KEY COMPETENCES IN SECONDARY. OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS. Where can the key Competence be found in OUP secondary coursebooks?. Integrated throughout the unit. A typical unit of a typical OUP secondary coursebook: English Alive! 3. All of the eight key competences are present in the unit.
Integrated throughout the unit...
English Alive! 3
All of the eight key competences are present in the unit.
When the students discuss issues and give opinions, as here in the ‘Talking Point’ activity, they are developing competence in social skills and citizenship
Here, language is used as an instrument of oral communication
The key competence most relevant to the teaching and learning of a foreign language is competence in linguistic communication. Here the language is used as an instrument of written communication.
Students see the language in a familiar context which makes the communication effective and relevant.
This vocabulary activity encourages reflection on ones own learning style (Learning to learn): students have to consciously use learning techniques
Thoughout the Workbook unit, the exercises help to develop autonomy and personal initiative, and learning to learn, manipulating and organizing the language and experiencing a variety of learning approaches.
In the activities in this unit, apart from vocabulary learning techniques, the topic of human development is continued from the Class Book, a clear focus on Competence in knowledge of and interaction with the physical world.
On the right hand page of the spread (‘Extra!’) they can expand their vocabulary, again developing autonomy and personal initiative. Here the topic is phrasal verbs
The reference section at the back of the workbook offers numerous possibilities to develop autonomy and personal initiative, and learning to learn. The ‘Word Bank’ has vocabulary activities. On the left hand spread students compile and organize the vocabulary of the unit.
In this exercise students write sentences using the new vocabulary, once again developing competence in linguistic communication using language as an instrument of written communication.
The grammar work gets students thinking about the organization and structure of the language, developing learning to learn.
At the same time the communicative methodology can also be seen in the grammar exercise. Here the students listen to examples of the grammar in a dictation exercise: linguistic communication.
This is very clear in the ‘Activate your English’ sections throughout the unit. Students are encouraged to use the language in a communicative way, and with autonomy.
The students have another opportunity to develop learning to learn and autonomy and personal initiative using the reference section Grammar Bank.
On the left hand page the students can find explanations of the grammar in their own language, developing the sub-competence of learning to learn, ability to obtain information from reference materials.
On the right hand page they have a series of practice exercises which they can complete on their own, using the reference material on the left hand page, developing autonomy and personal initiative.
The skills spread most obviously develops linguistic communication, both oral (Reading and Listening, Speaking) and written communication (Writing), but other competences are also developed.
The reading texts are summaries of famous science fiction novels, developing artistic and cultural competence, as students are asked to ‘evaluate cultural statements critically ’ and recognize ‘different artistic media’ including genres of literature.
The speaking activities develop competence in social skills and citizenship, andwhere students give opinions ‘valuing the ideas of others ’ the focus is on autonomy and personal initiative.
The writing allows students to develop knowledge of and interaction with the physical world. In this case students give opinions about the future.
All OUP course books have culture sections where students can develop competence in social skill and citizenship, seeing thesocial and historic reality of other societies. At the same time they study cultural aspects and reflect on the diversity of cultural expressions, developingartistic and cultural competence.
In this activity students compare their own culture with the aspects of British and American culture described in the text. Part of competence in social skills and citizenship is an understanding of aspects of modern-day societies
As the name implies, the Practical English section allows students to put into practice what they have learnt in the unit. The basic philosophy behind the key competences is the transfer of theoretical knowledge into practical problem-solving in everyday situations.
The dialogue work, as well as developing competence in linguistic communication, also contributes to competence in social skills and citizenship with it’s focus on functional English .
Texts are often presented as samples of electronic communication, developing competence in processing information and use of ITC.
For development of competence in processing information and use of ITC, the computer is an essential tool. OUP coursebooks offer both web-based material….
...and CD based Multi-Roms with interactive activities and games.
This competence involves searching for, selecting, recording and processing of digital information all of which can be developed using these materials
Another dialogue is practiced in the Practical English section in the Workbook. Given the practical nature of this section, students are often expected to develop mathematical competence as they compete the exercises
Here they compare and contrast prices, developing the topic of the Student’s Book dialogue, but mathematical competence refers also to use of mathematical language, data and arguments, and to the presentation of data in graphs, tables etc.
Songs and chants introduce the students to a variety of musical and cultural styles with different arrangements and instruments, favouring the development of artistic and cultural competence.
At the same time competence in linguistic communication is developed through reading and listening.
In this speaking activity, apart from competence in linguistic communication students develop autonomy and personal initiative as they give opinions and show respect for the ideas of others.
The cross-curricular pages are another good example of the integration of competences
Competence in linguistic communication is developed through the reading and listening texts on the left hand page of the spread.
These pages often have social, artistic or cultural content. In this case we learn about the history of tourism, developing competence in social skills and citizenship, and knowledge of and interaction with the physical world
The right hand page revises grammar and structures from the main units - learning to learn: learning to set learning objectives…
...and the Workbook page in the reference section revises and extends vocabulary
At the end of the Workbook unit the Progress Check page allows students to reflect on their own learning, self-assessment and the organization of their own work, important facets of the competence in learning to learn
The cumulativerevision section allows students to develop this same competence, as well as autonomy and personal initiative, as they evaluate what they've done and arrive at conclusions about how to improve their learning.
To summarise it can clearly be seen that in an integrated communicative methodology like that employed in OUPs secondary courses, the key competence can be found all through the unit
For a more detailed reference the programme of contents document (part of the PCA) can be consulted. This gives a breakdown of the main key competences which appear in each unit of each level of all OUP coursebooks
This year OUP has also published the Key Competences Teacher’s Resource Book, a guide to developing the key competences in the English class which includes practice material in the form of photocopiable worksheets.