Dec. 2006, Volume 3, No.12 (Serial No.36) Sino-US English Teaching, ISSN1539-8072, USA
Integrating Skills for Teaching EFL
—Activity Design for the Communicative Classroom
(Foreign Language Department, China Youth University for Political Sciences, Beijing 100089, China)
Integrative approach in a communicative classroom teaching is getting more attention in EFL. Theauthor makes use of this paper to demonstrate the using of the approach to design classroom activities and itstheoretical basis by analyzing a model of teaching plan.
English language teaching; communicative approach; integrating skills
“Real success in English teaching and learning is when the learners can actually communicate in Englishinside and outside the classroom” (Davies & Pearse, 2000: 99). Teachers have been studying the ways of enablinglearners to use English freely, effectively, and as far as possible accurately, in realistic communication, which hasbecome not only the major goal of all English language teaching, but also the students’ main concern when theymake their efforts to study English. For various reasons, traditional ELT tends to train the four languageskills—listening, speaking, reading and writing separately, and materials and activities designed usually focus onone specific skill and others are ignored. Undoubtedly, a separate focus on individual skills can play a useful rolein accelerating students’ language learning if it is well taught. However, since integrated skills use coincides theway we communicate in real life, and integrating the skills can bring plenty of benefits to English teaching, it is aworthwhile experiment in a communicative classroom despite its higher demanding for teachers.The following will take an actual lesson plan as an example to present how to adapt the textbook and designactivities for the integration of skills. It will also discuss the teaching idea of the lesson plan on the basis of therelated theoretical principles.
2. Literature Review
It has been widely accepted that integrating the four skills can develop communicative competence because itfocuses on the realistic communication, which is the main pursuit of teaching and learning in the modern society.What follows gives brief literature review illuminating the theoretical basis and the benefit of the integration toteaching and learning in a communicative classroom.The translation of communicative competence in language teaching practice is to develop learners’ languageskills, namely, listening, speaking, reading and writing. The goal of communicative language teaching is todevelop students’ communicative competence, which includes both the knowledge about the language and theknowledge about how to use the language appropriately in communicative situations. The ultimate goal of foreignlanguage teaching is to enable the students to use the foreign language in work or life when necessary. Thus an
WU Jing(1970- ), female, associate professor of Foreign Language Department, China Youth University for Political Sciences;research field: English teaching methodology.