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 Interactions Interlude # 1: Please take two minutes and define language. After writing your definition, please share it with a neighbor. What important word appears in both definitions? Communication. So, our task is to teach our students to use this method or system of communication called English. 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 country - from oxforddictionaries.com 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 communicate. 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 activities. 4. Task completion has some priority. 5. The assessment of the task is in terms of outcome. So, what are some examples of appropriate tasks? • • • • • 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 thoroughly. ” 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 folders. 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. Dictogloss, from http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/knowledge-database/dictogloss • 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 task. 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: Weather (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 Meaningfully? References • 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: Heinle. • McKay, S. and Schaetzel, K. (2008). Facilitating adult learner interactions to build listening and speaking skills. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Retrieved from www.cal.org/caela. • 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: ED456670.
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