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Teaching Productive Skills

Teaching Productive Skills

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Teaching Productive Skills

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  1. Teaching Productive Skills Which ones are they? Writing… and… Speaking They have similarities and Differences

  2. Teaching Productive Skills Structuring discourse In order for communication to be successful we have to structure our discourse in such a way that it will be understood by our listeners and readers. Writing: Coherent: sequence of ideas Cohesive: Linguistic ways of connecting ideas across phrases and sentences: pronouns, lexical repetition, synonymy; transitional expressions indicating addition, contrast, cause and effect, time space, importance, etc. Speaking Involves following conversational patterns and usage of lexical phrases: the pre-fixed or semi-fixed word strings Spontaneous speech appears chaotic and disorganised, however speakers employ structuring devices to “buy time”, to turn-taking language and organising markers such as firstly, secondly, etc.

  3. Teaching Productive Skills Following the rules People with similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds in both speaking and writing when they communicate with each other: shared schemata helps communicate successfully Sociocultural rules How formal to be, what kind of language to use, how loud to speak, how close to stand to each other; how men and men speak to each other; different social or professional status; sociocultural rules and habits Turn-taking Signal verbally or visually that one wants a turn or, conversely, by recognising when other speakers are signalling that they want to finish Rules for writing Different styles, different written and spoken genres Factors: purpose of communication, form to achieve the purpose, setting, channel (microphone) Examples: Lecture, informal conversation, magazine article, e-mail Different level of formality, intimacy, grammar, ‘distance’ & ‘closeness’ STUDENTS NEED PRACTICE IN BOTH speaking and writing: different genres, styles, variation of grammar, functions, lexis they use

  4. Teaching Productive Skills Interaction with an audience how to deal with difficulty Improvising Discarding Foreignising Paraphrasing

  5. Teaching Productive Skills Productive skills in the classroom Give students a chance to rehearse language production in safety, experimenting with different language in different genres that they will use on some future occasion away from the classroom Communicative activities Drills and sentences to practise a grammar point are non-communicative activities and do not belong to productive skills Skills training Teaching people to take turns, use correct punctuation: fairly controlled, however useful Advantage of production activities Evidence for students and their teachers how well things are going

  6. Teaching Productive Skills Productive skills in the classroom Reception and production The teaching of productive skills is closely bound up with receptive skill work. The two feed off each other in a number of ways. Output and input - Feedback From ourselves From the people we are communicating with From teachers Text as models Text as stimuli Reception as part of production: blend listening with speaking Comprehension; writing often depends upon reading ATTENTION: don’t have students practise skills in isolation Production enables reception: apply insights from writing to reading; speak certain genres helps understanding conversations in similar contexts

  7. Teaching Productive Skills Problems and Solutions When students find something difficult Solutions Match the task with student language level Ensure there is a task purpose Assess problems caused by language students need, and the difficulties which the topic or the genre might create Language Supply key language: check their knowledge of key vocabulary, help with phrases or questions that will be helpful for the task; more exposure and practice, particularly in speaking Plan activities in advance:

  8. Teaching Productive Skills Problems and Solutions Topic and Genre Choose interesting topics and find types of tasks which will involve class members; favourite topics; (through interviews and questionnaires or observations) Create interest in the topic: talk about it and communicate enthusiasm Activate schemata: discuss interviews before role-playing; examples of typical letters written to newspapers before giving such a task Vary topics and genre : Provide necessary information: which bits of information are absolutely essential for the task to be a success