Teach English in Miancheng Huizu Zhen - Xiantao, Tianmen, Qianjiang & S

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Teaching receptive skills (reading and listening) What opportunities do learners have to practice these core skills in lesson? This question is often expressed by teachers when teaching a new language whereas learners do not need to produce language but receive it. There are different types of text which may be used for this purpose such as authentic texts which are written for any purpose other than language learning and are intact instead of being processed, adapted or simplified. However, not only is the text itself authentic, but also its context and related tasks as well. It may be a recount, narrative, procedure, information report, explanation, discussion, exposition, description or response. As regards the activities students can do with texts, there are various such as: - compose their own questions - order a sequence of pictures - compare text and pictures - match pictures and texts - provide titles - complete documents - complete drawings/diagrams/graphs - decide on the order/organization of a text e.g. jigsaw reading - unscramble the chronological sequence of actions/events - compare several texts - use grids/tables to organize information - summarize - find mistakes - complete gaps - answer true/false questions - respond in writing As regards the reading skills and strategies, students may use the following: - Previewing - Predicting - Skimming for the general idea - Scanning for specific pieces of information - Guessing word meaning by using context clues, word formation clues or cognates - Paying attention to the grammatical function of unknown words - Identifying topic sentences that contain the main idea of the paragraph - Paraphrasing for the purpose of summarizing - Distinguishing between general and specific ideas - Recognizing connecting ideas via connectors - Distinguishing between fact and opinion - Recognizing lexical clues e.g. reference words - Making conclusions and drawing inferences As to the approaches to teaching reading, it should begin with general compression and move towards a greater concern with details. Begin with a focus on meaning before paying attention to the language used in the text. 1. Teacher teaches a few key words. 2. Students discuss topics related to the content of the text. 3. Students predict the content of the text from the title/picture/first line. 4. Students scan the text to pick out proper names. 5. Students read very quickly in order to work out the answers to one or two general questions. 6. Students complete a detailed true/false exercise. 7. Students locate topic sentences in some of the paragraphs. 8. Students work out the meaning of selected words and expressions from the context. 9. The teacher draws attention to some of the grammar in the text. 10. Students ask the teacher questions about unfamiliar vocabulary. Listening What do students find difficult about listening? The difficulties may be: - People speak too fast to follow - They can’t tell where words start and stop - People pronounce words they just don’t recognize - They can’t work out details of what is being said - They can’t get a general sense of the message - They don’t understand what attitudes people are expressing - They can’t pick out those parts that are most important for them to understand. The strategies and ideas may be: - Choose and appropriate task - Use a printed text with listening tasks - Keep recording short - Repeat recordings - Let students discuss their answers together - Repeat little bits of the recording e.g. phrase until it is understood - Pause the recording at relevant points - Live listening/guest stars/home recordings/jigsaw listening - Ask students for feedback Here is a sequence of a listening lesson: 1) Introduce the topic by providing contextual information 2) Pre-teach some vocabulary 3) Give a ‘while-listening’ task (like ordering, true & false questions, ticking items, following map or matching pictures) 4) Play a part of listening text 5) Play the listening text through once 6) Students check together 7) Repeat the listening text requiring more intensive listening (like listening for detail or interring actions or intentions) 8) Repeat if necessary, perhaps broken into sections (play, pause, play, pause). 9) Students check together 10) Replay any tricky sections 11) Ask students to discuss their responses to the listening text 12) Look at the vocabulary and other language features of the text. As a conclusion, reading and listening represents 50% of the four core skills needed for a successful teaching activity.