Tonight, we explore Three Questions.
• Why Should We Integrate the Four language Skills?
• What Kind of Instruction Lends Itself to Integrating the Skills?
• What Kinds of Activities Can We Use to Integrate the Skills
Effectively and Meaningfully?
Question I: Why Should We Integrate the
Four Language Skills?
• Define: Language
• Define: Communication
• The Four “Macro-skills” in Everyday
Interlude # 1: Please take two minutes and define
After writing your definition, please share it with a neighbor.
What important word
appears in both
So, our task is to teach
our students to use this
method or system of
communication called
language (n.)
• 1. The method of human
communication, either spoken or
written, consisting of the use of
words in a structured and
conventional way
• 2. the system of communication
used by a particular community or
- from
OK. So, how do we communicate?
What does it mean to communicate?
To express our thoughts and feelings
To share ideas, information and news
To interact with others in a meaningful way
To do all of the above through all four language skills
In the real world, we often employ all
four skills in tandem in order to
Interlude # 2: Can we think of a few
examples? With a neighbor, try to
identify a few. You have five minutes.
The four ‘macro skills’ (listening, speaking,
reading and writing) are all an integral part of
typical language proficiency and use.
Akram and Malik, 2010
Arguably, we use all four language skills in many of our
day-to-day interactions.
Truism of the Day
Every act of communication takes at least
two people and at least two of the four
language skills:
A Productive Skill and a Receptive Skill
The integrated-skill approach, as contrasted with the
purely segregated approach, exposes English language
learners to authentic language and challenges them to
interact naturally in the language. Learners rapidly gain a
true picture of the richness and complexity of the
English language as employed for communication.
Oxford, 2001
In order for students to communicate fully in English, they
need competence in all four language skills.
Question II: What Kind of Instruction
Lends Itself to Integrating the Skills?
• Two Forms of Instruction which Lend
Themselves to Skills Integration
• Promoting Interaction at All Phases in a Lesson
Two Forms of Integrated-Skill Instruction
1. Rebecca Oxford (2001) identifies two types of instruction which are
“clearly oriented toward integrating the skills.”
2. Content-based Instruction: “… students practice all the language
skills in a highly integrated, communicative fashion while learning
content such as science, mathematics, and social studies.”
3. Task-based instruction: “… students participate in communicative
tasks in English.”
Content-based Instruction (CBI)
• Three Models of Content-based Instruction
• Theme-based Model: integrates the language skills into the study of a
theme (e.g., life in America; crime and violence; innovation and innovators) –
According to Oxford, this is the “most useful and widespread” form of CBI.
• Adjunct Model: co-enrolled in two separate courses, one for language and
one for content
• Sheltered Model: subject matter is taught using English “tailored to the
students’ proficiency level.”
Interlude # 3: In pairs or trios, take 15 minutes to talk about what kinds of
topics you feel would be suitable to use for a theme-based ESL class for
adult learners? Why these topics? Be ready to defend your answers! 
• Two for Beginner Level Learners
• Two for Intermediate Level Learners
• Two for Advanced Level Learners
Task-based Instruction (TBI)
• According to Rebecca Oxford (2001), …
• Students interact and collaborate in pairs and groups on tasks which mimic or
mirror real-world tasks.
• Attention is paid to language meaning more than language forms.
• Students often work together to produce a non-linguistic outcome, such as creating
an advertisement, acting out a scene from a movie or play, making a plan to go to
the movies, or producing a class book or recipes.
• TBI can be used at all levels, but the tasks become more complex at higher levels of
proficiency in English.
According to David Nunan (2013), tasks have the
following characteristics …
1. Meaning is primary.
2. Learners are not given other people’s meanings to simply repeat.
3. There is some sort of relationship to comparable real-world
4. Task completion has some priority.
5. The assessment of the task is in terms of outcome.
So, what are some examples of appropriate
A cookbook comprised of recipes from all the class members
A PowerPoint presentation on a topic of interest to the class
A poster presentation on a topic of interest to the class
A guidebook to the school or program in which the students are enrolled
A handbook and presentation on making a home emergency kit
Interlude # 4: Work with your partner(s) to come up with
3 or 4 tasks which you feel would be appropriate for adult
learners. You have 10 minutes for this task. 
Encouraging Interaction at Every Stage of a Lesson
Plan Leads to Better Skills Integration
(please see the article in the folder)
Promoting interaction both within and outside the language
classroom can have a positive impact on language learning. It
gives learners opportunities to receive comprehensible input
and feedback, try new hypotheses about how English works,
and listen to and incorporate feedback in the form of recasts.
McKay and Schaetzel, 2008
OK. So, what’s a recast?
Opportunities to interact can be included in all
phases of a language lesson – preview,
presentation, practice, and evaluation.
MacKay and Schaetzel, 2008
By incorporating interaction into every phase of a lesson,
we can engage all four skills throughout the lesson more
Question III: What Kinds of
Classroom Activities Can We Use to
Integrate the Skills Effectively?
• Jigsaw Activities
• Dictogloss
Jigsaw Activities, from Bohlke (2013)
• Same principle as information gap activities in that each student in a
group is provided with only some of the information he/she needs
• Students work together until everyone has finished the activity
• Each student becomes an “expert” on something and then shares that
knowledge with “experts” on other topics
• Much of the learning is student-to-student; teachers become facilitators
Interlude # 5: With your partners, please
skim the four articles provided in your
Then, discuss how they are
thematically linked. Finally, discuss how
you could use these four articles for a
jigsaw reading activity in a High
Intermediate or Advanced class. You have
15 minutes.
• A dictogloss is a classroom dictation activity where learners are required to
reconstruct a short text by listening and noting down key words, which are
then used as a base for reconstruction.
• Example: Learners discuss the sea and vocabulary related to it. The teacher
then explains the task, and reads a short text on the sea to the class, who just
listen. The teacher reads the text again, and the learners take notes. In
groups, the learners then reconstruct the text. This in turn can be followed
up with comprehension questions.
• The dictogloss is often regarded as a multiple-skills and systems activity.
Learners practice listening, writing and speaking (by working in groups) and
use vocabulary, grammar and discourse systems in order to complete the
And now … an example of a
dictogloss! 
Please take out a sheet of paper. Your
instructor will read a paragraph about the
U.S. Congress three times. First, please just
listen. The second time, please listen and
write. The third time, listen and complete
the dictation. Finally, work with a partner
and compare what you’ve written.
Interlude # 6: Create a Dictogloss – With your partners, please
create a dictogloss along the lines of the one we just did. You have
a choice of two topics. Please follow the stipulations indicated. You
have 15 minutes.
Beginning or Intermediate:
(CASAS Competency 2.3.3 – interpret info about
weather conditions)
• Vocabulary: winter weather; sleet;
freezing rain; flurries; drizzle; showers;
taper off; precipitation; a chance of …
• Structures: oral reduction gonna;
modal auxiliaries
Advanced: Job Interviews
(CASAS Competency 4.1.5 – identify how to interview
appropriately for a job)
• Vocabulary: business attire; eye contact; firm
handshake; pay attention to …; calm;
confidence; nervous; fidget; project; stretch the
truth; nonverbal communication
• Structures: gerunds + infinitives
And so, so wrap up, have we answered the
initial three questions we posed?
• Why Should We Integrate the Four language Skills?
• What Kind of Instruction Lends Itself to Integrating the Skills?
• What Kinds of Activities Can We Use to Integrate the Skills Effectively and
• Akram, A. and Malik, A. (2010).A. Integration of Language Learning Skills in Second Language
Acquisition. International Journal of Arts and Sciences. 3(14),
• Bohlke, D. (2013). Fluency-Oriented Second Language Teaching (in Celce-Murica, M., D.
Brinton, and M.A. Snow (Eds.), Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (4th ed.), Boston:
• McKay, S. and Schaetzel, K. (2008). Facilitating adult learner interactions to build listening and speaking
skills. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved from
• Nunan, D. (2013). Task-based teaching and learning. (in Celce-Murica, M., D. Brinton, and M.A.
Snow (Eds.), Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language (4th ed.), Boston: Heinle.
• Oxford, R. (2001). Integrated skills in the ESL/EFL classroom. ERIC Digest. ERIC Identifier: