Fredy Alexander duque
Centro Colombo Americano Manizales
Aims of the Unit
To be aware of the reasons of integrating the four skills
To learn ways of integrating the four skills (HOW?)
To study the implications of integrating the four skills for
To be aware of the limitations of integrating the four
1. Why should we integrate the four skills?
2. How can we integrate the four skills?
3. What are the implications for teaching?
4. What are the limitations of integrating the
An integrating approach for the
development of communicative skills in
the classroom, in which the four skills in
the acquisition of knowledge of a foreign
language can be taught in a coherent way,
and practiced together.
The easiest form of integration is from
receptive to productive skills.
The second kind is complex integration.
Oral listening → speaking
Written reading → writing
Rote memorizations is promoted in the
integrated skills approach.
1. False. Communicating real information is
2. True. It is accompanied by sharing real
3. False. The focus is on a particular theme or
4. True. It stregthens receptive skills.
Why should we integrate the
Skills integration generally refers to linking two
or more of the traditional four skills of language
learning: reading, writing, listening, and
There are many situations in which we use more
than one language skill.
One image for teaching English is that of a
tapestry. The tapestry is woven from many
strands, such as the characteristics of the
teacher, the learner, the setting, and the
relevant languages. For the instructional loom to
produce a large, strong, beautiful, colorful
tapestry, all of these strands must be interwoven
in positive ways.
Why is important to integrate
In addition to the four strands -- teacher, learner,
setting, and relevant languages--other important
strands exist in the tapestry.
The most crucial of these strands consists of the
four primary skills of listening, reading, speaking,
and writing. This strand also includes related
skills such as knowledge of vocabulary, spelling,
pronunciation, syntax, meaning, and usage.
The skill strand of the tapestry leads to optimal
Conditions for language
to a rich but Use Motivation in language
comprehensible of the language to listen to and (i.e. chances
input of real to do things read the to focus on
spoken and language and form)
written language to speak and
in use write it
Jane Willis. 1996. A Framework for Task-Based Leaning. Oxford:
What are the implications
Integration of the four skills is concerned
with realistic communication. This means
we are teaching at the discourse level.
Discourse: a whole unit of communication
text, either spoken or written.
1. Focus on discourse
2. Adjusting/Adapting the textbook
3. Adjusting /Adapting the timetable
Focus on discourse
to be aware of the discourse features of the
text and be able to make Ss aware of them.
Discourse features include aspects such as:
1. the way that the text is organized
2. its layout
3. the style of the language
4. the register
Focus on discourse
The term classroom discourse refers to the
language that teachers and students use to
communicate with each other in the
classroom. Talking, or conversation, is the
medium through which most teaching takes
place, so the study of classroom discourse is
the study of the process of face-to-face
What are the limitations of
integrating the four skills?
It is necessary for teachers to maintain
an appropriate balance between
integration and separation.
Limitations of integrating
the four skills
Integrating the four language skills can be
demanding of the teacher. This can also be time-
consuming, requiring a lot of preparation.
Sometimes teachers are so busy that they
cannot spare much time for extra preparatory
Another limitation is the problem of designing
suitable materials that take account of students’
different skill levels
Writing THE DIAMOND SKILL
First Halo (center)
Students repeat structures, drill, learn by rote,
produce after a model.
WH questions Information
Second Halo (mid section)
Students interact using target structures,
identify the parts of language through class
dynamics, rely on partner rather than on
Third Halo (external)
Students produce of their own accord, mistakes
reveal experimentation with language,
interaction becomes spontaneous, student
questions seem to favor a hypothesis and
thus manifest theory on language.
YES/NO questions confirmation
A type of activity
A pre-reading discussion of the topic to
Listening to a lecture or a series of
informative statements about the topic or
passage to be read.
A focus on certain reading strategy (for
Writing a paraphrase of a section of the
Simple integration: A receptive language skill
serves as a model for a productive language
Complex integration: a combination of
activities involving different skills, linked
Limitations of integration should not prevent
teachers from using the integrative approach.
Using integrative approach can help a teacher
create a relaxed atmosphere in class that
students’ all-round abilities are well improved.
A combination of activities involving different
skills enhances the focus on realistic
communication, which makes the students be
more motivated and more involved and
engaged enthusiastically in classroom