CELTA - Language Task

Topics: Teaching English as a foreign language, Language education, Reading Pages: 8 (1350 words) Published: April 21, 2015
CELTA Skills Assignment – Reading

I decided to use an article from The Guardian titled ‘Flappy Bird, the labradoodle and other inventions their creators regret’ targeted at intermediate students as it is an authentic text, with lexis and reading skill appropriate for intermediate learners. The length of the article is suitable for the student level, and the studied reading sub skills. Moreover, the students will be able to use new vocabulary items in the post reading free discussion. There are no words which are crucial to the understanding of the article, however there are some which the students will have to deduct meaning from co-text. I have chosen an authentic article, for it “gives students taste of ‘real’ language in use, and provides them with valid linguistic data for their unconscious acquisition” (Swan 1985, p.85). Furthermore, an authentic text provides learners with opportunities to “experience language as it is used beyond the classroom” (Nunan 1999, p.80) as opposed to scripted texts. Thus, an authentic text proves to be more essential to ELT for it should engage and challenge students at this level. I believe there are no words that are crucial to an overall understanding of the article. I agree with Harmer (2001, p.272) with reference to pre-teaching: “by giving them some or all those words, we deny them a chance to practise tackling authentic texts”. Nonetheless, I would elicit some lexis to make sure the students have understood the text and managed to guess the meaning from the context. This however would be done at a later stage of the lesson. Lead in/prediction:

At the beginning of a typical English language lesson it is good to lead-in by activating the student’s schema, which is their “pre-existent knowledge of the world” (Cook, 69, 1989). By encouraging students to use what they already know, the opportunity for language learning is maximised. I would begin by displaying the main picture and the heading of the article, then ask the class to work in pairs. The students would be asked to predict what the topic of the newspaper article is (Appendix 1.0). This is a very student centred activity which creates interest in the content of the text and activates schemata. Once the discussions quiet down, class feedback would be gathered. To ensure the students read for gist in the next activity, I would only flag up three predictions on the board for the students to verify. This stage will leave the students “with a good reason to read” (Harmer, p. 288). Skimming (Reading for gist):

I would ask the students to skim read the article (Appendix 2.0) and ask them to discuss in pairs whether the predictions they made earlier were correct or not before doing a class discussion. However, to ensure that students gist read only I would give learners 3 minutes, so that they do not read the article intensively. This task is used to develop the student’s sub-skill of reading for gist, or skimming (Scrivener, p. 185). Also to make students better readers, it is important to raise awareness that “it’s not always essential to understand every word”, as this could cause students to use their dictionaries and pause from reading (Scrivener, p. 153). Reading for further detail (Intensive reading)

In order to develop the sub skill of reading for further detail, I set a series of true/false questions (Appendix 3.0). The activity will test whether the students gained maximum information from the text (Harmer, p. 270). The true and false activities can fall both into reading for specific information and reading for detail, therefore it is very important to formulate appropriate questions, which will require the learner to read to find further detail as opposed to specific piece of information. In order to have the students focus, they would work on their own, underlining the excerpts of text where they found answers. Once done with reading and answering true/false statements, the students peer check and discuss their...

Bibliography: Cook, Guy. Discourse. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1989
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2007
Nunan, David. Second Language Teaching & Learning. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle, 1999
Rice, Alison. Revitalizing an Established Program for Adult Learners. Alexandria, VA: Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2007
Scrivener, Jim. Learning Teaching: The Essential Guide to English Language Teaching. Oxford: Macmillan Education, 2011
Swan, M. "A Critical Look at the Communicative Approach (1)." ELT Journal 39.1 (1985): 2-12
Appendices
Appendix 1.0 – Lead in
Appendix 2.0 – The Article
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