CHAPTER 2: BEGINNING TO LISTEN AND SPEAK IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE - Coggle…
BEGINNING TO LISTEN AND SPEAK
IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE
What should they learn
The content of an English course for beginners will vary greatly according to the age of the learners, their purpose for learning, their educational background and previous experience with English.
1.- Using a new alphabet.
• Recognize and write the letters of the alphabet (including upper and lower case letters).
• Develop phonological awareness, that letters in words stand for specific sounds.
2.- Phrases for talking about Yourself.
3.- Phrases and vocabulary for everyday life.
4.- Sight vocabulary.
• Reading Street signs, tickets, tables, etc.
5.- Classroom expressions.
6.- High frequency words
• Where possible the course should try to address the learners’ language needs and should do this so that the learners can see that this is being done.
How should the teaching and learning be done?
Five principles for teaching beginners.
a) Meaning: Focus on meaningful and relevant language.
b) Interest: Maintain interest through a variety of activities.
c) New language: Avoid overloading learners with too much new language
d) Understanding: Provide plenty of comprehensible input.
e) Stress-free: Create a friendly, safe, cooperative classroom environment.
Principle 1. Focus on meaningful and relevant content.
Finding out learners’ opinions and ideas.
Recalling previous lessons.
Principle 2. Maintain interest through a variety of activities.
To maintain learners’ interest, activities need to be short and varied, and to involve the learners in responding to or using the language.
Principle 3. Avoid overloading learners with too much new language.
Lessons should focus on learning set phrases and words. These could include picture games, information transfer activities, action games, the words can then be used in simple sentence patterns and dialogues.
Principle 4. Provide plenty of comprehensible input.
To ensure that input can be understood requires the use of visual aids and contextual support for new language including pictures, gestures, mime, objects and experiences out of class. One way to do this is to always use one form for one meaning.
Principle 5. Create a friendly, safe, cooperative classroom environment.
Some of the factors that contribute a positive beginners’ classroom are variety, movement, physical comfort, frequent interaction, successful language experiences and opportunities for learners to experiment and make mistakes without penalties.
Activities and approaches for teaching and learning in a beginners’ course
Memorising useful phrases and sentences.
There are several advantages in doing this.
First, simple communication can occur at an early stage.
Second, memorising phrases and sentences allows learners to make accurate use of the language without having to know the grammar.
Third, allows learners to take control of a conversation and use it for language learning purposes.
Fourth, the words and patterns that make up such phrases can make the learning of later phrases and perhaps the learning of later patterns easier.
Practising sentence patterns.
The next step from memorising phrases and sentences is to learn some productive sentence patterns, that is, sentences where regular substitutions can be made to produce another sentences.
When the pattern is first introduced, it is best to have substitution only in one part. The first step is to memorize one sentence, then, the teacher gets the learners to take turns around the class making a systematic substitution in one part.
This helps set up known, predictable routines which make classroom management easier and allow the focus to be on the communication rather than on managing the activity.
Guiding listening and speaking.
The teacher writes some sentences on the blackboard. The sentences describe something or someone. Teacher shows the learners how to change the sentences to talk about different things.
Then the teacher gives the learners the name of something, for example, a pen, and they must describe it using the plan. Each learner can be given a different item written on a card to describe
One learner describes something while the others try to guess what it is; the exercise can be made more controlled by asking to learners to follow the sentence patterns of the plan very carefully.
It is only a small step from grids to surveys. Each learner has a grid or a list of questions which are then used to gather information from other learners in the class. This can be done with each learner moving around the class.
The activities using grids and surveys described above can easily become like small interviews. The interviewer needs some guidance on what information to look for and what kinds of question to ask
The teacher prepares general knowledge questions, incomplete statements, or true/false statements that the learners will hear and try to answer. There may be two competing teams with an audience who also write their own answers to the questions.
Listen and do.
In these activities the teacher gives commands or makes statements and the learners do what the teacher says.
Some of the learners see a photograph or picture and have to tell other learners how to position themselves to appear like the people in the picture.
Is a very adaptable activity that provide learners with lot of listening and vocabulary practice.
Listening to pictures.
The learners have a big picture in front of them in which several things are happening. The teacher starts describing the picture, and the learners follow the description while looking at the picture.
Consist of small pictures and phrases showing the process of cooking a certain food, or making something such as a clay pot. Most of the sentences needed in the description would be in the passive.
Techniques for early meaning-focused speaking
Descriptions: involve the learners making statements based on pictures. The statements may be descriptions, comparisons, predictions, pointing out the differences between two pictures, explanations of what happened before the event shown in the picture, and so on.
Stage one, two and three questions. -
o Stage one questions, ask for an answer that can be pointed to either in a picture or reading passage.
o Stage two questions, make the learners think.
o Stage three questions ask learners to use their imagination.
Learners can move through these stages of questions while asking each other questions about an event, a picture or a story.
Is a well-known activity. The teacher or a learner thinks of an object and writes its name on a piece of paper. The learners ask yes/no questions, in this game pronominal questions can be used.
Walk and talk
The learners form two circles with a person in the inner circle being paired with a person in the outer circle. Later in the whole class a few learners tell what one of their partners told them.
A note of pronunciation.
Pronunciation difficulties for most learners are the result of differences between the sound system of their first language and the sound system of the second language.
This practice can involve listening of the sounds, distinguish the sounds, copying the teacher making the sound in easy syllables (consonant plus vowel). Its greatest value is in making the learners aware of the differences between the firs and the second languages
Planning a listening and speaking programme for beginners
Listen and enjoy
Can have its regular daily or weekly time when the learners listen to the continuation of an interesting story in much the same way as people follow a television serial.
Care should be taken to see that the listening covers a range of language uses including fiction and non-fiction, formal and informal monologue and dialogue, and interactional and transactional.
Meaning - focused input. - The learners engage in dialogue with the teacher, do activities like listen and do, grids, interview activities and listening to simple stories.
Meaning - focused output. - The learners engage in dialogue with the teacher, do activities like descriptions.
Meaning -focused learning. - The teacher helps the learners with pronunciation, memorising useful phrases and sentences and substitution tables.
Fluency development. - The learners listen to the story several times over several days with the deliveries getting faster. The learners do simple repeated role plays which use the sentences and phrases they memorised and the sentences which they have already practised in substitution tables.
Ivan Castillo Peña