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TESOL Videos - Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Receptive Skills - Overview
This presentation is going to have a look at the idea of receptive skills and how we can go about teaching receptive skills lessons. There are two receptive skills and they are reading and listening. If we think about first of all, why do we read or listen, then there are probably two main answers to that. Firstly, it could either be for entertainment or it could be for a specific purpose. Within the reading and listening areas there are a number of sub-skills that we can teach our students. Firstly, what we can do is to show different examples of reading. So, let's say, for example, that we have just bought ourselves a new video camera and along with that video camera came a whole book of instructions. In order to find out how to get that camera working, then we would need to very carefully read each page of that brochure and that would be what is called detailed reading. Now unfortunately, most of us don't get our video cameras working straight away because we don't do that detailed reading. We tend to do something, which is slightly quicker, which is called scanning and in scanning what we're trying to do is to look for specific information. The other type of quick reading that we do is something called skimming and what we're doing in skimming is we're trying to get a general overview of what the text is actually saying. Other types of reading skill that we can actually teach is reading for prediction. So, having read a certain amount of various text, we can then say what we think is going to happen next and the final one for deduction; so from the information that's been given can we make some form of inference, for example about who actually wrote that?
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Unit 7 involved teaching a new language. Initially, it was noted that four things students need to do with a new language were exposure, understanding meaning, understanding construction and ability to practice and produce it. Teachers should ensure the introduction is balanced and manageable and commonly focus on one area. Under the ESA method, lessons on grammar or vocabulary use the straight arrow approach and function based tasks use the boomerang or patchwork structures. Then the unit turned to the importance of vocabulary and selection of vocabulary each based on factors or criteria, what students need to know and vocabulary teaching techniques - engage, study and activate. An example of a typical ESA vocabulary lesson was given regarding knowing household furniture where students share information (engage), teacher describes or shows their house and tasks small groups to design their perfect house. It was pointed out that all students need to know what the language means, how it is used, what is the grammatical form and how it is said and written and techniques for presenting and practicing structures were suggested. A typical ESA grammar lesson was suggested for mid-level students with the object to talk or write about a film or book using the past simple tense with discussion, pair writing, study, short story, pass and check and chain story. Unit 7 stressed that language consists of functions and for teachers, appropriate language and activation effectively through boomerang and patchwork ESA lessons with role playing a useful tool. A typical function (inviting) was illustrated using the boomerang method. This information was instructive to me as a new teacher and practical.