Developing Language Skills

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SUBJECT ASSIGNMENT

DEVELOPING LANGUAGE SKILLS

Names and surnames: Brandt, Lorena G./ De La Serna, Dolores

Group: 26

Date: September 30th

INDEX

Introduction………………………………………………………….………………….. page 3 Productive skills: Speaking and Writing……………………….…………………….. page 3 Receptive skills: Reading and Listening…………………………….……………….. page 6 Extra skill: use of English……………………………………………...………………. page 8 Conclusion……………………………………………….……………………………….page 8 Bibliography……………………………………………………………………….……. page 9 INTRODUCTION

When we teach a second language, we have to take into consideration the four basic skills: reading, writing, listening and speaking. As regards speaking and writing, they are referred to as productive or active skills, because they require students to produce language. On the other hand, reading and listening are also known as receptive skills.

It is our belief that we should integrate both receptive and productive skills in our classes simultaneously. The integrated skill approach, as opposed to the segregated skill instruction, “exposes English language learners to authentic language and challenges them to interact naturally in the language” (http://www.monografias.com/trabajos17/integrated-skills) Furthermore, it emphasizes that the target language is not just an academic element to be learned by heart, but a means of communication which enables students to travel, interact and socialize. It brings people from different cultures together, thus shortening the language gaps that may exist among them.

All along this assignment, we will present the reader with different activities and suggestions to work with Bachillerato Made Easy 2 (student’s book) with reference to the fours skills above mentioned. We will divide our work into receptive and productive skills, and analyze whether the activities the book deals with in unit 7 are the ones suggested in the material provided by FUNIBER. Finally, we will conclude the paper by stating if those activities are integrated in a correct way.

PRODUCTIVE SKILLS: SPEAKING AND WRITING

a) SPEAKING
After reading the speaking section, these are the activities that the unit includes: • Talking about hurtful situations.
• Brainstorming ideas and expressing personal opinion about a certain topic (in this case, what being a good friend is) • Analyzing situations and discussing reactions (group or pair work) • Predicting from a picture

According to FUNIBER’s material, they can be described as simulations, problem solving, questions/answers and discussions.

Implications for the classroom
In the speaking section from unit 7, students have to analyze three different situations connected to hurtful behaviors referring to friendship. They have to use proper conversation gambits, which are included in written (authenticity of materials). These ‘fillers’ “not only punctuate and demarcate conversational exchanges but also allow us precious time to process information which is being received in ‘real time’” (FUNIBER). Therefore, students will use the L2 more naturally. Despite this, the use of ‘fillers’ is quite difficult to incorporate, and a non-native speaker will often feel reluctant to use them in classroom conversation.

When analyzing the questions given in the self assessment task, the unit includes activities where the communicative role of the learner has to take over responsibility for the interaction, but at the same time the teacher exercises control over the class, as well.

Grouping
The activities included in the unit are based on group work. According to Long and Porter (cf. Ellis, Ibid.) “It increases language practice opportunities, it improves quality of student talk, it helps to individualize instruction, it promotes a positive affective climate, and it motivates students to learn”. Moreover, Ellis (1994:598) states that by working in groups “more opportunities for...
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