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  • 1. Unit 3 Development of language skills: Oral comprehension and expression. Written comprehension and expression. Communicative competence in English. by David Pérez Salgado
  • 2. Introduction
    • Write about:
      • What is Language?
      • Types of “Language”: Oral and written
      • Skills needed to “master” a language.
      • Brief outlines/summary of the upcoming parts of the essay that arise from the title.
  • 3. What is language?
    • Language is one of the most direct means of communication. It is a particular kind of system for encoding and decoding information that helps human being to communicate.
    • Knowing a language implies the use of four skills:
    • LISTENING + SPEAKING + READING + WRITING
  • 4. Skills needed to master a language The four skills can be classified as follows: Jeremy Harmer Council of Europe 1970 Threshold Levels Writting Speaking PRODUCTIVE Reading comprehension Listening comprehension RECEPTIVE WRITTEN ORAL SKILL MEDIUM
  • 5. 1. Oral skills
    • = Topic 7
    • Oral language is usually acquired before writing , it is the most direct means of communication.
    • LISTENING > SPEAKING > READING > WRITING
    • Use of extra linguistic features to help the understanding. (Gestures and body language)
    • Errors will be considered as normal due to the spontaneity of oral language.
    • Simpler grammatical structures are used.
    • Information accompanied by repetitions, pauses …
    • Transitory fact : listener will have to pay special attention to understand the message.
  • 6. 1.1 Listening
    • Traditionally, listening was of more importance than understanding the language.
    • Material Conversations, announcements stories, telephone conversations, songs, radio, TV, all of them based on how native people communicate, and should be varied.
    • Strategies (micro-skills) Listening is an ACTIVE PROCESS so we should train our students in order to:
      • Identify the main idea
      • Extract specific information
      • Understanding in detail
      • Predicting what is going to be said
    • Methodology
      • Pre-listening : help us to set the topic and find our students’ interests
      • While-listening : Extensive and intensive listening
      • Post-listening : Tasks that connects what had been listened to the experience of our children. Usually these activities involves more than one skill. (Integrated Skills)
    • Activities The student must have a reason for listening (get information, entertainment, socializing) Donn Byrne classified activities in key areas:
      • GAMES (bingos, “Simon says”)
      • FINDING DIFFERENCES
      • INSTRUCTIONS such as Picture dictations
      • PROBLEM-SOLVING
      • COMPLETION-TYPE ACTIVITIES
      • EXTRACTING INFORMATION
      • IDENTIFYING MISTAKES
      • DICTATIONS (for spelling and to discriminate phonemes)
  • 7. 1.2 Speaking
    • The main aim is to speak fluently from imitation stage to free production. Periods of silence are normal. According to Krashen, the ability to speak fluently is not synchronized with time, it emerges once the input is understood.
    • At Basic levels : pronunciation, structures and vocabulary must be learnt in a correct way.
    • At Advanced levels : fluency is what matters because the students have grammatical competence
    • Material Should be varied and focused on the students interests. Children need to see immediate results, so we should give successful activities with basic vocabulary: (numbers, colours, greetings, instructions, asking for permission, communicative strategies) If they listen to this language over and over, they will introduce it as part of their active vocabulary.
    • Strategies (micro-skills)
      • Expressing elemental grammatical structures.
      • Use extra linguistic strategies to help to transmit the message.
      • Using the language in a appropriate way
    • Methodology
      • Imitation: repeat individually or in groups. Chorusing.
      • Practice: Activities controlled by teacher. The objective is the correct learning of the structure.
      • Free Production: Put into practice what had been learned without the teacher’s control. Errors will be commented at the end of the activity.
    • Activities Should enable students to develop fluency, interact with others through language, and should be appropriate to the student’s level.
      • Pre-communicative They follow a model: Drills, Guided Dialogs, Questions
      • Communicative They take place in the productions stage: Inform.gap act., Role-play, problem solving, Following instructions, Describing personal experiences, Communicative games, Reciting and singing…
  • 8. 2. Written skills
    • = Topic 8
    • Writing is permanent , has unique graphic features , has more correct grammatical structures , is better organized because it has more time to be prepared , it should have clear ideas due the lack of interaction between addresser and addressee. At beginning levels teacher should follow this sequence when teaching:
    • LISTENING > SPEAKING > READING > WRITING
    • REMEMBER :
      • PRECISION: Time for preparation, organization and structured expressions.
      • CLARITY: Ambiguity must be avoid due to absence of immediate answer.
      • UNIQUE GRAPHIC FEATURES: Difficult skill: punctuation, spelling, cohesion…
      • FORMAL: More complex and correct.
      • PERMANENT
  • 9. 2.1 Reading
    • Reading is a receptive skill with similar features to listening. In order to read students have to decode graphs that are written. (Blending and segmenting)
    • Material Letters, maps, stories. Summing up material adapted to students’ level.
      • Authentic vs. Adapted
    • Strategies (micro-skills)
      • Skimming (general idea)
      • Scanning (specific information)
      • Understanding in detail
      • Inferring what is not explicit
      • Predicting information
    • Methodology
      • Pre-reading : motivate students to a topic of personal interest.
      • While-reading : intensive and extensive reading
      • Post-reading : reading comprehension questionnaires and summaries.
    • Activities
      • Spelling and word recognition.
      • Reading comprehension questions
      • Associate the visual form to the word
      • Guessing unknown words
      • Associate meanings
      • Getting the gist of the text
      • Scanning
      • Suggesting a title
  • 10. 2.2 Writing
    • It is considered as the most difficult of the four skills due to the difference between phonetic and written levels. In Real Life we need to write, and writing reinforces the learning of oral communication and helps to retain words or sentences.
    • Material
      • Writing for oneself (Shopping lists, notes, addresses, diaries, recipes,…)
      • To maintain social relationships (greetings, letters,…)
      • For entertainment (Songs, jokes, games,…)
    • Strategies (micro-skills)
      • Writing words and elementary linguistic forms correctly, appropriately and with coherence.
    • Methodology Writing is a dynamic process that should be taught and learned step by step. The topic should be focused on the students’ interests. The student should be involved on the correction of the work. We should integrate all the other skills in the process of writing.
      • Copying : reinforce spelling and sentence structure
      • Controlled Practice : guided activities + connectors of sentences
      • Free Production : in primary education should still be guided giving aids to choose the correct vocabulary and structures to use.
    • Activities
      • Spelling, Reading comprehension, Matching, Consolidating grammar. Words in order, Communicative activities, Parallel writing form a model text, Summarizing, Completing, Translating, Substitution drills, Guided composition, Dictations, Free Composition (letters, stories)
  • 11. 3. Integrated Skills
    • According to the Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics is: “the teaching of the language skills in conjunction with each other, as when a lesson involves activities that relate listening and speaking to reading and writing”
    • INTEGRATED SKILLS ACTIVITIES will help both, students and teachers to practice in depth the four skills, but the teacher is always the one that emphasizes the work on a concrete skill.
      • Project works : with topics about the students’ interests (food, animals, descriptions, etc)
      • Role-plays : Use of the language in an imaginary situation.
      • Dictations : Involve listening and writing.
  • 12. 4. Communicative Competence
    • This concept arose in the 80s facing the different points of view of Chomsky and Hymes on the term “competence”.
    • Chomsky referred to competence as “ the ability to perform and understand grammatically correct sentences”.
    • Hymes goes beyond stating that it is “ What a speaker needs to know in order to be communicatively competent in a speech community” .
    • Canale & Swain (1980) expanded Hyme’s and Chomsky’s definition by formulating four SUBCOMPETENCES needed to fulfil this concept:
    • Grammatical Competence
    • Discoursive Competence
    • Sociolinguistic Competence
    • Strategic Competence
    • + Sociocultural Competence
  • 13. 4. Communicative Competence
    • Communicative competence is made up of four subcompetence areas: linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic.
    • Linguistic competence is knowing how to use the grammar, syntax, and vocabulary of a language. Linguistic competence asks: What words do I use? How do I put them into phrases and sentences?
    • Sociolinguistic competence is knowing how to use and respond to language appropriately, given the setting, the topic, and the relationships among the people communicating. Sociolinguistic competence asks: Which words and phrases fit this setting and this topic? How can I express a specific attitude (courtesy, authority, friendliness, respect) when I need to? How do I know what attitude another person is expressing?
    • Discourse competence is knowing how to interpret the larger context and how to construct longer stretches of language so that the parts make up a coherent whole. Discourse competence asks: How are words, phrases and sentences put together to create conversations, speeches, email messages, newspaper articles?
    • Strategic competence is knowing how to recognize and repair communication breakdowns, how to work around gaps in one’s knowledge of the language, and how to learn more about the language and in the context. Strategic competence asks: How do I know when I’ve misunderstood or when someone has misunderstood me? What do I say then? How can I express my ideas if I don’t know the name of something or the right verb form to use?