The article I chose deals about the lack of practice in speaking skill in language teaching, and although it refers to Chinese schools, I found it relevant because the situations it refers to are very similar to the ones we face in most of the schools in our country. Since a very powerful motivation to learn a second language is to be able to converse with speakers of that language, speaking seems to be the most important skill to be developed.
Although, it is also a huge challenge if we take into count on the one hand, the different micro-skills that learners need to manage, which vary from pronunciation of unfamiliar words to the appropriate use of formal and informal expressions. Furthermore, the very limited chances that students have to speak English outside the classroom make things harder for them. INTEGRATING ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS. Having a more integrated approach ensuring enough practice in oral communication by including speaking into reading and writing lessons, would be an appropriate option, which would hopefully offer important benefits.
Student’s acquisition of English could be improved by taking advantage of some interesting topics for reading and writing, which would provide a chance to discuss and test their language. In order to reach this goal, teachers are expected to go beyond the traditional courses and integrate different skills during their lessons. READING TO SPEAK. The activities presented here can helps students notice the difference between what they want to say and what they can really say, and maybe make them focus their attention on meaning first and on form later, and can be used both for intensive ND extensive reading classes. Reading to act. This in an activity in which students act out a story they have Just read, being encouraged to make as many changes as they want to the plot and dialogues, and it is organized as follows: Divide the class into small groups and assign each one a director to organize rehearsals. Students scan the story focusing on how to express it through their acting. They have a first rehearsal relying only on their memories. They scan the story again, searching for some variations and take some notes that an be used for the second rehearsal.
A contest is held to determine who offered the best performance. An acting project helps to achieve four-skill integration and makes the reading task much more interesting. 2. – Reading to debate. Students are required to select an article containing a controversial issue which they can discuss about. The activity is organized as follows: Students are formed by pairs and agree on which position they will take. They scan the text without taking notes and debate about it, using quotes to support their arguments.
They scan the text again, searching for useful expressions and ideas to support their position. Note taking is allowed so later they can participate in the debate by small groups or as a whole class, being encouraged to personalize their comments. This activity can improve student’s understanding of the issue and helps them to defend their point of view about it. 3. – Reading to interview. This activity is a lot more flexible and can include texts of different genres and it is organized as follows: Students scan the text to get all the ideas they can.
They form pairs with the roles of interviewer and interviewee. The first one has to ask questions related which can be answered using facts from the reading. They check the text again looking for further questions which can be noted down this time. They switch roles or find new partners if they want to and perform the interview again. A competition is held to decide on the pair who best represented the text. This activity provides students with an opportunity to orally express what they got from a text.
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