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4 April 2013 e-ISSN : 0976-7967, p-ISSN : 2319-2216 © VSRD International Journals : www.vsrdjournals.com
LANGUAGE SKILLS : A STUDY OF IMPROVING ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS THROUGH ENGLISH READING SKILLS
Bipin Bihari Dash
Lecturer in English, Department of Humanities College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, INDIA. Corresponding Mail: email@example.com
A ‘skill’ is defined as the ability to perform a task. Communication is an activity –something that we do. When we communicate, we have to perform various ‘tasks’. The successful performance of this task requires a great deal of skill. Since communication is mostly through ‘language’, ‘communication skills’ are also sometimes described Language Skills. The term language skill refers to a person’s ability to use language effectively, in its spoken and written forms, for different activities and purposes. There are major language skills, which must be acquired by all language users. They are: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing (LSRW). Speaking and Writing are known as productive skills; on the other hand, Listening and Reading are Receptive Skills. Reading and Speaking skills are interrelated. We cannot say that people who develop extensive and intensive reading skills tend to improve large speaking skills. Of course; reading power relies on progressive improvement in vocabulary that provides communication. The importance of vocabulary knowledge, which facilitates speaking skills, has been a major source in the development of reading skills. So fostering improvement in word knowledge through wide reading has the potential for fostering improvement in speaking skills. This paper explores how written words relate to spoken words and finally how contributes to speech. Keywords : Vocabulary Knowledge, Grammar, Pronunciation, Reading Skill, Speaking Skills.
1. INTRODUCTION The purpose of language learning is to improve the speakers’ four skills (LSRW), with the base of language vocabulary and grammar proficiency. English language has the global language which dominates in various fields throughout the world. It is the language that is used by the largest group of people, though it plays many influential roles in many fields such as business world, technology science, communication, and education. High proficiency of English is required for all of these fields. English, especially in education is essential to develop human resources which seem to be most important in developing of countries. “Where there is little reading, there will be little language learning ... the student who wants to learn English will have to read himself into a knowledge of it unless he can move into an English environment” (Bright and McGregor 52). One important notion of developing reading skills and speaking skills is to use the language for learning as well as communication. It needs to be noted that speaking holds a very significant place in foreign language learning because through speech messages are conveyed. According to Ur, of all the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing), speaking seems intuitively the most important. Reading outside the classroom is the most significant influence on oral communication. Learners through reading improve in both fluency and accuracy of expression in their speaking. Davis and Pears stresses the importance of communication as: “Real success in English teaching and learning is when the learners can actually communicate in English inside and outside the classroom.”
2. SPEAKING Nunan states “Speaking is a productive aural/ oral skill and it consists of producing systematic verbal utterances to convey meaning. “Speaking is the way in which we express or exchange thoughts and feelings through using language. Harmer notes down that from the communicative point of view, speaking has many different aspects including two major categories – accuracy, involving the correct use of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation praised through controlled and guided activities; and fluency, considered to be ‘the ability to keep going when speaking spontaneously’. Language knowledge and skill in using these are considered two fundamental elements of an effective communication. Among the elements the following are the necessary elements of an effective communication. Connected Speech : Effective learners of English need to be not only to produce the individual phonemes of English (as in saying I would have come) but also to use fluent ‘ connected speech’ as in ( I’d ‘ve come). In connected speech, sounds are modified, omitted, added or weakened. Expressive Devices: Native speakers of English change the pitch and stress of particular parts of utterances, vary volume and speed, and show by other physical and non-verbal means how they are feeling. Lexical and Grammar: Spontaneous speech is marked by the use of number of common lexical phrases, especially in the performance of certain language functions. Negotiation and Language: Effective speaking
scanning and skimming skills. p. Rapid reading skills include prediction. states that reading is built from two components: word recognition and comprehension. Krashen and Terrell point out that reading enables learner to comprehend better which is an important factor that can develop language competence. IV (IV). These skills include vocabulary skills.Bipin Bihari Dash VSRDIJEECE. 1 : Definition of reading (David Nunan. 68). reading could be quite a challenging activity because the act of understanding is not always simple. it may primarily be to: get an introductory idea of a text. get a broad understanding of the subject matter understand scientific ideas. Walter R. accent. So. As a complex of decoding and comprehending the written messages. the strategies of good conversation are: Be an Active Listener Be a Subtle Speaker Be Simple Be Polite Be Friendly Be Positive Be Flexible Be Tactful Be Interested Speak with Clarity Use Appropriate Pauses Do not Argue He also states that in order to improve self-expression and achieve the desired clarity and fluency. Fig. What he said years ago is still relevant. Building a knowledge of language which will facilitate . and linguistic clues to guess the information that a text contains. comprehending.72 Hedge writes the goals of learners’ in a reading process as: The ability to read a wide range of texts in English. headings. Reading is an important communicative process and reading skills are probably the most important language skills required for academic and professional purposes. broaden one’s outlook and understanding discover’s authors view points. Practical English Language Teaching 2003. theories. These two components gained through reading will foster learners’ language competence. This discussion highlights vocabulary and grammar knowledge among these elements. The ability to read requires that the reader draw information from a text and combine it with information and expectations that the reader already has (Grabe and Stoller). M. pronunciation. subheadings. recognizing main ideas. articulation. Vocabulary and grammar knowledge will enable learners to understand. visual perceptual skills. Skimming involves three main skills.C. Intensive reading skills include distinguishing between facts and opinions. and intonation need to be improved. 3. reading will increase learners’ understanding capability which they need for a better communication. Vocabulary skills involve word meaning recognition and guessing the meaning of unknown words from word structure and context. voice quality. and drawing inferences and conclusions. Depending on the purpose of reading. critical reading. the reader will require different reading strategies and skills in order to understand the subject-content and language patterns of a message. Reading is a fluent process of readers combining information from a text and their own background knowledge to build meaning and the goal of reading is comprehension (Nunan. Reading is one of the most effective ways of foreign language learning. faster eye fixations. text analysis and response. Effective eye reading requires accurate visual perception of words and phrases. and inferential skills. Ashraf Rizvi. Ashraf Rizvi points out that the basic purpose of reading is to extract information from various sources. Reading is concerned with four factors: decoding. or to seek evidence for one’s own point of view. identifying the central idea. rapid reading skills. and principles. Hill briefly defines reading as what the reader does to get the meaning he needs from contextual resources. Alderson J. Scanning refers to the ability to locate specific information or facts as quickly as possible. Prediction involves the use of index. READING Francis Bacon said. Reading will enable learners to develop their vocabulary and grammar knowledge which will effectively contribute to their speaking skills. and complete elimination of vocalization. Reading simply is the interpretation of a written message. and intensive reading skills. According to M. non-verbal context. “Reading makes a complete man”. April 2013 / 68 benefits from the negotiatory language we use to seek clarification and to show the structure of what we are saying. while intensive reading involves detailed reading. obtain spefic information understand new changes and developments in a particular field. and identifying the writing patterns of the passage/text. Vol.
Most people recognize the important relationship between knowing words and reading well. “in fact the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and reading comprehension is well established in the reading literature” (Dole. INTEGRATING READING AND SPEAKING SKILLS Six component skills have been suggested in a reading process. they begin noticing and mastering the patterns in the language. the communication of ideas can’t be properly realized (Zhong-guo. Similarly. Trathen . Grammar helps learners to build comprehensible sentences in speaking. Krashen encourages reading because it is a great factor in foreign language improvement and believes that students who read a lot are good at reading. Reading results in incidental vocabulary acquisition. Vol.Bipin Bihari Dash VSRDIJEECE. Among these knowledge fields’ vocabulary and structural knowledge which are acquired through reading. writing. good at writing and have a good vocabulary and grammar knowledge. Grammar is important to learn the nature of language. vocabulary. 452). Learners can learn how to get benefit from the texts to extract the information they need. discourse competence (cohesion and how sentences are linked together). influence learner’s speaking achievement. Vocabulary is one of the . to hypothesize that reading makes a contribution to overall competence. Learners can find enjoyment or interest through reading. sociolinguistic competence (rules for interaction. Good knowledge of grammar is viewed as an essential aspect for achievement in a foreign language. A broad and deep vocabulary knowledge makes learners precise and articulate. reading. McCarthy states that lexical and grammatical knowledge are significantly correlated to reading comprehension. IV (IV). social meanings). in fact. speaking. Sloan. And. supporting this notion. Lewis writes that learning vocabulary is the core task in second language learning and any language skills of listening. In order to understand how language works. Learners can practice language in order to reuse it in other skills such as speaking and writing. and strategic competence (compensatory strategies to use in difficult strategies). the more you will increase your exposure to vocabulary that doesn’t usually make its way into the spoken language. Williams suggests some reasons why language learners should read in a foreign language: Learners can have further practice in the language that they have learnt.” Reading will help learners acquire vocabulary and grammar. April 2013 / 69 reading ability Building schematic knowledge The ability to adapt the reading style according to reading purpose (skimming. This means learners will achieve better reading comprehension through grammar. so communication does not occur if there are no words. The more reading you will do. There is good reason. scanning) Developing an awareness of the structure of written texts in English Taking a critical stance to the contexts of the texts Reading will add to learners’ conversational performance. states that “the relationship between reading and vocabulary is well documented and reciprocal”.63). When learners constantly engage in the target language. Therefore reading is probably the best way to learn new words. Speech without vocabulary cannot be produced. Reading may contribute significantly to competence in a second language. Nation supports this idea and says: “Reading has long been seen as a major source of vocabulary growth”. Through reading language learners will have vocabulary knowledge which will facilitate their speaking performance and their usage of structure in the target language will develop. word and sentence formation …). Reading will help learners to decipher new words that they need for conversations. An improved vocabulary will help learners develop their speaking skills. These components which are required through reading are all necessary for developing speaking skills. 4. “If we only understand what others say partially and superficially. and they both influence learner’s speaking performance. P Prasad. Learners see structure of a sentence and this enables them to build their own sentences and utterances. Vocabulary knowledge and grammar are two essential factors of foreign language learning. learners should give attention to grammar. Through reading learners see how words fit together. to all four skills (Krashen & Terrel 131) Vocabulary knowledge is indispensable for effective communication. Vocabulary conveys the meaning of a word. and translating cannot exist without vocabulary. Through reading learners see how the new words connect to other words. Hedge also states that through extensive reading learners advance their ability of guessing the meanings of unknown words and phrases from clues in the context and he concludes that students who read a lot outside the classroom may increase both their comprehending the context and improving their vocabulary which are essential elements to advance speaking skills. Min-yan p. Automatic recognition skills Vocabulary and structural knowledge Formal discourse structure knowledge Content/world background knowledge Synthesis and evaluation skills/strategies Metacognitive knowledge and skills monitoring How do these component skills contribute to speaking skills? Anne Lazaraton suggests that oral communication is based on four dimensions or competences: grammatical competence (phonology.
they develop more Sophisticated speaking skills.  Dole. T. Dubin and Olshtain also point out that through extensive reading learners learn much vocabulary. And an ongoing reading habit will enable learners understand a text easily. Sanjay Kumar and Puspa Lata are of the opinion that encouraging learners to read will lead them guessing the meanings of words. An Introduction to Professional English and Soft Skills. So to say speaking and reading skills are interlinked. One of the most useful ways to improve our communication skills is extensive reading. plays. In other words. F. Extensive reading will help us to develop our ability to express ideas. Reading helps learners build up better grammar skills.e. The Practice of English Language Teaching. IV (IV).  Hill. Accuracy and fluency of learners will get better through reading. April 2013 / 70 essential and fundamental components of communication and the vocabulary knowledge adds words to a wider range of meaning. even they do not know meanings of some words in the text. reveals any problem they have understanding a text. lets them apply the information they have read into authentic speaking practice that improves their fluency . Journal of Reading .Das. A. phrases from the context. (2001). which suggests that both size and depth are related to speaking performance. Learners will easily comprehend in the foreign language if they advance their ability of guessing the meanings of words from context which will promote their speaking performance.Y: McGraw: Hill International Book Company. W.Bipin Bihari Dash VSRDIJEECE. E. vocabulary has a central position in forming an utterance with appropriate meanings and with syntactic. A text is usually regarded as authentic if it is not written for teaching purposes but for a real-life communicative purpose. and emotions and also enlarge the size of vocabulary. and. Integrating speaking and reading skills deepens students’ understanding of the reading material. Harlow: Pearson Education. Extensive reading. As such. First. P. Vol. Facilitating Language Learning: A Guidebook for the ESL/EFL Teacher.P. morphological.. New Delhi: Cambridge U. (1970).  . feelings. 5. (2002).. primary meaning and form [phonology]) but also depth (i. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press. or reading for pleasure. we can say that communication without appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure is not much worthful. UK: OUP. C. and the more they read the more they will understand the meanings of sentences and concepts. Learners have the opportunity to find sentences and phrases used in our daily conversation in dramas. Procedure. Teaching & learning in the language Classroom .. and phonological structures. Teaching English as a Second Language. Teaching Vocabulary within the Context of Literature. J. Success in English Teaching. Rao and Das suggest that better vocabulary knowledge produces better oral performance. E. Vocabulary knowledge is one of the crucial factors that will influence fluency in speaking. J.. (1977). As learners develop stronger reading skills. W. (1979). plays and dialogues because they are all based on one person talking to another. and not for a grade or a test. Learners will improve their speaking competence if they have better vocabulary knowledge which they can get through reading. Some studies have shown that using authentic texts has a positive effect on learning the target language by developing communicative competence. Levelt’s model suggests two points. no speech can be produced without vocabulary. They emphasize the benefits of extensive reading as: Students develop an ability to gain pleasure and also satisfaction from reading on their own in the language they are learning. Reading introduces learners to a wider body of language and contexts. London: Longman.  Harmer. will help the students comprehend more and also continue to use the language after the instruction. They also claim that having good vocabulary knowledge is one of the essential components to gain fluency in speaking performance. they get different unpressured feeling on the structure of the language since they read for pleasure. CONCLUSION To conclude. vocabulary is always required in the formulation stage. dialogues and daily news paper. J. A. Without vocabulary communication in a second language cannot happen in a meaningful way. P. syntax and morphology). & Olshtain. Extensive reading has also effect on other language skills such as writing and speaking. It is real language created by native speakers of the target language in pursuit of communicative outcomes. R. 6. They are exposed to the language in a more natural and less structured way. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Secondary School Reading: Process. 38(6).. (2003). et al. most importantly. the lexicon consisting of lemmas and lexemes includes not only vocabulary size (i. Program. .  Davies. (1995). It needs to be noted that good vocabulary knowledge will give learners confidence in their speaking performance. 2009. McGregor. & G.  Hedge. In other words. For spoken English the best reading materials are dramas. an authentic text is one that possesses an intrinsically communicative quality. REFERENCES  Bright. & Trathen.  Dubin.e. 452-460. and vocabulary is indispensable to speaking performance.. In the theoretical model of L1 and L2 speaking. Second. Reading extensively will enhance their comprehension. where the writer has a certain message to pass on to the reader. Pearse.. Sloan. N.
Teaching Oral Skills. 323-348.Bipin Bihari Dash VSRDIJEECE. P. P.  McCarthy. 2000(11). F.2 nd ed. Nageshwar. (1996). Boston: Heinle and Heinle. English Teaching Forum. Teaching English as a Second foreign language.. T. Y. M. (2000). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Nunan. 2011. J.Ashraf.  Rao. A Course in Language Teaching: Practice and Theory. IV (IV). E.  Levelt.Kataria & Sons. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill. (1989).Effective Technical Communication.  Rizvi. S. (2001).doi. Vol.K. D.Mumbai: Himalaya Publishing House. MA: MIT Press. M. http:// dx.  Lewis.Das. Boston: McGraw Hill.1061/41052 (346)25 . 2009(1). New Delhi: S. April 2013 / 71  Krashen.).  Ur.org/10. In M. (2003). 32-34. The Lexical Approach. and Rajendra P. M. CelceMurcia (Ed. London: Macmillan Publishers  Zhang. (1993). (1989). Applied Language Learning. Reading to Speak: Integrating Oral Communication Skills. A.  Williams. The Functional Aspects of Communication Skills. Sanjay. London: Language Teaching Publications. D. Speaking: From intention to articulation. New Delhi: Oxford U. Reading in the Language Classroom. (2007). (2009). D. Communication Skills.  Prasad. Practical English Language Teaching. W. and Pushpa Lata. Lexical and Grammatical Knowledge in Reading and Listening Comprehension by Foreign Language Learners of Spanish.P. & Terrell. The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom. Communication Skills. Pergamon: Prentice Hall. (1984).  Kumar.  Lazaraton.
April 2013 / 72 . IV (IV).Bipin Bihari Dash VSRDIJEECE. Vol.
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