Teach English in Zhongxin Zhen - Guangzhou Shi

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This unit teaches the productive skills, which are speaking and writing. Speaking and writing are used to communicate desires and needs. We, as teachers, need to have in mind these reasons when planning speaking or writing lessons in order to get students interested in a topic. In addition, we need to incorporate fluency activities, which are used in the activate phase, and accuracy activities, which are used in the study phase. Fluency activities focus on the ability to speak freely without worrying about making mistakes; wherefore, speaking involves fluency. Accuracy activities, on the other hand, focus on the use of the language, so writing involves accuracy. There are three types of speaking activities: controlled, guided, and creative. Controlled speaking activities are controlled by the teacher whereas in guided activities, the teacher only controls the output but not the specific language that will be used. In the creative speaking activities, the teacher creates the scenario but not what the students will say. To influence students in speaking, we need to create interest or a purpose, teach language that will be needed to complete the activity, put students in pairs or small groups, plan activities carefully, and give students enough time to think what they will say. For the writing activities, it is necessary to include other skills such as spelling, punctuation, grammar, and handwriting because there are many differences in these areas that make writing a very difficult task for the students. For example, in spelling, many words are spelled the same but are pronounced differently, and many words are pronounced the same but spelled differently; in punctuation, some languages do not have any punctuation at all, or the rules are different; in grammar, contractions are not used for written communication; and in handwriting, some languages use different alphabetic systems. Finally, when teaching a creative writing lesson, we have to use similar strategies as in the speaking activities. We need to create a desire or need to write, use pairs or small groups, provide enough time to think what they will write, and make sure that the students know the writing skills necessary before writing the task. Speaking and writing are the most complex skills for ESOL students. Therefore, they are probably the skills that will take a longer time to acquire.