Teach English in Kuidesu Zhen - Chaoyang Shi

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In the Unit 7 – ‘Teaching receptive skills’ I learned many important things about teaching/exercising both 'reading' and 'listening', which are the two receptive skills. I also learned that readers and listeners employ some specialist skills and their understanding of the context will depend on their expertise in these areas, such as ‘Predictive Skills’, ‘Specific information’ (also called ‘scanning’), ‘General idea’ (also called ‘skimming’), ‘Detailed information’ and ‘Deduction from context’. Another very important part of the unit was about the choice of a topic in a lesson of receptive skills. Choosing well the topic that will be discussed in the class is very important because it can help to motivate the students. If the topic is not interesting it is less likely that the students will engage in the activity. The teacher can generate interest knowing better the students and what really interests them. A variety of topics, over a period of time, is needed to ensure that all of the students are equally catered for in the end, as a single topic may interest some of the class but not others. One way to get students engaged is by discussing the topic, showing pictures, predicting what the text will be about and other ‘engage’ phase activities. I also learned that a good task of receptive skills shouldn’t be too easy or too difficult, it has to be a challenge that is realistically achievable. And the basic keys to successful receptive skill lessons are: - Choose material that interests/motivates students. - Build interest before reading/listening. - Pre-teach complex vocabulary or structures if necessary, but don’t over do it. - Vary the type of material. - Incorporate activate phases that naturally lead on from the text.