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Integrating the four skills

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Alina Andreea

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Integrating the four skills

What is integration?
- Language skills integration refers to teaching
the many aspects of a skill and treat it as one of two
or more interrelated skills.

Where and why does it apply?
- It applies to L2 students who want results in
comprehension, retention and production of
foreign language classes, and combine production
(speaking and written), and reception (reading and
listening).

Why is integration effective?
During integration classes L2 students can relate to
real-life situations, perceive the difference
among several skills. Further more, the classes
are flexible, creative, interesting and motivating. An example on how an integrated skills lesson should take place, with the focus on Reading skill
- Pre-reading discussions on a chosen topic to activate schemata
- (integrating) listening to a series of facts or statements related to the topic
- a focus on a reading strategy like scanning
- (integrating) writing some ideas of the reading passage Advantages of using integrative skills
In real life situations, people use skills in tandem:
Engaging in conversations need both
comprehension and the ability to speak at
the same time => L2 instructions engage in
learning language simultaneously
Integrative instruction uses communicative
approaches with pedagogical emphasis,
goals, materials, activities playing a central role
in communicative language use.
The main role of ILS is to instruct and engage
learners in meaningful learning and
attaining curriculum goals In promoting communicative language use, there are some references to the techniques used by integrated skills :
Production and reception cannot be separated;
Sending and receiving messages means INTERACTING;
A key to language use is to keep a strong relationship between writing and speaking language; if separated, they lose their richness;
For literate learners, the written and spoken language is an intrinsic motivator;
Another motivating element of integrative learning is showing the student what he can do with language, and secondarily place accent on its forms;
One skill reinforces the other: we learn to speak partially by modeling what we hear,and we learn how to write by examining what we can read;
In real life situations, we use one or more skills, and connections between the way we feel and act; Integrated and multi language skill uses pedagogical methods such as goals, instructional materials and activities in order to promote communicative language use.
At present, in order to have a communicative focus in teaching ILS, many types of instructional models are used:

Content based (including theme based)
Task based, genre based,
Discourse based,
Project based,
Problem based,
Literature based,
Community based,
Standards based; Disadvantages
(or why traditional learning suffered changes)

In teaching pre-communicative language teaching,
the focus was on rules and paradigms, students were
taught a lot about language mostly at the expense
of teaching language itself;

Due to administrative considerations, separated
skills courses were held as a progress toward intense
university preparation. Though these courses were
held, there was need of one teacher and one for
each skill at a three hour per week course.

Not all classes are integrated because every student
feels the need to improve one certain skill, yet on
the cost of lowering the morphological, syntactic,
lexical, semantic importance of the language. Advantages of using integrative skills

In real life situations, people use skills in
tandem:
-Engaging in conversations need both
comprehension and the ability to speak at
the same time => L2 instructions engage in
learning language simultaneously

Integrative instruction uses communicative
approaches with pedagogical emphasis,
goals, materials, activities playing a central role
in communicative language use.

The main role of ILS is to instruct and engage
learners in meaningful learning and
attaining curriculum goals Together with the new language movements, a new system of teaching integrated
skills has been implemented. Currently, tasked based and content based instructions
are probably among the most widely adopted models.
There have also been discussion in regards to this method of teaching over
the traditional models. Some specialists insist upon the fact that teaching
using ILS and its results have not been empirically proven and that its
effectiveness is little. (Richard Seedhouse, 1999; Swan,
2005; Widdowson, 1990, 1993, 2003)

In comparing the traditional and ILS models, we find that proficiency cannot be
developed when learning is limited, On the other hand, it is believed that when
using ILS, the learner develops the sense of real life communication, linguistic
features and different types of contextualized discourse, the exact goal of
developing students proficiency and skills. Speaking integrated with other language skills

In real conversation exchange, students must self-monitor in order to identify production problems
Communicative interaction in L2 enables learners to attain L2 speaking fluency
According to Ellis (2003), using theme based approaches develops oral production:
narratives and descriptions can be effective in fluency focused teaching, debates and problem solving
increases grammatical and lexical complexity.
- When using content based instructions the uses of contextualized grammar structures and
vocabulary can be used to connect the subject matter to the language learning activities.
In teaching speaking as an integrated skill the focus is on making the learner
intelligible from a native like accent by using small talk, forms of address,
speech acts – refusals, request, clarification questions; it deals with the effectiveness of language:
turn the radio down vs please turn the radio down
- Listening integrated with other language skills

- When integrating the listening skill in teaching, the emphasis is on the L2
conversations that put accent on the sociocultural norms;
- The teaching of pronunciation skills is integrated with both s
speaking and listening instructions;
- Although discussions have been made regarding teaching integrated skills,
content based and task based approaches have been found
suitable for teaching listening
- Content based and task based instructions such as – Listen – and - do -
are relaxing and flexible; Writing skills integrated with other skills

As the case in teaching integrated Reading skills ,L2 students find a more
relaxing and confident atmosphere when they are familiar
with letters and the signs used in reading;

Much of the instruction used in L2 writing, grammar and vocabulary tasks
combined with reading, content – based and form focus instruction improve
the quality of L2 prose.

Another approach for teaching writing together with reading is when
the focus is on the language used in text written for specific
purposes – academic;

Theme based instructions enables L2 learners to analyze academic discourse
while reading and produce academic writing in connection with the socio – cultural
norms of the particular academic genre; Reading skills integrated with other skills

The reader needs to gather visual information from the written text
(letters and words), identify their meaning and then move forward to
processing the structure and the meaning;

When trying to read, the L2 learner uses a cognitive complex task;

In the case of young learners and old ones, as well as L1 learners that
speak a language with a different type of omographs, the best approach is to work
with approaches such as sight – word approach, look – say approach;;

The appropriate manner to teach L2 reading is to begin by processing letters,
moving to the English spelling system and vocabulary teaching
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