Developing productive skills at different stages of learning

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  • 1 The Monolingual Challenge
    Learners who study English as a second language living and possibly working within the target language community will have a lot of opportunities to speak. For example, an immigrant to Australia will be surrounded by English, on television, in the street, at school. The same is true to a limited extent of learners who go on courses to study English in any English-speaking country. A student on a summer course abroad may be staying with a family and will be largely surrounded by an English-speaking world. Contact and exposure can help these students overcome affective difficulties and their daily contact with the language helps them to see progress in real, tangible terms. If you study two or three hours of English a week at school in your own country, you are in a very different context. When you leave class you will probably never hear a word of English until the next time you come to class. This means that students need even more help to deal with the problems involved in communication mentioned. It is probably not enough to give students lots of oral practice, because they will not have the chance to extend it outside the class. What is needed is perhaps to go beyond the traditional communicative approach, not only to give students plenty of opportunities to communicate but also to focus consciously on communication and to try to help students
    deal with it.
    Getting students to speak in a secondary school context is therefore a challenge. Not only do most teenage students lack confidence but the number of hours of English a week, the numbers of students in classes and problems of class control all mean that speaking is the most difficult skill to ‘teach’. Therefore we need to do everything we can to motivate and help students to speak in English.
  • Developing productive skills at different stages of learning

    1. 1. Developing productive skills in the English language classroom
    2. 2. Seminar plan: • • • • Productive language skills; Challenges in writing and speaking Support our students need; How to solve problems in developing productive skills; • Types of activities; • Teachers’ and students’ attitude to mistakes in speaking and writing.
    3. 3. Language Skills • Receptive skills – where meaning is extracted from discourse (Reading and Listening) • Productive skills – where students have to produce language themselves (Speaking and Writing)
    4. 4. Pompeii 79 AD
    5. 5. “Thinking is the activity I love best and writing to me is simply thinking through my fingers” – Isaac Asimov.
    6. 6. Ask your colleagues: • Get at least three different examples of the things that they have written in the last two weeks, • Most of the people actually do very little writing in day-to-day life; • sms, emails, brief notes to family / friends or colleagues, • lesson plans, answers on question forms, etc. • Why people write all these things, what is the reason for writing?
    7. 7. Writing is… …a meaningful activity where the primary purpose is communication with the reader.
    8. 8. Why use writing in class? • • • • • • Give as many reasons for teaching writing in class as you can think of. Reinforcement; Language development; Learning style; Writing as a skill; Specific needs (e.g. exam preparation); (?) A break for a teacher.
    9. 9. Teaching writing Writing practice The technical skills of writing: • • • • • Spelling; Punctuation; Sentence formation; Paragraphs and texts; Different types of writing (formal and informal letters; reports); • etc. Written production The content and communication skills of writing: • Selection and organisation of ideas in the text; • Clarity of presentation; • Reader consideration; • Reference to other texts; • etc.
    10. 10. Why writing is difficult? • • • Psychological problems: We are required to write on our own, without the possibility of interaction or the benefit of immediate feedback Linguistic problems: The language used in written language is different in most ways from the language used in speech Cognitive problems: Students have to organise thoughts on paper, for reasons that may not immediately be apparent (tasks imposed by the teacher, for homework, for exam, but most probably not for any personal reason).
    11. 11. Group work • Three groups (primary, secondary and teens-young adults) • In each group think of two - three main challenges which students of this age group face in writing; • in a quick discussion share your ideas of how you can support your students. • Be ready to present your ideas in 2 minutes.
    12. 12. Primary school students
    13. 13. Writing is boring • Spelling game • Guess a word and write • Writing (labeling) game
    14. 14. Add meaning and give examples
    15. 15. Add meaning, give examples and personalise
    16. 16. Grammar and writing
    17. 17. Speaking
    18. 18. Talk to your partner... …and describe what is in the room using lots of prepositions of place …and describe one of your friends. Make sure you use at least five adjectives of personality …about something interesting or amusing that has happened to you in your work as a teacher
    19. 19. The nature of communication. When two people are engaged in talking to each other we can be sure that they are doing so for good reasons. What are they? • They want to say something. • They want to listen to something. • They have some communicative purpose. They process a variety of language appropriate for the purpose of the conversation
    20. 20. What do we Need to Communicate Effectively? Linguistic competence Grammar, lexis, phonology Communicative Competence Interactional Skills Interest in / knowledge of topic A Goal / Reason for speaking Preparation time
    21. 21. What types of speaking do your students practice in class?
    22. 22. Spoken Practice The Speaking Skill Controlled Practice of Specific Grammar / Structures / Lexis ‘Everyday Life’ Communication
    23. 23. Talk to your partner... …and describe what is in the room using lots of prepositions of place …and describe one of your friends. Make sure you use at least five adjectives of personality …about something interesting or amusing that has happened to you in your work as a teacher
    24. 24. What students are afraid of? • making grammar mistakes (from over-correction?) • appearing foolish • sounding strange or foreign • not having enough vocabulary •not knowing what to say
    25. 25. As a result, • they speak hesitantly • there are long pauses • they struggle for vocabulary • often give up
    26. 26. The monolingual challenge • Not enough exposure • Not enough practice; • Not confident enough to say something in front of other students in class;
    27. 27. What if my students don’t speak in English? 3 Steps to Communicative Success in English 1. Speak in any language 2. Task in any language, result in English 3. Everything in English
    28. 28. Problem can be solved by: • Motivation through topic; • Motivation through activity; • Motivation through the right level of challenge; • Classroom interaction / Pair and Group work activities; • Real communicative tasks
    29. 29. Success factors exposure speaking practice atmosphere confidence motivation
    30. 30. Learning to speak • PPP model is useful for lower levels 1.presentation stage – listening/teacher modelling 2.practice stage - accuracy work – a controlled framework - importance of repetition + onthe-spot error correction 3.Personalisation / Production – students’ performance. e.g. Stoytelling
    31. 31. Story telling in the primary classroom • Give examples of that work in your classroom.
    32. 32. Pre-teach: • • • • • • • • • Grass – long wavy grass A river – a deep cold river Mud – thick oozy mud A forest – a big dark forest A snowstorm – a swirling whirling snowstorm A cave – a narrow gloomy cave One shiny wet nose Two big furry ears Two big goggly eyes
    33. 33. • • • • Pre-teach: Over Under Through Back through
    34. 34. Grass long wavy grass Swishy! Swashy!
    35. 35. A river A deep cold river Splash! Splosh!
    36. 36. Mud. Thick oozy mud Squelch! Squerch!
    37. 37. A forest, a big dark forest Stumble! Trip!
    38. 38. A snowstorm. A swirling whirling snowstorm Hooo! Wooo!
    39. 39. A cave. A narrow gloomy cave Tip Toe! Tip Toe!
    40. 40. What’s that? • • • • One shiny wet nose Two big furry ears Two big goggly eyes It’s a bear!!!
    41. 41. Back through the cave Tip Toe! Tip Toe!
    42. 42. Back through the snowstorm Hooo! Wooo! Hooo! Wooo!
    43. 43. Back through the forest Stumble! Trip! Stumble! Trip!
    44. 44. Back through the river Splash! Splosh! Splash! Splosh!
    45. 45. Back through the mud Squelch! Squerch! Squelch! Squerch!
    46. 46. Back through the grass Swishy! Swashy! Swishy! Swashy!
    47. 47. Get to our front door Open the door
    48. 48. Up the stairs Top! Top! Top! Top!
    49. 49. Oh, we forgot to shut the door! Top! Top! Top! Top!
    50. 50. Down the stairs
    51. 51. Shut the door! BOOOM!
    52. 52. Up the stairs Top! Top! Top! Top!
    53. 53. Into the bedroom Into the bed
    54. 54. Under the covers I’m not going to a bear hunt again
    55. 55. Storytelling
    56. 56. Interactive activities: • Questionnaires • Picture / map discriptions
    57. 57. All we need to make students speak in the classroom: • Interesting and relevant subject; • Students’ background knowledge about the topic; • Motivation, students’ feeling that they really want to say something about it; • Strategies and tips as a tool and support.
    58. 58. Round up • the tasks need to be challenging and motivating so that the learners want to communicate their thoughts • important to have a balance between accuracy and fluency • Correction • the aim is to develop the learners’ confidence • To develop their speaking skills and their confidence, students must be given as much opportunity to speak as possible.
    59. 59. Thank you!

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