Teach English in Yabulai Zhen - Alashan Meng — Alxa

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A skill is an ability to perform an activity or demonstrate an action to great effect. It is accepted that there two categories of language skills. The first is productive skills which are any communication (speaking and writing) that produces language. The second are any communication (reading and listening) that receives language and is referred to as receptive skills. This paper will focus on the receptive skills and some approaches to teaching it. As social beings, we have the need and or desire to communicate with each other. In the classroom, the teacher must first create a desire or interest in learning to read or listen. While there are different approaches, I would like to propose an Engage Study Activate(ESA) model. The lesson starts with a warm up using pictures that generate conversation. Speaking to the whole group, the teacher then activates their schemata (background knowledge on a subject matter) to help orient the students to the text. At the next step, some key vocabulary is highlighted and defined. Following this step, the teacher should set a gist task before introducing the text. This is useful so as to not only entice the students to want to listen or read but also to measure their general comprehension . Next, the text is introduced. It ought to be both interesting to and appropriate for the learners. Upon completion, they will discuss their answers in pairs before presenting to the teacher . The teacher confirms the correct answer and encourages the students to review the text again but this time for specific information. The students again work with their peers to compare answers to the given specific questions. The peer learning helps them to exchange ideas, build their confidence and ensures the teacher is not the purveyor of all knowledge in the class (Fadden, 2013). Corrections and connections are made as a whole group in the next phase to ensure the students understood the text. Conversely, students can be asked their opinions of the text . The teacher can next work on any new grammar or parts of speech or activities that allow the students to use the language in a dynamic way. The lesson plan may appear clear cut in theory but the practical may be anything but simple. This is because the goal is not to test comprehension. The goal is to train learners how to extract meaning from what they have read or heard. This requires teaching tools and strategies for processing information. There are many strategies but in this paper I will mention those that fall under the broad categories of either top down or bottom up cognitive processing. The former involves activities that make use of what the students already know to give them a gist understanding of the text. The latter is concerned with activities geared toward getting details or specifics about the text. The combination of both can assist and improve understanding because the learner is able to apply some prior knowledge, find contextual clues and link the words in the text to themselves or their environment. While reading and listening are both receptive skills that can have similar lesson plans, it is important to know that there are many differences. Firstly, written text is much more standardarised. Secondly, reading is visual and listening is sonic. Thirdly, listening is acquired naturally in one's first language whereas reading is a learnt skill. Fourthly, the word boundaries are obvious in written text but not so in spoken text. Words can be blurred into each other and thus sound differently. Lastly, the spoken word is transient and is lost quickly in real time but the written word is permanent. These differences therefore pose a challenge to English as a Foreign Language learners . The teacher's job in teaching listening skills is to recognize the challenges that learners will potentially encounter. A common challenge is decoding connected words. There are many common words with weak forms .This means the different words have the same sound. For instance, the student may be listening for words like of, have, her, are, a but instead they hear the sound 'uh.' This is of course confusing. Research from (Field, 2009) examines other ways to teach listening apart from conventional comprehension testing. He suggested regularly dictating short sentences to get learners familiar with connected speech, word boundaries, weak forms and even different accents. Another suggestion is to ask students how many words they can count in a recorded or dictated sentence. In conclusion, it is critical to focus on reading and listening in the TEFL class. It's a necessary to practice the skills in order for students to improve understanding of the language. It is also a useful tool to introduce new vocabulary and grammar points. For these reasons receptive skills are in my opinion a cornerstone of language acquisition. Teaching them effectively involves transitioning students from a general perception of the text to a more detailed understanding. References: Fadden,F. (2013). [ Fergus Fadden]. (2013, February, 20) CELTA Essentials :Receptive Skills: Episode #2 [video file] Retrieved from: Field ,J. (2009). Listening in the Language Classroom. (1st ed.) Cambridge, United Kingdom. Cambridge University Press Gakonga,J. [elttraining]. (2015, September, 14). Teaching Receptive Skills: Episode# 1 [video file] Retrieved from: Gakonga,J. [elttraining]. (2015, September, 14). Teaching Receptive Skills: Episode# 5 [video file] Retrieved from: Gakonga,J. [elttraining]. (2015, November, 24). Teaching Listening 1- Top-down Processing: Episode# 1 [video file] Retrieve from: Gakonga,J. [elttraining]. (2015, November, 24). Teaching Listening 2- Bottom-up Processing: Episode# 2 [video file] Retrieved from: International TEFL and TESOL Training. 2011. Teaching Receptive Skills. Unit 11. Rhalmi,M. (2019). Teaching receptive skills to ESL and EFL learners. Retrieved from :