Reasons and strategies to teach the four skills.

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Reasons and strategies to teach the four skills.

  1. 1. Reasons and Strategies to teach and develop listening, reading, speakingand writingBy Rosa González ConchaListeningIt is well-known to language learners, listening is far more challenging, they need to knowhow to listen and what it is more important what they are listening for. Listening is areceptive skill; however, it is very active because as people listen they have to process a lotof information in order to get meaning.Reasons to teach and develop Listening: Listening is one of the most complex skills for ESL students and it is crucial thatstudents learn “how to listen” and “what they are listening for.” Listening happens in real time, so people listen and have to comprehend what theyhear immediately. Listening requires a person to receive and understanding incoming information(input) Listening is the basis to develop speaking; it requires productive, spoken responses. Listening is considered way better in comparison to reading because students mustpay attention and follow what a person, recording or whatever is saying.Strategies to teach and develop Listening: Teach a variety of tasks, so students can experience different types of listening suchas predicting, guessing information, missing information or just listening tounderstand a conversation. Expose students to different ways of processing information: Bottom-up and top-down. Consider text, difficulty and authenticity will helps students understanding oflistening to a conversation with natural sounding language. Check on how well students have understood by asking open and close questions. Student’s background knowledge along with pre-listening activities will helpstudents to know what they will hear in order to comprehend the general meaning.ReadingIt is a fluent process of readers combining information from a text and their ownbackground knowledge to build meaning.
  2. 2. Reasons to teach and develop Reading: Students’ background knowledge integrates with the text to create the meaning. Reading not only helps to comprehend a text but also to acquire a wide range ofnew vocabulary. Reading helps students to develop a critical and analytical thinking about differenttopics in order to get the meaning of a text. Reading is useful because it helps learners to transform strategies into skills thatprevailed in the future. Reading is an activity that develops fluent reading; it means to read at anappropriate rate with adequate comprehension.Strategies to teach and develop Reading: Activate prior knowledge means to engage readers in activities that makes themthinking about what they already know about the text. Increase reading rate by making students to read aloud several times a text, in orderto improve comprehension and rate. Keep a vocabulary notebook with difficult words or key concepts, so students canlearn a word every day. Skimming and scanning are good strategies that allow students to gist the generalidea of a text or to look for specifics details and information of a text. Evaluating progress by making students to write a journal in which they have toanswers a question about a text they have already read, it will help to developcomprehension skills.SpeakingFirst, unlike reading or writing, speaking happens in real time. You cannot edit and revisewhat you wish to say. Speaking is a productive skill which consists of producing systematicverbal utterances to convey meaning.Reasons to teach and develop Speaking: Speaking another language is harder than reading or writing because of thepronunciation of words and the language structure, among others. Speaking helps to communicate in an appropriate way in different context of reallife. Through speaking teachers can help students to feel more confident in differentsituations. By speaking, students are constantly practicing to express their ideas and thoughtsin a well organized way.
  3. 3.  Speaking is a good way of showing off what a student has learnt, in terms ofvocabulary and language structures.Strategies to teach and develop Speaking: Provide opportunities for students to talk by using group work, for instance todiscuss a controversial topic. Implement role-play activities for speaking in a safe environment in order topractice this productive skill. Oral reports can help students to speak about something they are comfortable withit. Teaching useful vocabulary for Interactional speech which is communicating withsomeone for social purposes, and Transactional speech that involves communicatingto get something done. Implement activities such as information gap is a useful activity in which oneperson has information that the other lacks.WritingWriting is a series of contrasts that involve a physical act of committing words or ideas tosome medium, and a mental work of inventing ideas, thinking about how to express them,among others.Reasons to teach and develop Writing: Writing helps to organize ideas in a well-structured way that will be clear to areader. Through writing students acquire different levels of complexity, depending on thepurpose of writing. By writing students learn to edit and correct their work when they have mistakes. Writing develops students’ creativity and capacity of writing original compositionsor essays. To teach the appropriate structure of reading will helps students to pass internationalexams.Strategies to teach and develop Writing: Make quick writings in order to improve students’ writing skill. Write about an interesting topic that students may like so they can feel motivatedabout it and write without complaining. Make sure that students know how their writings will be assessing this will helpstudents to do a better work.
  4. 4.  Give a clear feedback, so students can understand and correct their mistakes by theirown. Use a dictionary with the purpose of checking spelling mistakes.

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