Teach English in Linhe Jiedao - Guangzhou Shi

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Continuing on from Unit 11, this unit concentrates on the productive or output skills of speaking and writing. As a general rule, productive skills develop after and often more slowly than receptive ones, but through persistent effort both can be mastered. Speaking and writing skills differ is difficulty and required skills (fluency versus accuracy), but both are equally essential. The primary purpose of receptive skills is communication. Reasons for communicating in any form may be generally categorized as having some communicative purpose, wishing to say or listening to something, and having interest in what is being said or written. Teachers should attempt to bring in these factors to encourage learners' participation and interest. Next the difference between accuracy and fluency activities are explained. Accuracy activities aim on building correct language and appear more frequently in the Study phase, while fluency activities focus on creativity and natural language and appear more often in the Activate phase. In speaking, controlled or guided activities concentrate on accuracy and are controlled by the teacher whilst creative communication activities focus on fluency and output is controlled by the student. Students may be hesitant to speak in the classroom due to lack of confidence, fear of making mistakes, disinterest, previous negative experiences and other such factors. Teachers can encourage interaction through pair or group work, controlled practice, time for planning what to say etc. Writing brings in additional factors to those presented in speaking, such as handwriting, spelling, punctuation, and creativity or penmanship. These will require special attention and explanation form the teacher, as well as plenty of encouragement and motivation. Finally, the unit touches on games in the classroom to be used with both receptive and productive skills, which roughly fall into two categories: competitive, where students race against each other, and cooperative, where students work together to achieve a goal. Games are enjoyable in all age ranges and promote interest, and therefore should be an integral part of the class, used to strengthen the skills being taught and provide valuable practice. This unit and its accompanying one provided key insights into how to teach the various skills most efficiently and how to preempt or solve the common problems related to each. The list of games at the end sparked more ideas for activities and made me consider how other common games could be adapted for classroom use.