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TESOL Videos - Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Productive Skills Overview
This presentation is going to cover the teaching of productive skills. To start with, if we think about the way in which you learnt your first language, most of us go through a particular process. Firstly, we listen to those around us, after that first silent period of listening to other people, then we start to make utterances. Having learned to speak to a certain extent at least, we then go on to learn how to read and to write and this process that we go through is actually covering the four skills that we're trying to teach our English students. So, we have listening, speaking, reading, and writing. If we group those skills into their different types, then the two skills of reading and listening are known as receptive skills, whereas the skills of speaking and writing are known as productive skills. In this session, we're going to focus on the production skills and have a look at how to create a lesson for that.
This is what one of our TEFL graduates feels he has gained from the course, or a part of it, and how he plans to put into action what he has learned.
This unit introduced productive skills, i.e. speaking and writing. Although both are used for communication purposes, writing is often relegated to homework since teachers do not want to lose precious time and they rather focus on student talk. As a result, this skill is not practiced and developed enough due to the fact that homework is rarely done. This is not right so, since writing is difficult because of the need for greater degree of accuracy. Speaking though requires a greater degree of fluency, so we can state that both productive skills are equally important and neither of them can be ignored during teaching. When it comes to speaking the teacher has huge responsibility in what type of communication activity is introduced in the class. Need and desire must be created in the students to feel like communicating and participating in the activity. Otherwise no development will be achieved. We have to differentiate between accuracy based (e.g. controlled, guided) and fluency based (creative communication) activities. Both are equally important and come into different stages of the lesson (the first one is usually part of the study phase, whereas the latter one is part of the activate phase). Students may be reluctant to speak for various reasons and there are different techniques to overcome these barriers and encourage interaction, e.g. pair-work, group-work, plenty of controlled and guided practice before fluency activities, etc. Written text has a number of differences compared to speaking: grammar, vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, layout and punctuation. All of these have to be practiced and improved in order to avoid misunderstandings and also not to make a negative effect on the reader.