Teach English in GuoyingshAndAn Nongchang - Zhangye Shi

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Unit 11 presents reading and listening, two of the four basic language skills that are reading, listening, speaking and writing. Reading and listening skills are a combination of various stills outlined below. * predictive skills : predicting the content based on a headline or introduction. * scanning : looking for specific information and concentrating only when a particular bit of information come up. * skimming : not focusing on every single word but retrieving the main points of a text or dialog * detailed information : processing on every detail conveyed ( i.e. listening to directions ) * deduction from context : the meaning or many words are dependent on the context in which they are spoken or written An important skill in language learning is to be able to understand texts or words without knowing every word. This is akin to skimming where the main point is extracted without reading every single word. This way the teacher can present texts that contain words not in the students vocabularies, while the students should still be able to comprehend the text (for the most part). Choosing the reading material is important as it will greatly effect the outcome of students learning. Two types of texts in the context of language learning are authentic and non-authentic. Non-authentic texts contain language more suited to students' abilities and are specifically design for language students. Authentic texts are also necessary to raise students comprehension level by being at or just above their language level. Selecting a variety of reading topics will ensure that all students are given reading material that interests them. Also the teacher can get to know their students' interests and use the information to select suitable reading material. Instructors can also get students motivated and engaged in activities related to the reading material. Theme based lessons have reading material related to the activities in each of the ESA phases (engage, study and activate). Good reading and listening comprehension exercises should not be to easy or too difficult. Jigsaw reading (where students are placed in pairs and each reads part of the text), jumbled texts (where paragraphs of a text are jumbled up and the students have to re-order it). The following are basic elements of successful receptive skill lessons. * Choose material that interests/motivates the students * Build interest before reading/listening * Pre-teach complex vocabulary or structures if necessary, but don't overdo it! * Vary the type of material * Use the material to practice different skills * Use realistic comprehension tasks that aid understanding * Incorporate activate phases that naturally lead on from the text The sample given to teaching receptive skills is a lesson in making comparisons of what people wear. Most likely in the engage phase the teacher will elicit many different types for clothes people wear for different occasions and in different environments. The pre-teaching vocatulary is related to the subsequent material. After presenting the reading material the study phase would include using the reading material and the elicited vocabulary to complete the exercises. Examples of these exercises are outlined below. * comprehension questions : What is the dress code for the Wimbledon tournament. * fill in the blank : _____________ are carried by all police officers in France. * multiple choice : Casual wear in England is influenced by a.jeans, b. colours, c. trainers, d. America. * making comparisons : Trainers are less formal than shoes.