Communication in Foreign Language Teaching:

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Whether you took an Italian cooking class, graduated from high school, participated in Bible study at church, or took a Spanish class at your local community college, you have been involved in some form of classroom communication. According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, communication is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.” In a classroom setting, we can see many forms of communication being used, whether it is between classmates or between the teacher and students. In order for a foreign language teacher to be successful in his or her profession, it is essential to use comprehensible, succinct, and informative oral communication. This use of oral communication is vital for the accomplishment of a foreign language teacher’s goal: for their students to be successful in learning to speak, read, and write in a foreign language.

According to the online Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, teachers play a significant role in developing the academic and social advancement of their students, and “act as facilitators [when] using classroom presentations or individual instruction to help students learn and apply concepts” in many subjects, such as foreign language. Foreign language teachers use a wide variety of methods to encourage students to improve their listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills of that particular foreign language (Omaggio & Shinall, 1987). These methods can include: use of audio-visual aids, use of course and work books, prominence on dialogue and role-playing, and the use of language games and literature. Teachers can also have a variety of duties that are outside of conducting classroom activities. Because the average student does not begin taking foreign language classes until middle school or even high school, foreign language teachers are more prominent in these schools. In high school, most teachers focus on one subject,...
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