Ioan ROTAR Semestrul I Obiective – teaching English as a foreign language to speakers of Romanian. Aim – to provide a needed theoretical background for TEFL; – to familiarize students with concepts and meta-language generally used in the field of English language teaching; – to suggest some ways of planning and carrying out EFL class activities. Such a course should be taught provoking being meant to make students take a critical view of their own learning and, in the future, teaching experience as well as of the theories and/or methods advocated, sometimes too forcefully, by others. At the same time, students should be encouraged to become their own experts in the field by presenting some guidelines for self-directed actions, experimenting and creative risk-taking and keeping abreast with what is going on in this very dynamic domain. Is foreign language teaching „an art or science”? Language teaching is an art not a science, and a good teacher can get results whatever method is using. “It may, nevertheless, be assumed that is best to have a method as sound as our present knowledge can make it. ” David Abercrombie „It is a long time now since teaching ceased to be an art, but it is not yet a science.” Martin R. Wong, John D. Ranlson Themes Actually, foreign language teaching has always been subject to change, but it is said that the process of change has not resulted from steady accumulation of knowledge about the most effective ways of teaching languages but from the “fashion of the day!" Although, it is difficult to prove the effectiveness of language teaching methods, it is not so difficult to convince people of the virtues of some e approaches, for a while at least!. Gifted teachers, who combined original thought with a strong power of persuasion have often led to the adoption of his or her method which survived until another gifted teacher argued a different view with equal conviction. Experience in foreign language teaching might be the “final say” but to base language teaching only on experience means to perpetuate a situation in which thousands or, maybe millions of learners are victims of a “guru’s whims”! Nowadays, there is a vast amount of data on foreign language teaching as this is a subject tackled not only by linguists teachers of foreign languages, but the researchers in many other fields- anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, economics, etc.- that it has become a daring enterprise to admit that we still teach English without being adept in those other fields! Then:

Japan.] and it is used as a foreign language. grammar. There are several branches of ESP such as: English for 200 . and where they do it. they are given language with the broadest range of use possible. etc.] are both necessary and desirable. there can be great differences in pronunciation. Of course. etc.g. teachers should. New Zeeland. a browsing of dictionaries does not make the issue clearer. we are asked to consider which variety we should teach. irrespective of the view one adopts. what about the non-native speakers. methodologically speaking. in world of so many “Englishers”. spelling. Whom and How to teach!” What to teach? What a question! English of course! But English has spread across the globe and depending on who speaks or writes it.” In other words. pidgin. Therefore. “General English” or “all purpose English” is taught in courses which usually offer a blend of language skills and topics are selected from a wide range of sources taking into account the student interest and engagement rather than some specific need. the USA. Nigeria. From our experience as both learners and teachers of English it seems to be clear that. when the teacher is a native speaker s/he will use.000 people. then. the dilemma seems to be as Jeremy Harmer (2001) puts it: “is teaching about transmission of knowledge from teachers to students or is it about creating conditions in which.o. In the third. teacher-centred or learner-centred approach! In our opinion. a. General English or English for Specific Purpose (ESP)? Another issue concerning the language variety has to do with whether the English to be taught will be general or specific.over 1. we should be as unconfusing as possible about what we mean by teaching a foreign language. Israel. In the next circle are all countries where English is spoken as a second language [India.o.000. his or her variety of English as a model. a. China. Sweden.]. Braj Kachru (1985. students learn for themselves.What is a teacher of foreign language? Apart from metaphors in which we are said to be “orchestra conductors”. at least at the beginner level. The decision to teach General English is made when it is known why or when students will need English in the future and.]. But. at the beginner level. Zambia. Singaporean. “actors”. 12-15) suggests the division of the English-speaking world into three concentric circles. keep strictly to one and only one variety of English. English for Specific Purposes (ESP) is taught to students who have a clear reason for learning English. Creole. since learning foreign English is neither easy nor rewarding all the time. it is obvious that a teacher of English should know “What. at least. or it is used to speak to foreigners. Nowadays. there are countries where English has acquired prestige and importance [Romania. “inner circle”. “gardeners”. who are teachers of English? We share the opinion of those who uphold the idea of choosing a variety from the inner circle provided it is understood by most English speaking people! This will not apply when local varieties of English [e. Australia.000. students are taught to communicate on a general social level and to cope with the normal texts educated language users might experience outside their professional lives. In fact. Pakistan. there are countries where English is spoken as a first language [UK.. the faster expending circle. In the first. But. somehow.o. most probably. a. “parents” (spiritual. vocabulary. of course) etc.

but a ‘range of intelligences’. and adults and each of these groups has its generally well known features. that is different from the ‘musical’ one. which is referred to as “intelligence. three distinct age groups: children. so much alike! One point should be made here – the same person is quite different when s/he is alone with the teacher from what s/he is as a member of a group.olfactory. a fact has puzzled us – people are so different but. VAKOG offers a framework to analyze different student responses to stimuli and environments.e. Intrapersonal. According to NLP. this would indicate that there are differences in the ways individual brains work.Academic Purposes [EAP] – the emphasis is on writing academic essays. two theories in particular have tried to account for such differences: Neuro-linguistic programming [NLP] and Multiple intelligence theory [MI]. etc. This suggests. it means that an approach.visual. Learners of English or “Whom we teach”! In order to adopt the most suitable methodology for a class. G-gustatory) describes best these systems. at least. whereas visual material and written text more effective for other students! According to MI theory. where a specialized vocabulary has to be acquired and peculiar types of language interactions should be well understood and effectively performed. -Business English. A. a procedure or a technique might be suitable for alones’ students in a class. O. Logical/ Mathematical. taking notes. the factors taken into account are: age.the kind of language used in the world commerce. We do share the opinion of those methodologists who deem ESP as an approach to foreign language teaching rather than a distinct English variety.” In our opinion. The acronym ‘VAKOG’ (V. for instance. learning styles. each of us has a prevailing one. humans do not possess a single intelligence. English for Occupational Purposes [EOP] – the language of air control. people use ‘some primary representational systems’ to experience the world. a teacher should know who his or her students are. at least ‘an average Qs’. But. that purely oral presentations of language may be appropriate only for some students. Emotional Intelligence. as teachers of English. but. language aptitude.o. . But even if this language aptitude exists being proved by means of the ‘linguistic aptitude tests’ it does not mean that the respective person will be successful in the acquisition of a foreign language! Learning styles – If people adopt different way in learning a foreign language. such an aptitude implies ‘language ear’. a method. at the same time. At present. There are listed nine such intelligences: Musical/ Rhythmic. the type of language needed by scientists and engineers. Bodily/ Kinaesthetic. Language aptitude – refers to the specific ability a student has for learning a foreign language.auditory. although we cannot teach each individual student in a class of 201 . Verbal/ Spatial.English for Science and Technology [EST] i. This aptitude is different from the general ability to master academic skills. In our practice. If we accept that different intelligences predominate in different people. Naturalistic Intelligence. adolescents. There are. language levels and motivation. nevertheless. Human beings make use of all these systems. For us. Interpersonal. functioning in seminars. capacity to initiate. a fairly good memory. cooking. K-kinalsthetic. Age – Learners characteristics change with age. some personality traits. But who might be our students and why do they learn foreign languages? Generally. tourist industry a.

listen to American or British pop music. whereas a cognitive view of motivation is essential to success. negative feeling and effects. Motivation – There are many reasons why people learn a foreign language. It is said that at its basic level motivation is internal drive which makes someone do something. Language levels – Students are generally considered to be in one of the following level groups: beginner. the teacher’s duty is to sustain or to create motivation. repetitive. not few young people want to integrate themselves in a target language community and they need to learn English in order to survive in that community. another very important factor is to be taken into consideration. literary works. If students are to be motivated they need to be interested not only in ‘English language’ as much. For many of these students English is something that both their and their parents want to be taught. and intrinsic motivation.motivation. There is an accepted distinction between: extrinsic motivation which comes from outside. in a long term planning. so that. students will almost certainly fail to make the necessary efforts implied by the difficult process of foreign language acquisition. we can keep an eye on each of them. Target language community – Nowadays. thrillers. In this country. There are long-term and short-term goals. permanently to direct them to learning activities which are best suited to their strengths. Motivation: Depending on the reasons why our students learn English. Most researchers and methodologists have concluded that intrinsic motivation is especially important for success. In our opinion. i. because without any kind of motivation.realistically set and at the right level of challenge. to provide a variety of activities to help the various types of learners or. intermediate and advanced. If we can help students in such short-term goals. However. thus. they might have better chances for advancement in their professional lives or be offered opportunities to get a better job. that comes from within the individual. The intermediate level is often sub-divided into lower intermediate and upper intermediate. because a student’s initial motivation or lack of it does not stay the same for good! What can we do about it? Set goals because motivation is closely bound up with one’s intention to achieve a goal.Language classes may be boring. varried activities and topics 202 . but there are also some who feel neutral or even negative about it. The issues directly related to the level of our students are: methodology. The problem with these labels is that they mean different things to different people. gloomy.this will upkeep a high level of motivation. but also in the multiple. read magazines. Long-term goals may include somebody’s desire to become a teacher of English. etc. Provide interesting classes. whereas a short-term goal might be the passing of an exam at the end of the term. language.25 students.some people want to learn English because they are clear that. in our opinion. topics. there are some who want to watch and understand dialogues in English spoken films. English for Specific Purposes Culture: At present few people study a foreign language because they are attracted to the culture of the target language community. these reasons are: – school curriculum – probably the greatest number of language students do it because it is on the school curriculum whether they like it or not.e. Advancement.

activities and situations. and some imitation and repetition have been carried out during 'accurate reproduction' students should be given opportunities to practice the new language.It seems to gradually agreed that in FL teaching there are three main stages. Practice stage – after the presentation of new language items has been done in meaningful contexts. and effective. In our opinion. Lately. otherwise learners will not know what to practice later in the lesson. a learning environment should contribute mainly to the enhancement of each and every student’s self-esteem and autonomy.Physical appearance of our classrooms counts a lot and we can do much in this respect apart from asking for new funds. Irrespective of the adopted procedure. There are many techniques used for practicing the new language. from among which the following seem to be the commonest: • chorus work – a technique that requires a number of students to speak in unison. This practice can be oral or writing practice. An approach is. Generally. The teacher’s rapport with the students is rather critical in this country at the moment. ARC [Authentic use. Induction]. Esa [Engage. • drills – they are a step forward from mere imitation. all these models require flexibility in the planning and performing the teaching and learning process. ‘Patchwork’ lessons in which a variety of such sequences may be followed. educational aids as well as the ways in which they used in the lessons will be of utmost importance.students are supposed to use the foreign language as means to an end. this is done through texts. Activate]. Presentation stage. in fact. Procedures. • reading aloud as a practice technique. in practice. thus they gain confidence and fluency. practice and production (PPP). Generally. III [Illustration. Study. it reflects neither the nature of language nor the nature of learning. and role of the instructional materials. a theory of the nature of language and of language learning. In fact. teacher roles. the PPP has come under a sustained attack because it is clearly teacher-centred. etc. a method designer will establish: general and specific objectives. Alternatives have been suggested such as ‘the deep end strategy’. Experiment]. Mind the learning environment. Taking an approach as a theoretical basis. Restricted use.a model of presentation might be the following: Lead-in → Elicitation → Explanation→ Accurate reproduction → Immediate creativity But. but it is not a characteristic feature of the educational system.they are presented with. Production stage. a syllabus model. Therefore. the presentation should be economical. But all of this is less important than the emotional atmosphere that teachers should create. we often recognize the following: a language teacher needs to present new material in order to extend learners' mastery of the language. it only describes one kind of lesson. types of teaching and learning activities. Procedure. one or several methods can be designed. OHE [Observe. Students should be forced to retrieve the English that they have in there and develop strategies for communication. the choice of materials. Clarification]. namely: presentation. 203 . Interaction. Hypothese. because understanding is only part of the learning process. only! Since we know ‘what to teach’ and ‘whom to teach’ the next point is ‘how to teach’ or Approaches or Methods. Students produce correct sentences.

DVDs. productive precision. Feedback is organised mainly during the production stage. computers. USA. and Australia. participant. for the purposes of widening their receptive competence. cuecards. Roughly tuned input is language at a level above the students' abilities. observer/monitor. But we need to be aware of how we are not allowed to practice (i. too. It has become customary for language teachers to consider intelligibility as the goal of pronunciation teaching.The roles of the teacher – are proscribed by the method s/he adopts.e. Teaching Pronunciation The choice of a model of pronunciation is a matter of special importance as far as English is concerned because of the profusion of differing spoken forms existing not only in such first-language areas as Britain. student-talking time) there will be no gains for them. CD-Roms. pictures and graphics used in the form of flashcards. Students' mistakes are corrected on the spot during accurate reproduction or guided practice drills when we insist on students ' repeating or saying the sound. organizes feedback. As they gain confidence. the criteria in the choice of any teaching model must be the one which has wide currency. standard language) they should stick to one type of spoken English. If these criteria are adopted ‘Southern English Standard’ or ‘General American’ seem to be the best choices. A teacher may be: • an organiser – the teacher tells the students what they are going to do. practice language or as a basis for productive activities. gets the activity going. The teacher waits until an activity or a task has been completed and then he tells the students how well they did.e. An error is made when the student does not know the rule. For teachers of English. gives them instructions about the task. A distinction has to be made between correction and feedback. Perfection versus Intelligibility Should learners of EFL sound as native speakers or it is enough if they are understood when they speak English? The degree to which learners acquire pronunciation depends on their goals and their aptitude.it is the responsibility of the teacher to assess his or her students' work. gives a follow-up. they can be exposed gradually to other ‘Engilshes’. and fluency in a single type of spoken English. but also in those regions of Africa and Asia where English is used as a second language or as an adopted lingua franca. slides.many teaching aids can be used to explain language meaning. without any conscious attempt to alter their pronunciation according to situation in the way that the native speakers do. • assessor. • provider of comprehensible input – input is a concept that means the language students are exposed. at the beginning (i. Finely tuned input is language selected to be at the students' level. is adequately described in textbooks and has ample recorded material available for the learners. sentence. Comprehensible input is language above what students have learned or acquired but which they can understand. is widely and readily understood. From among them we would like to mention: the board. Educational technology and teaching equipment. word. 204 .the overhead projector. language laboratory. resource. As teachers we can provide comprehensible input since we know our students and we can talk at the right level. the internet. Whatever abilities the learners may acquire later. shows or demonstrates how it should be done. task-related homework. Other roles are: • prompter. audio and video tapes. realia.

Pronunciation may be taught in: • whole lessons – in the international language teaching practice There are teachers who devote entire lessons to pronunciation. using: • discrete slots – some teachers plan short pronunciation drills into lesson sequences. roughly speaking. In learning these sounds the most effective techniques are imitation and description.e. • master all the other sound attributes (length of vowels. the so-called ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ forms in the case of auxiliary words. being however articulated in a different manner. Such short activities are useful and provide a change of activity during a lesson. seem identical in the two languages. • the frequent use of more than one pronunciation. As regards the difficulty in acquisition of English sounds by speakers of Romanian. • the great discrepancy between spelling and pronunciation in English. • the frequent cases of assimilation. There is also • the opportunistic teaching . • articulate the English sounds in a correct and accurate manner. these sounds do not pose special difficulties to us. i. As a rule. • certain Romanian phonemes are not found in standard English. • the third group includes the sounds which are identical or almost identical in both languages. on the aspects of intonation. the learners should be able to: • recognize the sounds occurring in English and remember their acoustic qualities. • the peculiar features of rhythm and intonation in English. Teaching English pronunciation to speakers of Romanian According to Galateanu-Farnoaga. • the second group contains English sounds which are not found in standard Romanian. the most important peculiarities in this respect are: • certain English phonemes are not found in standard Romanian. • the phonemic difference between long and short vowels in English. • the main characteristic features of stress in English speech. Over a period of time they work on all the phonemes. There are. • learn the correspondence between the conventional spelling and pronunciation. • master the articulation of clusters of sounds in connected speech. In order to acquire an acceptable English pronunciation. at the first sight. • certain differences in the articulation of same sounds which. • comparison with the nearest sound in Romanian. 205 . the change of certain voiced sounds into voiceless ones and vice versa. three techniques of teaching pronunciation of foreign sounds: • imitation. • articulatory description. they fall into three categories: • the most difficult for the Romanian learners are the English sounds which have certain features in common with the corresponding sounds in the native language. stress).that is to tackle the pronunciation issues that have arisen in the course of an activity.It is said that only would-be teachers of English and spies need a perfect pronunciation. In this case imitation should be associated with description and comparison.

‘clear’. Thus teachers begin by having them listen to easy structures. Until students cannot hear properly what they are supposed to produce there is no chance of their being able to learn the English sound. i. word and phrase/ sentence stress and intonation. Then. 206 . use. The students pronounce after the teacher contrasts with minimal pairs.000 word families. another method was to start with words like ‘table’. Another principle that has been used in the selection of vocabulary is that of coverage. focusing attention on the phoneme. Other criteria concern frequency and coverage. that. Or. connected speech and correspondence between sounds and spelling. a general principle of vocabulary selection is that of frequency. and then individual. Step 5 – practice – first choral. Any English Dictionary for intermediate levels includes many more. a.000 entries. etc. But the majority of these 100 high frequency words are grammar or function words. which include individual sounds. So. The steps in teaching pronunciation are: Step 1 – to hear the sound. needs and wants.000 most frequent words in English would provide a reader with nearly nine out of every ten words used in most written texts. was. i. the same is hardly the matter with words and lexical phrases. So. It has been calculated that the most frequent 100 words in English make up fifty percent of most texts. ‘hen-fan-set’/ ‘ten-pan-mad’ Step 4 – generalization – it consists in a brief description of the significant features of the two phonemes. ‘pen’.Learners need help on the areas of pronunciation. Step 2 – to listen to contrasting phonemes. grammar. the words. This relatively slow progress is related to the exposure the average classroom FL learner experiences. the ten frequent words in written are: the. but this will be assessed in the light of topic. But.e.000 words and this amount has been considered as a threshold level for a foreign language learner.000 word families even after several years of study. and. some criteria are needed. formation. aural discrimination. for. Research shows that an educated native speaker will probably have a vocabulary of about 20. From a teacher’s point of view knowing a word means to know its meaning. are the ones to be taught first. the meaning of words being sometimes irrelevant. pointing out in what they are different. structure. Teachers further sharpen recognition by using one-syllable words. teachibility. This huge list should be reduced to manageable proportions for our learners. It has been calculated that an adult foreign language learner may be lucky to have acquired 5. of. a general principle in the past was to teach more concrete words at lower level and gradually passing to more abstract ones. in. function. to. The decision about what vocabulary to teach will be influenced by the information about frequency and use. because these represented objects that were in front of the learners and thus easily explained. It is known that the great Oxford English Dictionary contains about 290. Step 3 – to sharpen the recognition by identifying the two vowels. It has been also found out that the 2. I. Teaching Vocabulary Part of the problem in teaching vocabulary lies in the fact that whilst there is a consensus about what ‘grammar’ should be taught at what levels. research has found out that most native speakers use in their daily conversations about 2.e. For doing it. which are more commonly used.

• whether the items are being learned for production or recognition. ‘vegetable’. ‘to make’. • the ‘teachibility’ of the items (i. personal organizing. to pronounce it or spell it. spacing. Another issue concerns the way in which human memory works. i. The short-term memory is the brain’s capacity to hold a limited number of items for periods of time up to a few seconds. antonyms. Word grammar – knowing what part of speech a word is means to know how to use that word. Without this knowledge one cannot really say that s/he knows vocabulary items such as ‘furniture’. idiom. stretched or limited through the use of metaphor. working memory. cognitive depth.i. to use it the correct grammatical form. vocabulary knowledge is mainly a question of accumulating individual items.e. Long-term memory content is durable. the teacher has to decide on the number of words s/he is going to teach depending on: • the level of the students (beginners. imagining. etc). therefore we should also teach about word sense relations. learners need to recognize neutral and metaphorical use of language.Meaning – the first thing to realize about words is that they usually have more than one meaning and a particular meaning of a word is given by the context in which they occur. words have meanings in relation to other words (synonyms. they can be easily explained). word-formation means knowing how words are written and spoken and knowing how they can change their form. Learning words is remembering them. ‘look up’. making a noun an adjective. pacing. not only to repeat them. affective depth. A word will enter the long-term memory.e. The former term refers to vocabulary one is able to use. according to research findings if the following operations are implemented while learning it: repetition. Use – word meaning can be changed. Word formation – words change their shape and their grammatical value. putting them together in mind maps. etc. which is essentially a rule based system.e. In presentation of new vocabulary. a. Researchers into workings of memory distinguish: the short-term memory. Concluding. that is which words go with each other [e. etc. use the right words collocating with it. but even it is not always as long as one would wish. Tasks as founding their antonyms.s. words and expressions occur. use. too. For words to be integrated into long-time memory they need to be worked up. intermediate. that there is a difference between productive and receptive vocabulary.g. The working memory performs operations on words or the learner should interact with the new words. • the difficulty of the items. and ‘to do’ collocations]. hyponyms. etc. help to fix the words in learners’ minds. retrieval. 207 . ‘be aware of’.o. motivation. and long-term memory.o. a..whilst the latter refers to words which one recognizes when s/he meets them but which s/he is not able to use it productively. Thus. to know how words collocate and to realize in what stylistic and topical contexts. Word use is governed by collocation. At the same time. advanced) • the students familiarity with words. Style and register also govern use. Unlike the learning of grammar. In teaching and learning vocabulary one should be aware of the fact that everyone is usually able to recognize many more words than can produce.

d) Test. discourse markers .). the teacher can choose to present meaning through: translation. Each approach and/or method advocates a certain procedure for grammar learning and acquisition. and there is 'overt grammar teaching' where the teacher actually teaches grammar. enumerations. there is 'covert grammar teaching' where teachers help the students to acquire and/or practice the language. explanations. but they do not draw conscious attention to any of grammatical items of the language. There are other two main problems here. from examples. or to use discovery techniques that would allow students to infer or guess from context the meaning of the new lexical items. namely teaching pronunciation of the new words – generally it is done through modelling. and the way in which it is spelled and pronounced.e. pictures. socia formulae. actions and/or gestures. But these dictionaries are for beyond the beginner level. refreshing. compounding. catchphrases and sayings. Another very fruitful way to help learners with vocabulary is to teach them 'word formation' (affixation. consolidation. It seems that at the top of the list of recommended dictionaries we find reference dictionaries. First. learners will not get confused or even hindered in their more advanced study of English by the pedagogic grammar rules they have been taught as beginners. One can deal with finer distinction within each of these categories (e. the following stages are generally observed: a) Presentation or use of discovery techniques. definitions. mime. for teachers. a good knowledge of descriptive grammars and linguistic insights helps them to approach grammar teaching in an open-ended way. or phonemic symbols – and word spelling. The learners themselves should be encouraged to build up their 'dictionaries'.dictionaries where one looks up a word to see what meanings it has. Teaching and Learning Grammar There is no grammarless language so anyone who tends to attain a minimal degree of functional language usage has to acquire a 'core of grammar' without which his or her foreign language 'mastery' would be in the sphere of unacceptability. situations. that is the inductive approach. that is discovery techniques. i. At present more teachers advise their students to hear lexical chunks such as: collocations. In teaching grammar. have it used.Having decided on the number of the new words (7 to 12 words in an hour for productive use). b) Isolation and explanation. real things. etc. phrasal verbs. Next comes the monolingual dictionary (MLD). 208 . sentences frames. idioms. Pedagogic grammars are designed specifically to be of help to teach students to make correct sentences by giving them simplified rules.g. contrasts. and through texts. that is the deductive approach. But such grammars are based on the soundest achievements in the field of scientific grammar. visual representation. negative prefixes. so.) Use of dictionaries – Any dictionary has its strengths and weaknesses. c) Practice. From school experience. it has become obvious that grammar can be taught from rules. either as the classical vocabulary notebooks or as 'cards' that can be organized in many different ways so that they suit the learner needs. conversion. etc.

watching. Preview is a technique where students are exposed to the new language. according to Jeremy Harmer. Isolation and explanation. they are not asked to concentrate on it. etc.Presentation or use of discovery techniques-A good presentation should be: clear. much time will be wasted on in compreshension or unacceptable responses.g.a 'heterogeneous' exercise is one that can be done at various levels. but the fact of having seen the 'grammar in action' will help them to study and acquire it later. but from what has been consolidated and doing it. because.students concentrate on a text to discover new grammar. the learners' self-esteem should also be fastered! Heterogeneity.is a stage where teachers focus on grammatical items themselves and explain what they look like. e.i. Text study. refreshing. text study and problem-solving. or to transfer what they know from shortterm to long-term memory. a clear frustrating time of our lives either teachers or students. if such a step has not taken place prior to the practice. Practice. appropriate. Presentations that share these characteristics may be those in which teachers use dialogues. that is also called consolidation. but when the teacher feels that his or her students 'falter' in using a grammar structure. Again. in applying a rule.practice is more effective if it is based on successful performance. visuals. texts. situations. productive. Discovery techniques involve.e.consists of a series of exercise done both in the classroom and for home assignments. Problem solving. The function of any type of exercise is to make the rules clearer and to ensure that they are learnt more throughly. 'the common' exercises do not provide effective practice for all students. people keep forgetting! Another type of practice. efficient. 209 . teachers asking them to look at different language forms and their meaning. lively and interesting. But practice will become 'consolidation' or 'refreshing' in time. The objective is that the learners should understand the various aspects of language. how the future is expressed in English or why six sentences that use the same structure have six different meanings. For instance. These consolidation and refreshing activities are not meant for testing even if teachers get feedback! This is a moment when classroom can be transformed in a friendly learning environment! Success-orientation. whose aim is to cause the learners to absorb the new knowledge thoroughly. Because most classes are in fact composed of mixt-ability groups. in some cases refreshing. the students are helped to remember and become clear about what they are to practice. four types of activities: preview. consolidation. unfortunately.at higher levels. students may be asked to look at areas of grammar rather than small details. what they mean. A heterogeneous exercise is one on which learners can perform to the limits of their ability. is not organized after the initial presentation and explanation. the following steps should be observed: Pre-learning or re-learning. etc. students are asked to look at the verbs forms in 'if clauses'. Matching exercises. maybe they have forgotten. teachers should not start from what learners do not know.students have to make choices what goes with what. and this activity helps them to discover correct facts of grammar. in such cases. how they function and 'give the rule'.

• reading and listening for detailed information. The problems presented by teaching receptive skills connected with language. but the following seem more important: motivator. spelling. or pleasurable – we do it for pleasure. texts are used as models as stimuli. There are some general things which apply to both listening and reading . In developing writing skill we should take into account writing skill we should take into account writing conventions-handwriting. predicting and guessing. • reading and listening for specific information. the class speaking activities include acting from a script. The main objective of tests should be to provide feedback without which learners would not be able to progress very far and the teachers would not know what to do next On Language Skills Teaching Traditionally. parallel writing dictations to creative writing and using the computer. dealing with difficulty. language skills are considered to be: Medium/Skill Receptive Productive Speech Listening and comprehension Speaking Written word Reading and understanding Writing Teaching receptive skills – or the way in which people infer meaning from the language they hear or see. but there are some processes which are required by both of them: structuring discourse. information processing. The skills are: • identifying the topic. During such practice activities the teacher's activity should be directed towards supporting and assisting the students in their assessing and correcting. but there are also differences between them. Teaching productive skills – speaking and writing are different in many ways. strategies of interacting with others on the spot. and the exercise is 'success-oriented'. prompter and feedback organiser. simulation and role-play. At the same time mental and social processing is involved. observing styles and genres. there will be few instances. interviews.Teacher assistance – having presented the practice tasks. use of expressive devices.retrieval of vocabulary from memory and organizing it in appropriate syntactically sequences. Test – learners do tests in order to demonstrate to themselves and to the teachers how well they master the material they have been learning. Among the language features of the spoken language are: connected speech. of the appropriate Lexis and grammar and negotiation or classification of meaning. topic. If the pre-learning has been proper. The teacher needs to play all his or her usual roles. resource. following sociocultural rules. layout and punctuation. and feedback provider. interacting with an audience. communication games. To develop these abilities.and such activities from copying. and tasks. The reasons for reading and listening may be instrumental – utilitarian purpose. students should perform it successfuly and fairly quickly. prepared talks. interpreting texts. The teaching of productive skills is closely linked with receptive skill developing. reading and listening for general information (in reading this skill is called skimming). In teaching receptive skills the teacher should organize and encourage both extensive and intensive reading and listening. playing the roles of organiser. because language output becomes input for the interlocutor or the reader! In developing productive skills. discussions/ conversations. Developing speaking skills means fluency and ability to process information and language during the interaction. 210 .

testers have to be clear about the purpose of testing. While for many educational and other purposes. teachers' assessments are appropriate and sufficient. a common yardstick is needed. in some cases. the proper relationship between teaching and testing should be that of partnership. Evaluation form: oral examination 211 . introduction.Testing – information about people's foreign language abilities is useful and sometimes necessary. cloze procedures. objectives for each activity. which is being tested. testing should be supportive of good teaching and exert a corrective influence on the poor one. teaching or learning procedures and techniques. since different purposes require different types of tests. sentence re-ordering. in order to make meaningful comparisons. If teaching is good and testing is not the background is harmful. or to make sensible educational decisions. homework assignment. and lesson or unit plan. In marking tests. short term plan. presentation. It is a more detailed plan in which the teacher mentions the activities and the materials s/he needs. tests of some kind or another will be needed in order to provide statements about the learners' levels of English. Generally. which covers either a period of time or a number of lessons. practical. then testing may exert a beneficial influence. Any lesson could fall into several stages such as: revision. Within educational systems. educational authorities make clear what is required from this point of view and specimens of different plans are given. The common indirect item types are: Multiple Choice Question (MCQs). or indirect if they try to measure a student's knowledge and ability by getting on what these are based. transformation and paraphrase. clear. The short-term plan – on the basis of long-term plan the teacher drafts a short-term plan. Generally the tests should: • measure language proficiency regardless of any language courses that the candidates may have followed – PROFICENCY TESTS • discover what students have achieved within in a course of studyPROGRESS or ACHIEVEMENT TESTS • diagnose students' strengths and weaknesses and identify what they know or do not know – DIAGNOSTIC TESTS • assist placement of students by identifying the most appropriate programm to their ability – PLACEMENT TESTS Thus. equally. In any particular situation. and do not allow too much personal interpretation! Planning – any teacher thinks of three types of plans: long term plan. items may be direct if the candidates are asked to perform the skill. every year. as well as necessary to ensure the success of his/her English lesson. Therefore. explanation. subjectivity should be eliminated by adopting assessment scales that are objective. but. oral/ written consolidation. In our opinion. syllabus and selected textbook or of the course programme. and starts preparing them. Lesson plan – there are many types of lesson plans and they tell what the teacher intends to perform in English class. The teacher establishes general aims for the lesson. The long-term plan is worked out by the teachers before the beginning of the school year or of the language course and is the logical consequence of the teacher's through study of the curriculum. the needed materials. practice. when teaching is poor.

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