the people they are addressing, using extralinguistic strategies to help them transmit the message
The combination of fluency and appropriateness makes the language learner became competent in that language
Practice: the teacher organizes the students in pairs. The objective is the correct learning of the structure.
Free Production: the student has to put into practice what they have learned
Imitation: chorusing is very useful
Typology of activities
They should be interactive
They should be apprpriate to the student´s level
They should raise the necessity of communicating
: the language they perform is controlled: drills, guided dialogues, questions...
: information gap activities, role-play, problem solving and following instructions, describing personal experiences, communicative games, and reciting and singing
It differs from the oral medium in several ways
Writing is permanent, it has unique graphic features
Written English has an added problem: the discrepancy between the oral and written forms.
The introduction of written understanding and production to happen later than oral skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing
Written undersanding (reading comprehension)
It is a complex active process in which the meaning of graphs should be decoded.
Some of them are specific for primary education
Lists of names
Reading strategies (micro skills)
Understanding in detail
Inferring what is not explicit from the text
Locating specific information (scanning)
Predicting possible information
Obtaining the genearl idea of the text (skimming)
While-reading: the teacher gives the students points to search for extensive and intensive reading
Pre-reading stage: motivating the students by relating the topic to their personal experience
Typology of activities:
Looking for specific information (scanning)
Associating the visual form with the word
Reading comprehension questions
Spelling and word recognition activities
Recognizing key words
guetting the general idea
Guessing unknown words
Written expression (writing)
Writing is the most difficult of the four skills, because of the differecnes between the phonetic and the written levels. Writing has an advantage over speech: we have more time for its preparation
Learning how to write is important for three reasons:
In real life we need to write
It reinforces the learning of oral communication
It is important how to use both the oral and written forms
Writing for maintaining social relationships
Writing for enjoyment
Writing for oneself
Writing strategies (micro skills)
Writinr appropriately according to the context
Writing with coherence
Writing words and elementary writing forms correctly
Methodology: The student should be able to communicate ideas and feelings in writing
Typology of Activities
Matching words in order
It is the teaching of the language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in conjunction with each other. The teacher should design activities that combine several skills.
It is esential to use varied groupings such as pair work and group work
Type of activities
It is the final goal in the English teaching process. The term communicative competence is defined as what a speaker needs to knos in order to be communicatively competent in a speech community.
Pedagogical implications derived
Presenting items of language in a specific context is a fundamental premise
Communicative purpose is encouraged from the very beginning
The teacher shoild aim an effectiveness in the four skills in students communication
The teacher should let students know about traditions, social conventions and the ways of life of the people who speak the target language