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Ingls y su Enseanza I

Mentalist theory, Interlanguage, Computational model of L2 Acquisition

MENTALIST THEORY The inefficiencies of the behaviourist theory led researchers to look towards an alternative theoretical framework. Linguistics researchers switched their attention from the role of `nurture (how environmental factors shape learning) to that of `nature (how the innate properties of the human mind shape learning). This theory was mentalist in orientation. According to this theory: Only human beings are capable of learning language. The human mind is equipped with a faculty for learning language, referred to as a Language Acquisition Device. This faculty is the primary determinant of language acquisition. Input is only needed to make the language acquisition device work. The concept of interlanguage is related directly to the mentalist theory with elements from cognitive psychology. Chomsky suggested that all children are born with a black box which allowed them to formulate rules of language based on the input they received. Once these rules have been activated, the potential for creativity follows. All in all, a behaviourist view treats language learning as environmentally determined, controlled from the outside by the stimuli learners are exposed to and the reinforcement they receive. In contrast, mentalist theories emphasize the importance of the learners black box. They maintain that learners brains are especially equipped to learn language and all that is needed is minimal exposure to input in order to trigger acquisition.

WHAT IS INTERLANGUAGE? The term was coined by the American linguist Larry Selinker: it is a unique linguistic system that draws, in part, on the learner`s L1, but also differs from it as well as from the target language The concept involves some premises about L2 acquisition: The learner constructs a system of linguistic rules which involves comprehension and production of the L2. This system of rules is known as interlanguage. The learners grammar is permeable. That is that grammar is open to influence from the outside (through the input) or be also influenced by the inside. The learners grammar is transitional. Learners change their grammar from one time to another by adding rules, deleting rules and restructuring the whole system. This result in an interlanguage continuum. That is that learners construct a series of interlanguages increase their L2 knowledge. Some researchers have claimed that the systems learners construct contain variable rules (learners have competing rules at any one stage of development). But others researchers see variability as an aspect of performance rather than competence. Learners employ various learning strategies to develop their interlanguages. The different kinds of errors learners produce reflect different learning strategies. The learners grammar is likely to fossilize. Selinker suggested that only few learners develop the same mental grammar as native speakers. Fossilization is unique to L2 grammars. A COMPUTATIONAL MODEL OF L2 ACQUISITION The concept of interlanguage can be viewed as a metaphor of how L2 acquisition takes place. It implies that the human mind can function like a computer. The learner is exposed to input, which is processed in two stages. First, parts of the input taken into a short-term memory, referred to as intake.

Second, some of the intake is taken into a long-term memory as the form of L2 knowledge. This process occurs within the black box of the learners mind where the learners interlanguage is constructed. Finally, L2 knowledge is used by the learner to produce spoken and written output.

Grammatical foreigner talk It is the norm; various types of modification of baseline talk (the way in which native speakers address and talk to other native speakers) can be identified: First, grammatical foreign talk is delivered at a slower pace. Second, the input is simplified; the use of shorter sentences, avoidance of subordinate clauses, and the omission of complex grammatical forms like question tags. Third, grammatical foreigner talk is sometimes regularized; the use of basic forms. Fourth, foreigner talk sometimes consists of elaborated language use. We may tend to modify the way we talk to learners to make it easier for them to understand. However, they still fail to understand. They can pretend they have understood or can signal that they have not understood. This results in interactional modifications as the participants in the discourse engage in the negotiation of meaning. INPUT HYPOTHESIS (KRASHEN) According to Stephen Krashens input hypothesis, L2 acquisition takes place when a learner understands input that contains grammatical forms that are i + 1 (are a little more advanced than the current state of the learners interlanguage). Krashen suggests that the right level of input is attained automatically when interlocutors succeed in making themselves understood in communication. Success is achieved by using the situational context to make messages clear and through the kinds of input modifications found in foreigner talk. According to Krashen L2 acquisition depends on comprehensible input. INTERACTION HYPOTHESIS Michael Longs interaction hypothesis also emphasizes the importance of comprehensible input but claims that it is most effective when it is modified through the negotiation of meaning. Another perspective on the relationship between discourse and L2 acquisition is provided by Evelyn Hatch. He suggests that the collaborative endeavours of the learners and their interlocutors can grow out of the process of building discourse. One way in which this can occur is through scaffolding. Learners use

Acquiring discourse rules, Interactionist Theory, Input, Interaction and, Output Hypothesis.
ACQUIRING DISCOURSE RULES There are rules which native speakers use to hold conversations. The acquisition of discourse rules, like the acquisition of grammatical rules, is systematic, reflecting both distinct types of errors and developmental sequences. INTERACTIONIST THEORY Interactionist theories of L2 acquisition acknowledge the importance of both input and internal language processing. Learning takes place as a result of complex interaction between the linguistic environment and the learners internal mechanisms. If learner discourse can be shown to have special properties it is possible that these contribute to acquisition in some way. It does indeed have special properties. The native speakers modify their speech when communicating with children learner. The modifications are evident in both input and interaction, have been investigated through the study of foreigner talk. Two types of foreigner talk can be identified-ungrammatical and grammatical. Ungrammatically foreigner talk It is socially marked. If often implies a lack of respect on the part of the native speaker and can be resented by learners. It is characterized by the deletion of certain grammatical features such as copula be , modal verbs and articles, the use of the base form of the verb in place of the past tense form, and the use of special constructions such as no + verb.

the discourse to help them produce utterances that they would not be able to produce on their own. VIGOTSKY The two key constructs in what is known as activity theory, based on Vigotskys ideas, are motive and internalization. Motive concerns the active way in which individuals define the goals of an activity for themselves by deciding what to attend to and what not to attend to. Internalization concerns how a novice comes to solve a problem with the assistance of an expert. Who provides scaffolding, and then internalizes the solution. Vigotsky argues that children learn through interpersonal activity, such as play with adults, whereby they form concepts that would be beyond them if they were acting alone. In other word, zones of proximal development are created through interaction with more knowledgeable others. Subsequently, the child learns how to control a concept without the assistance of others. THE ROLE OF OUTPUT IN L2 ACQUISITION Here we find some views: Krashen argues that speaking is the result of acquisition not its cause. He claims that the only way learners can learn from their output is by treating is as auto-input. In effect, Krashen is refuting the cherished belief of many teachers that languages are learned by practicing them. In contrast to Krashen, Richard Schmidt learners can only process the new language by noticing it, so comprehensible input is not enough for acquisition to take place. According to Schmidt second language learners notice a language construction when they come across it often enough. Merrill Swain has argued that comprehensible output also plays a part in L2 acquisition. She suggests a number of specific ways in which learners can learn from their own output: First, output can serve a consciousness raising function by helping learners to notice gaps in their interlanguages. That is by trying to speak or write in the L2

they realize the lack of grammatical knowledge they have when they want to say something. Second, output helps learners to test hypotheses. They can try out and see whether it leads to successful communication or whether it leads to negative feedback. Third, learners sometimes talk about their own output, identifying problems with it and discussing ways in which they can be put right. Building on Swain's Output Hypothesis, Skehan suggests that production requires attention to form but only sometimes. He distinguishes three aspects of production: (1) Fluency, the capacity of the learner to mobilize his/her system to communicate meaning in real time; (2) Accuracy, the ability of the learner to handle whatever level of interlanguage complexity he/she has currently achieved; and (3) Complexity, the utilization of interlanguage structures that are 'cutting edge', elaborate, and structured. Skehan suggests that language users vary in the extent to which they emphasize fluency, accuracy, or complexity, with some tasks predisposing them to focus on fluency, others on accuracy, and yet others on complexity. COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE (HYMES) Since the concept of communicative competence was first introduced by Hymes in the mid-1960s, many researchers have helped develop theories and practices of Communicative Language Teaching approach. Hymes coined this term in contrast to Chomskys Linguistic Competence. Chomsky indicated that underlying the concrete language performance, there is an abstract rule system or knowledge and this underlying knowledge of the grammar of the language by the native speaker is his linguistic competence. In contrast, Hymes argue that in addition to linguistic competence, the native speaker has another rule system. In Hymes view, language was considered as a social and cognitive phenomenon; syntax and language forms were

understood not as autonomous structures, but rather as meaning resources used in particular conventional ways and develop through social interaction and assimilation of others speech. Therefore, speakers of a language have to have more than grammatical competence in order to be able to communicate effectively in a language; they also need to know how language is used by members of a speech community to accomplish their purposes. APPROACHES AND METHODS GRAMMAR TRANSLATION METHOD SKILLS: Reading and writing THEORY OF LEARNING: GTM as a process-oriented theory sees language learning mainly as a habit formation: Students are asked to constantly repeat and memorize endless lists of grammar rules and vocabulary in order to produce perfect translation. THEORY OF LANGUAGE: This method sees language from a structural point of view .It focuses primarily on teaching deductively the grammatical units involving little or no spoken communication and listening. OBJECTIVES: The primary focus is on grammatical rules and writing skills. Students are expected to translate accurately all the texts given and they should be able to read and understand literary texts in the FL. SYLLABUS: the syllabus is built primarily on the grammatical points illustrated in the text-book. The GTM uses a lexical-grammatical and task based syllabus. ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR: The primary focus is on grammatical rules and writing skills. This method sees language from a structural point of view .It focuses primarily on teaching deductively the grammatical units involving little or no spoken communication and listening. ACTIVITIES AND TECHNIQUES: Translation of a Literary Passage: Translating target language to native language.

Reading Comprehension Questions: Finding information in a passage, making inferences and relating to personal experience. Antonyms/Synonyms: Finding antonyms and synonyms for words or sets of words. Fill-in-the-blanks: Filling gaps in sentences with new words or items of a particular grammar type. Memorization: Memorizing vocabulary lists, grammatical rules and grammatical paradigms. Use Words in Sentences: Students create sentences to illustrate they know the meaning and use of new words. Composition: Students write about a topic using the target language. RESOURCES AND MATERIALS: Textbooks consist of grammar rules that are presented and illustrated. It is the source that helps the students master the grammatical rules of the target language and attain high standards in translation. USE OF L1: Classes are taught in the mother tongue, with little active use of the target language. The structures of the foreign languages are learned by comparing and contrasting with those of the mother tongue. The teacher assigns a text, gives a bilingual word list and illustrates the grammatical rules found in the text. Students memorize all the given information and try to practice them through translation of sentences and texts. ERRORS CORRECTION: Its focus is on accuracy and not fluency. If a students answer of a question is incorrect, the teacher selects a different student to give the correct answer or s/he replies himself/herself. ROLE OF TEACHERS: In the GTM the teachers role is central as he controls and determent everything in the classroom whether it is content, tasks or anything else, as well as correcting immediately the errors made by the students. This makes learners totally dependent on the teacher as the source of information and direction as well. ROLE OF LEARNERS: A student in this method is viewed as a processor and passive holder for the information given to him. This means that he does not influence the process of learning or even other students. In fact learners are totally dependent on the teacher.

DIRECT METHOD SKILLS ADDRESSED : 4 skills but especially speaking and listening are emphasised. THEORY OF LEARNING : Inductive learning is essential. There is a direct relation between form and meaning. L2 learning is similar to L1 acquisition. There is a direct exposure to the target language. Exposure of Long chunks in the target language. Learning occurs naturally. THEORY OF LANGUAGE : Language is for oral use. Each language is unique. There is a direct relation between form and meaning. No other language should interfere when learning a language. OBJECTIVES : Teaching students how to think and communicate in the target language. SYLLABUS: Situational and topical syllabuses are used. ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR: Grammar is taught inductively. Examples and drills are given and students are expected to discover and acquire the rules. Drills like chain drill, yes question, no question, or question are used to help students induce the rule. TECHNIQUES : Reading aloud, Question and answer exercise, self correction, conversation practice, fill-in-the-blank exercise, dictation, drawing (for listening comprehension), and paragraph writing. VOCABULARY TEACHING : Pictures, realia, examples, sample sentences are used to teach vocabulary. MATERIALS: Reading passages (for topics), Dialogues (for situation), plays (for situations) are used. USE OF L1: L1 is not allowed. There is a direct relation between form and meaning ERROR CORRECTIONS : Students are expected to self-correct whenever possible TEACHER'S ROLE: Teacher directs the activities in the classroom. The sts role is less passive than in the Grammar Translation Method.

STUDENTS ' ROLE: Sts are active than in GTM, their communication skills are emphasized. Vocabulary is acquired in full sentences rather than memorizing word lists. AUDIOLINGUAL METHOD THEORY OF LEARNING : Behaviorism, including the following principles: Language learning is habit-formation. Mistakes are bad and should be avoided, as they make bad habits. Language skills are learned more effectively if they are presented orally first, then in written form. Analogy is a better foundation for language learning than analysis. The meanings of words can be learned only in a linguistic and cultural context. THEORY OF LANGUAGE : The Structural view of language is the view behind the audio-lingual method. Particular emphasis was laid on mastering the building blocks of language and learning the rules for combining them. OBJECTIVES : to enable students to speak and write in the target language. Oral proficiency is equated with accurate pronunciation and grammar and the ability to respond quickly and accurately in speech situations. SYLLABUS : Audiolingualism uses a structural syllabus. ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR: Language is based on descriptive linguistics. Every language is seen as its own unique system. The system is comprised of several different levels. (i.e. phonological, morphological, and syntactic). Explicit rules are not provided. Students induce the rules through examples and drills. Students acquire grammar by being exposed to patterns through mechanical drills. TECHNIQUES AND ACTIVITIES: Dialogues and drills form the basis of audiolingual classroom practices. Dialogues provide the means of contextualizing key structures and illustrate situations in which structures might be used. Dialogues are used for repetition and memorization. Correct pronunciation,

stress, rhythm, and intonation are emphasized. Specific grammatical patterns in the dialogue are selected and become the focus of various kinds of drill and pattern-practice exercises. MATERIALS: They are primarily teacher oriented. Teacher has access to a teacher's book that contains the structured sequence of lessons to be followed and the dialogues, drills, and other practice activities. When textbooks and printed materials are introduced to the student, they provide the text of dialogues and cues needed drills and exercises. A language laboratory may also be considered essential. It provides the opportunity for further drill work and to receive controlled error-free practice of basic structures. USE OF L1: L1 should be avoided since it may cause interference and bad habit formation in L2. ERRORS CORRECTION : Errors are corrected by the teacher since errors may cause bad habit formation. TEACHERS ROLE: the T is like an orchestra leader. He / she directs and controls the language behaviour of the sts and provides them with a good model to imitate. LEARNERS ROLE: Learners are viewed as organisms that are directed by training techniques to produce correct responses. They respond to stimuli and have little control over the content or learning style. SKILLS: 4 skills but listening and speaking are emphasized. TOTAL PHYSICAL RESPONSE THEORY OF LANGUAGE : Basically, a structural vision of language based on grammar. THEORY OF LEARNING : The learning of an L2 equals the learning of the L1. Comprehension happens "before production is fostered through the following of instructions (working of the right side of the brain).

OBJECTIVES : To teach the oral competence to get students able to communicate spontaneously and intelligibly with native speakers. SYLLABUSES : SyIlabus based on phrases whose main criteria are grammatical and lexical, but centred on the meaning lather than on the form. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES : Repetition drills, using the imperative form to foster physical response. TEACHERS ROLE: the T is the director of sts behaviour. Later, there will be a role reversal with one st directing the T and other sts. LEARNERS ROLE: listener and performer. Little influence on the content to be learnt. ROLE OF THE MATERIALS: Without a textbook as a basis. Materials and means will fulfill an important role later. At the very beginning the voice, the action and gestures are enough. USE OF L1: L1 should be avoided ROLE OF G RAMMAR: Grammar is taught inductively. SKILLS: Children develop listening competence before they develop the ability to speak. ERRORS CORRECTION : Early error correction is very unobtrusive and mistakes are allowed in the classroom at the beginning period. SILENT WAY LEARNING THEORY OF LANGUAGE: Each language has elements which give it a unique rhythm and spirit. The key point of this spirit is found in the functional vocabulary and central structures THEORY OF LEARNING : The processes involved in learning an L2 differ substantially from the ones found when acquiring an L1. The learning of an L2 is

a cognitive and intellectual process. Love for the music of language, silence conscience, followed by active tries. OBJECTIVES: Native-like fluency, correct pronunciation, practical knowledge of the L2 grammar. The students learn how a language is learnt SYLLABUSES : Mainly, with structural lessons, that go around grammatical aspects and related vocabulary. Concrete elements are introduced according to their grammatical complexity. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES : Student's response to commands, questions and visual stimuli. Students feel motivated by the activities, which frame oral responses without grammatical explanations or models given by the teacher. LEARNERS ROLE: Learning is a process of individual growth. The student is responsible for his/her own learning and must develop independence, autonomy and responsibility. TEACHERS ROLE: The teacher must teach, evaluate and get distant. He/she will resist the temptation of living models remodeling, helping, and leading. ROLE OF THE MATERIALS : Unique material: Cuisenaire bars, pronunciation related to a colour code and graphs for the vocabulary. USE OF L1: If necessary L1 can be used, make use of L1 properties to teach L2. Meaning is made clear by translation. L1 is also used in feedback sessions. Teacher can build upon the existing knowledge to introduce the new sounds in the target language. SKILLS ADDRESSED : Mainly listening. ERROR CORRECTION : Students errors are seen as a natural, indispensable part of the learning process. The teacher uses students' errors to decide where further work is necessary. Self-correction, peer-correction but not teacher correction. ROLE OF GRAMMAR : Students learn grammar rules of the language through inductive processes.

COMMUNITY LANGUAGE LEARNING THEORY OF LANGUAGE: Language is more than a system of communication. It involves the whole person and his/her cultural background, as well as educational processes and communicative development. THEORY OF LEARNING : Learning involves the whole person. It is a social process of growing, beginning by a childish dependency till autonomy and independence. OBJECTIVES : No specific objectives. The ultimate aim is to reach a native-like competence. SYLLABUSES : No fixed syllabus. The progression of the course of studies is theme-based. The student suggests the topics. The syllabus is the result of the student's intention and the teacher's ideas. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES : Combination of innovative and conventional trends. Translations, group work, recordings, transcriptions, reflection and observation, auditory work, free conversation. TEACHERS ROLE: Analogy with the model of "counselor". The teacher creates a safe atmosphere, where students can learn and grow. LEARNERS ROLE: The student is part of a community. Learning is not an individual achievement, but something obtained in the "community" of other learners. ROLE OF THE MATERIALS : Without textbooks, because they would block growing. Materials are created while the course of studies advances. USE OF L1: Used in the beginning, less in later stages. SKILLS ADDRESSED : 4 skills. ERROR CORRECTION : Nonthreatening. Correction by modelling. ROLE OF GRAMMAR : Grammar is taught inductively.

THE NATURAL APPROACH THEORY OF LANGUAGE: The essence of any language is meaning. The heart of a language is its vocabulary, rather than its grammar. THEORY OF LEARNING : There are two ways to develop L2: acquisition (subconscious and natural process) and learning (conscience process). Learning does not guarantee acquisition. OBJECTIVES : Design in order to offer beginner and Intermediate students the basic communicative skills. SYLLABUSES : Based on a selection of communicative activities and themes related to the students needs. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES: Activities that allow comprehensible input of concrete facts. They focus on meaning rather than on form. TEACHERS ROLE: The teacher is the main source of comprehensible e input. He/she must create a positive and relaxed atmosphere, as well as choosing and moderating a rich variety of class activities. LEARNERS ROLE: He/she shouldn't try to learn the L.2 in a traditional way, but to try to participate in activities based on meaningful communication. ROLE OF THE MATERIALS : Realia are used instead of textbooks. The ultimate objective is to foster comprehension and communication. USE OF L1: L1 can be used in preproduction (comprehension) activities. SKILLS ADDRESSED : First listening and reading, then speaking when sts are ready. ERROR CORRECTION : Errors occur naturally and they are not corrected unless errors interfere with communication. ROLE OF GRAMMAR : It emphasizes on communication rather than on grammar.

SUGGESTOPEDIA THEORY OF LANGUAGE: Quite conventional, though the memorization of meaningful whole texts is highly recommended. THEORY OF LEARNING : Learning takes place through a sort of "hypnosis" when the learner is deeply relaxed. Baroque music is used, (for example) to generate this state. OBJECTIVES : Offer the chance of a quick conversational competence. The student must handle lists of vocabulary in pairs, though the aim is comprehension and not memorization. SYLLABUSES : Course of studies made up of 10 units which consist of dialogues of 1200 words, whose grading is established taking into account vocabulary and grammar. TYPES OF ACTIVITIES : Initiatives, questions and answers, role-plays, exercises of listening comprehension within an atmosphere of deep relaxation. TEACHERS ROLE: He/she must create situations to "hypnotize" the student and introduce the material in such a way as to foster positive reception and retention. He/she must show authority and empathy. LEARNERS ROLE: He/she must keep a passive role and consider materials as paramount (not the other way around). ROLE OF THE MATERIALS : It is made up of texts, cassettes, and music. Texts must be energetic, of literary quality and with interesting characters. USE OF L1: L1 used in translation of dialogues. As course proceeds, L1 reduced. SKILLS ADDRESSED : Mainly listening and speaking ERROR CORRECTION : At the beginning levels, errors are not corrected immediately because the emphasis is on communication. When errors of form

occur, teachers uses the correct form later on during class, because immediate interference by the teacher may destroy the relaxed atmosphere in classes. ROLE OF GRAMMAR : Lge is introduced by dialogues. Teachers introduce lge items and grmmar having a grammatical-lexial syllabus. Grammar is taught explicitly but minimally. Explicit grammar rules are provided in L1. TASK-BASED LANGUAGE TEACHING SKILLS: 4 skills THEORY OF LANGUAGE : TBLT is motivated by the assumption that language is primarily a means of creating meaning. The TBLT method stresses the importance that meaning plays in language use. TBLT draws on multiple models of language: structural, functional and interactional. The structural model explains language in increasing complexity. The functional model explains language in terms of its purpose and the interactional model explains language as a method of communication with others. TBLT also places an emphasis on vocabulary and lexical acquisition. Lexical items play a large role in fluency and a learners ability to quickly process language. Conversation is also a focal point for TBLT as it is believed to be the keystone of language acquisition. Conversation is included in the majority of TBLT tasks. THEORY OF LEARNING : Task Based Teaching focuses on both input and output. Both of these are important processes that a learner must go through in order to acquire language. Input and output allow a learner to attach and create meaning from within a task and helps to develop language as a productive skill. The cognitive skills which tasks require (meaning negotiation, summarizing, extracting main points, experimenting, rephrasing) help to develop academic skills as well as language acquisition. Task based learning is motivational. The process of beginning, doing, and completing a task, working with or without a partner, and developing important skills helps a student to develop pride in their work. This sense of achievement and success when presented with the final outcome of the project leads to a stronger sense of motivation for learning.

Task based teaching can also focus on particular forms or areas of difficulty. If a student or a group needs to work on a particular language point or skill, tasks can be adapted or created to focus on the needs of the students. OBJECTIVES : The goal is to develop the ability to communicate accurately and effectively in the language. Goals are determined by learners needs. SYLLABUS : A TBLT syllabus specifies the tasks that should be carried out by learners within a program. Nunan (1989) suggests that a syllabus might specify two types of tasks: Real-world tasks: Tasks which are designed to practice or rehearse outside the classroom. They are found to be important in a needs analysis and turn out to be important and useful in the real world Pedagogical tasks: do not necessarily reflect real world tasks but facilitate the development of language proficiency. Pedagogical tasks enable learners to acquire the skills needed to master real-world target task ROLE OF GRAMMAR AND LANGUAGE: When students have completed the task, we can then, if necessary - and only if necessary - give them a bit of language study to clear up some of the problems they encountered while completing the task. TECHNIQUES AND ACTIVITIES: According to BREEN : a language learning task is a structured plan for the provision of opportunities for the refinement of knowledge and capabilities entailed in a new language and its use during communication. Such a work plan will have its own particular objective, appropriate content which is to be worked upon and a working procedurea simple and brief exercise is a task; any language test can be included within the spectrum of tasks. For PRABHU, a task is an activity which requires learners to arrive at an outcome from given information through some process of thought, and which allows teachers to control and regulate that process. E.g.: reading train

timetables and deciding which train one should take to get to a certain destination on a given day. CROOKES defines a task as a piece of work or an activity, usually with a specified objective, undertaken as part of an educational course, at work, or used to elicit data for research. WILLIS proposes six task types. She labels her task examples as follows: Listing Ordering and sorting Comparing Problem solving Sharing personal experiences Creative tasks PICA, KANAGY and FALODUN classify tasks according to the type of interaction that occurs in task accomplishment and give the following classification: Jigsaw tasks: these involve learners combining different pieces of information to for a whole. E.g.: Learners in three groups hear different versions of an encounter with aliens. Together with other learners, they complete comprehension questions based on all three descriptions of the encounter. Information-gap tasks: one student or group of students has one set of information and another student or group has a complementary set of information. E.g.: Learner A has a biography of a famous person with all the place names missing, whilst Learner B has the same text with all the dates missing. Together they can complete the text by asking each other questions. Problem-solving tasks: Students are given a problem and they must give a solution to the problem. Decision-making tasks: students are given a problem for whichthere are a number of possible outcomes and they must choose one throgu negotiation and discussion. Opinion exchange tasks: learners engage in discussion and exchange of ideas. They do not need to reach agreement.

Materials: MATERIALS : the ones that can be exploited for instruction in TBLT are limited only by the imagination of the task designer. Realia: the use of authentic tasks supported by authentic maerials wherever possible. The following are some of the task types that can be built around such media products: Newspapers: E.g.: students prepare a job-wanted ad using examples form the classified section. Television: E.g.: after watching an episode of an unknown soap opera, students list characters and their possible relationship to other characters in the episode. Internet: E.g.: students initiate a chat in a chat room, indicatin g a current interest in their life and developing an answer to the first three people to respond. ERRORS CORRECTION : errors are used to help learners shape language USE OF L1: L1 is not avoided LEARNERS ROLE: GROUP PARTICIPANT: many tasks will be done in pairs or in small groups. MONITOR: Class activities have to be designed so that students have the opportunity to notice how language is used in communication. RISK-TAKER AND INNOVATOR: many tasks will require learners to create and interpret messages for which they lack full linguitic resources and prior experience. The skills of guessing from linguistic and contextual clues, asking for clarification and consulting with other learners may also need to be developed. TEACHERS ROLE: SELECTOR AND SEQUENCER OF TASKS: a central role of the teacher is in selecting, adapting and/or creating the tasks themselves and then

forming these into an instructional sequence in keeping with learner neeeds, interests and language skill level. PREPARING LEARNERS FOR TASKS: activities might include topic introduction, clarifying task instructions, helping students learn or recall useful words and phrases to facilitate task accomplishment and providing partial demonstration of task procedures. CONCIOUSNESS-RAISING: Teachers should prepare students to notice features of the language they use and hear. This is referred to as Focus on Form PRE-TASK ACTIVITIES Introduction to topic and task T helps Ss to understand the theme and objectives of the task, for example, brainstorming ideas with the class, using pictures, mime, or personal experience to introduce the topic. Ss may do a pre-task, for example, topic-based odd-word-out games. T may highlight useful words and phrases, but would not pre-teach new structures. Ss can be given preparation time to think about how to do the task. Ss can hear a recording of a parallel task being done. THE TASK CYCLE Task

Planning Planning prepares Ss for the next stage, where they are asked to briefly report to the whole class how they did the task and what the outcome was. Ss draft and rehearse what they want to say or write. T goes around advising students on language and correcting their language. If the reports are in writing, T can encourage peer editing and use of dictionaries. The emphasis is on clarity, organization, and accuracy, as appropriate for a public presentation. Individual students often take this chance to ask questions about specific language items. Report T asks some pairs to report briefly to the whole class so everyone can compare findings, or begin a survey. T comments on the content of group reports, rephrases perhaps, but gives no overt public correction. THE LANGUAGE FOCUS Analysis T sets some language-focused tasks, based on the texts student read or on the transcripts of the recordings they heard. Examples include the following: Find words and phrases related to the topic or text. Find all the words in the simple past form. Say which refer to past time and which do not. T starts Ss off, and then students continue, often in pairs. T goes around to help. Ss can ask individual questions. Practice T conducts practice activities as needed, based on the language analysis work already on the board, or using examples from the text or transcript. Practice activities can include: Choral repetition of the phrases identified and classified.

The task is done by Ss (in pairs or groups) and gives Ss a chance to use whatever language they already have to express themselves and say whatever they want to say. This may be in response to reading a text or hearing a recording. T walks around and monitors, encouraging everyones attempt at communication in the target language. T helps Ss to formulate what they want to say, but will not intervene to correct errors of form. The emphasis is on spontaneous talk and confidence building. Success in achieving the goals of the tasks helps Ss motivation.


Memory challenge games based on partially erased examples or using lists already on blackboard for progressive deletion.

COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING SKILLS ADDRESSED : 4 skills THEORY OF LANGUAGE : Communicative Competence compliments linguistic Competence (Chomsky 1965). Chomsky considered important the knowledge and mastery of the system of rules, that is to say, grammar rules and syntax are important. Hymes, in contrast, suggested that lge is used in a situational/social context; what and where to speak, what to talk about and to whom, etc. It has basically a functional and interactional view of language. At the level of language theory, CLT has a rich theoretical base. Some of the characteristics of this communicative view of language follow: language is a system for the expression of meaning, the primary goal of language is to allow interaction and communication, the structure of language reflects its functional and communicative uses, the primary units of language are categories of functional and communicative meanings. THEORY OF LEARNING : Little has been written about learning theory in contrast to the amount of that has been written about CLT literature. Elements of an underlying learning theory can be discerned in some CLT practices as follows: One element is the communication principle: activities that involve real communication promote learning. Another element is the task principle: activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote learning. A third element is the meaningfulness principle: language that is meaningful to the learner supports the learning process. As a consequence, learning activities are selected based on how well they engage the learner in meaningful and authentic language use (rather than just mechanical practice of language patterns).

OBJECTIVES : It is an approach that aims to make communicative competence the goal of lge teaching. It also aims to develop procedures for the teaching of the 4 skills. Fluency is an important dimension of communication. CLT emphasizes on the learners need. SYLLABUS : It includes: description of the objectives of FL courses, situations in which they might typically use an L2 (travel, business), topic they might need to talk about (education, shopping), functions they needed language for (requesting information, expressing agreement & disagreement), the notions made use of in communication (time, frequency, duration), as well as vocabulary and grammar needed. ROLE OF LANGUAGE AND GRAMMAR: Grammar is taught inductively, using language at the functional level. USE OF L1: L1 is not totally avoided but sts are encouraged to use L2. ERRORS CORRECTION : Errors are seen as a natural part of the leaning process and are tolerated since despite learners may have limited linguistic knowledge, they can be successful communicators. TECHNIQUES AND ACTIVITIES: Classroom activities are often designed to focus on completing tasks that involve negotiation of information and information sharing. The activities can be distinguished between functional communication (such as learners comparing set of pictures and noticing similarities; discovering missing features in a map, etc) and social interaction (such as conversation and discussion sessions, dialogues and role-plays, simulations, debates, etc). MATERIALS : CLT view materials as a way of influencing the quality of classroom interaction and language use. The primary role of materials is to promote communicative language use. There are three kinds of material currently used in CLT: text-based, task-based, and realia. ROLE OF TEACHERS : The role of the teacher is multidimensional: facilitate the communication, process between all participants in the classroom and also between them and the activities. The teacher is also a guide, advisor, monitor and organizer of resources. The teacher is a need-analyst (since he/she analyzes sts need and should respond to them).

ROLE OF LEARNERS : The learner is a negotiator (between himself, the learning process, and the object of learning). The learner should contribute as much as he/she gains, and thereby learns in an independent way. Ss are expected to interact primarily with each other rather than with the teacher. SKILLS SPEAKING How to teach speaking? Speaking is the skill learners consider the most important and it involves a complex process of constructing meaning. This process requires speakers to make decisions about why, how and when to communicate depending on the cultural and social context in which the speaking act occurs. It has been recognized that speaking is an interactive, social and contextualized communicative event. It requires learners to be in possession of knowledge about how to produce not only linguistically correct but also pragmatically appropriate utterances. Speaking was once considered as the result of repeating and memorizing words in isolation. Nowadays, speaking is considered as a process that serves a number of functions. It has been argued that it is of great importance to teach speaking within a communicative competence framework. Teaching speaking within a communicative competence framework A strong background influence is associated with the work developed by Hymes (1971, 1972), who was the first to argue that Chomskys distinction between competence and performance did not pay attention to aspects of language in use. So, he proposed the term communicative competence to account for those aspects of language use in social context as well as the norms of appropriacy. An instructional framework contributes to make the process of L2 teaching more effective and it can be assumed that the role of speaking is of great importance to facilitate the acquisition of communicative competence.

Discourse competence The proposed communicative competence framework has at its heart the speaking skill since it is the manifestation of producing spoken discourse and a way of manifesting the rest of the components. Discourse competence involves speakers ability to use a variety of discourse features to achieve a unified spoken text given a particular purpose and the situational context where it is produced. Such discourse features refer to knowledge of discourse markers (e.g., well, oh, I see, okay), the management of various conversational rules (e.g., turn-taking mechanisms, how to open and close a conversation), cohesion and coherence, as well as formal schemata (e.g., knowledge of how different discourse types are organized). Speakers have to be concerned with the form (i.e., how to produce linguistically correct utterances) and with the appropriacy (i.e., how to make pragmatically appropriate utterances Linguistic Competence Linguistic competence consists of those elements of the linguistic system, such as phonology, grammar and vocabulary that allow speakers to produce linguistically acceptable utterances.


Regarding phonological aspects, speakers need to possess knowledge of suprasegmental features of the language such as rhythm, stress and intonation. These aspects shape speakers pronunciation. Apart from being able to pronounce the words so that they can be understood, speakers linguistic competence also entails knowledge of the grammatical system. Thus, speakers need to know aspects of morphology and syntax that will allow them to form questions, produce basic utterances in the language and organize them in an acceptable word order. Speakers ability to choose the most relevant vocabulary for a given situation will also contribute to the elaboration of their spoken text. The mastery of these three linguistic aspects (i.e., pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary) is essential for the successful production of a piece of spoken discourse since it allows speakers to build grammatically well-formed utterances in an accurate and unhesitating way. Pragmatic competence Pragmatic competence involves speakers knowledge of the function or illocutionary force implied in the utterance they intend to produce as well as the contextual factors that affect the appropriacy of such an utterance. Thus, speakers need to master two types of pragmatic knowledge: one dealing with pragmalinguistics and the other focusing on sociopragmatic aspects. Pragmalinguistics addresses those linguistic resources that speakers can make use of to convey a particular communicative act. Sociopragmatics deals with speakers appropriate use of those linguistic forms according to the context where the particular utterance is produced, the specific roles the participants play within that contextual situation and the politeness variables of social distance, power and degree of imposition. Intercultural competence Intercultural competence refers to the knowledge of how to produce an appropriate spoken text within a particular sociocultural context. Thus, it involves knowledge of both cultural and non-verbal communication factors on the part of the speaker. Regarding the cultural factors, speakers need to be aware of the rules of behavior that exist in a particular community in order to avoid possible miscommunication.

Knowledge of non-verbal means of communication (i.e., body language, facial expressions, eye contact, etc.) is also of paramount importance to communicate appropriately when producing a spoken text. Speakers need to pay careful attention to listeners non-verbal movements in order to be able to repair their intervention if something goes wrong in the course of the exchange. Strategic competence Strategic competence implies speakers knowledge of both learning and communication strategies. Speakers need to possess learning strategies in order to successfully construct a spoken discourse. Repetition as a strategy that may allow speakers to contribute to their oral development is very important. Speakers knowledge and ability to use communication strategies is of the utmost importance in order to avoid possible breakdowns in communication. Thus, the use of compensatory strategies, such as circumlocution, paraphrasing, appealing for help or topic selection, assists speakers in making adjustments given an incomplete or failing interaction. Speakers need to become competent in using strategies in order to overcome limitations due to a lack of competence in any of the other components integrating the proposed communicative competence framework. Task talk External repetition is repetition where the task requires students to repeat their talk to different students. Internal repetition is repetition which is encouraged by the demands of processing the input material and/or of preparing the intended task outcome. External repetition 1. Survey tasks: any tasks which require students to circulate around their class gathering information from colleagues in order to compile a group profile. The structure of tasks such as these in fact requires the students to ask many classmates the same set of questions. This is a simple example of in-built repetition. Although the wording is unlikely to change, as suggested in the preceding discussion, repeated enactment of the same questions is likely to lead to improved accuracy and fluency.


2. Interview tasks: Similar to survey tasks, interview tasks usually involve students in interviewing a limited number of people, seeking the same information from all of them. The interview might be an opinion interview, or a job interview, or an interview about peoples personal histories. In each case, the interviewer is interested in getting responses to a pre-arranged set of questions. The key element here is for the interview to be repeated. 3. Poster carousel: Working in pairs, students prepare a poster on a topic. Posters are posted on the walls around the room, with one student going off to visit and ask questions about the other posters, while the second student stays and hosts visitors from the other pairs. Each visitor will be expected to ask questions of the host, so that given that the posters define the content, each host will have repeated practice in talking about the same content, to different people, leading naturally to constructive repetition. 4. Pyramid (or snowball) tasks: students explore a topic initially in pairs, and then meet up with another pair to develop their account of the topic, the group of four then joining another group of four, to refine their ideas, leading to a plenary session. Internal repetition 1. Picture stories: Distributed picture stories (that is, activities where each member of a group can see a different picture from a story) typically first involve speakers in describing their pictures, so as to situate each picture in relation to the rest of the set. The task can orientate them towards repetition, since particularly if the story is difficult to sort out, students will be lead to repeat the narrative in order to check it, and potentially to ensure everyone is able to re-tell it if asked. 2. Picture and map differences tasks: Picture differences tasks typically involve managing three important types of information: location, identification, and description. Location itself requires both use of prepositions, and the identification of reference points (e.g., on the table, north of the forest), and some of these are likely to be repeated, with prepositional phrase constructions being widely used. 3. Prioritising tasks: A number of tasks have been designed which give students a set of options to consider and prioritise in order of importance, preference, urgency, moral significance, and so on. Tasks like this are likely to encourage repeated use of expressions of opinion, and of justificatory comments.

4. Interpretation tasks: Interpretation tasks require students to consider the significance of a set of objects in terms of some specified context. An example is a Things in pockets task, where the students are told the objects come from someones pocket, and are asked to consider who the likely owner is. 5. Problem-solving tasks: it refers to tasks which pose conceptual or logical puzzles and which are deliberately intended to engage learners in talking through the nature of the problem, identifying potential explanations, and evaluating them before arriving at a preferred solution. A well-known example is the famous problem of how a farmer can cross a river by boat, with a dog, a rabbit and a lettuce if he can only get two of them into the boat at a time. Internal and external repetition: three-phase jigsaw tasks One final type of task combines internal and external repetition. This task was deliberately designed to have three phases. The first phase was based on four complementary reading or listening tasks, each one being entrusted to a different group within the class to be done in parallel. By the end of the first phase, each group would have a different part of the overall information needed to for the second phase. The second phase then involved the students in being regrouped to pool the information from the first phase. For this the new groups were made up of one student from each of the four original groups. The new groups then had to decide a solution on the basis of the pooled information, leading to a third phase, where each group had to present their solution in plenary mode to the whole class. Tasks designed in this way are a kind of pyramid task, that is, involve external repetition but each phase also pushes learners to clarify the information for themselves and for their colleagues, exploiting internal repetition.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL SPEAKING ACTIVITY 1. Learners talk a lot. s The period of time that is allotted to an activity should be occupied by the learner talk. However, often most time is taken up with teacher talk or pauses. 2. Participation is even. Classroom discussion is a chance for students to speak. 3. Motivation is high. Learners are eager to speak: because they are interested in the topic and have something new to say about it, or because they want to contribute to achieving a task objective.

4. Language is of an acceptable level. Learners express themselves in utterances that are relevant, easily comprehensible to each other, and of an acceptable level of language accuracy. PROBLEMS WITH SPEAKING ACTIVITIES 1. Inhibition. Speaking requires some degree of real-time exposure to an audience. Learners are often inhibited about trying to say things in a foreign language in the classroom: worried about making mistakes, fearful of criticism or losing face, or simply shy of the attention that their speech attracts. 2. Nothing to say. Even if they are not inhibited, you often hear learners complain that they cannot think of anything to say: they have no motive to express themselves. 3. Low or uneven participation. Only one participant can talk at a time if he or she is to be heard; and in a large group this means that each one will have only very little talking time. 4. Mother-tongue use. In classes where all, or a number of the learners share the same mother tongue, they may tend to use it: because it is easier, because it feels unnatural to speak to one another in a foreign language, and because they feel less 'exposed' if they are speaking their mother tongue. What teachers can do to help solve these problems? 1. Use group work (this increases the amount of learner talk). 2. Base the activity on easy language, so that learners can speak fluently with the minimum of hesitation. 3. Make a careful choice of topic and task to stimulate interest. 4. Give some instruction or training in discussion skills (teachers can give instructions when introducing a new task). 5. Keep students speaking the target language. Topic and task based activities Topic: learners can relate using ideas from their own experience and knowledge; the 'ability-grouping topic is therefore appropriate for most schoolchildren, schoolteachers or young people whose school memories are fresh. It should also represent a genuine controversy, in which participants are likely to be fairly evenly divided.

Task: A task is essentially goal-oriented: it requires the group, or pair, to achieve an objective that is usually expressed by an observable result, such as brief notes or lists, are arrangement of jumbled items, a drawing, and a spoken summary. This result should be attainable only by interaction between participants: so within the definition of the task you often find instructions such as 'reach a consensus', or 'find out everyone's opinion'. Different kinds of interaction Interactional talk: Interactional uses of language are those in which the primary purposes for communication are social. The emphasis is on creating harmonious interactions between participants rather than on communicating information. The goal for the participants is to make social interaction comfortable and non-threatening and to communicate goodwill. Examples of interactional uses of language are greeting, making small talk, telling jokes, giving compliments, making casual 'chat' of the kind used to pass time with friends. Long Turns: A long term consists of a string of utterances which may last as long as an hours lecture. Some activities that help students to practice speaking in long turns are: telling stories (well-known tales or personal anecdotes) telling jokes describing a person or place in detail recounting the plot of a film, play or book giving a short lecture or talk arguing a case for or against a proposal.

Varied situations, feeling relationships: The obvious classroom activities to use here are those based on role play. Dialogues: Learners are taught a brief dialogue which they learn by heart. Then they perform it; in pairs or in front of the whole class. Learners can be asked to perform the dialogue in different ways, mood or role-relationships. Then the actual words of the text can be varied. Finally, learners can suggest a continuation to the dialogue. Plays: These are an expansion of the dialogue technique, where a class learns and performs a play. This can be based on something they have read; or composed by them or the teacher; or an actual play from the literature of the target language.


Simulations: In simulations the individual participants speak and react as themselves, but the group role, situation and task they are given is an imaginary one. They usually work in small groups, with no audience. Role Plays: Participants arc given a situation plus problem or task, as in simulations; but they are also allotted individual roles, which may be written out on cards. There is often no audience but volunteers may sometimes perform in front of the class. TEACHING WRITING Product / Process / Genre Writing Product writing Pincas sees writing as being primarily about linguistic knowledge, with attention focused on the appropriate use of vocabulary, syntax, and cohesive devices. Learning to write has four stages: 1. Familiarization This stage aims to make learners aware of certain feature of a particular text. In these sections the learners practise the skill with Controlled writing increasing freedom until they are ready for the free Guided writing writing section. Free writing Pincas comments that students should feel as if they are creating something of their own. This suggests a view of learners as being ready to show rather more initiative.

Process approaches Tribble suggests that process approaches stress writing activities which move learners from the generation of ideas and the collection of data through to the publication of a finished text. Stages that writers go through in producing a piece of writing: 1. 2. 3. 4. Prewriting Composing/drafting Revising Editing

A typical prewriting activity in the process approach would be for learners to brainstorm on the topic of houses. At the composing/drafting stage they would select and structure the result of the brainstorming session to provide a plan of a description of a house. This would guide the first draft of a description of a particular house. After discussion, learners might revise the first draft working individually or in groups. Finally, the learners would edit or proof-read the text. In process approaches, the teacher primarily facilitates the learners writing, and providing input or stimulus is considered to be less important. The process of writing is seen as the same regardless of the what is being written and who is writing. Four elements of the context that pre-writing activities should focus on: The audience The generation of ideas The organization of the text Its purpose

2. 3. 4.

Pincas sees learning as assisted imitation, and adopts many techniques (e.g. substitution tables), where learners respond to a stimulus provided by the teacher. Product-based approaches sees writing as mainly concerned with knowledge about the structure of language, and writing development as mainly the result of the imitation of input, in the form of texts provided by the teacher.

Process approaches see writing primarily as the exercise of linguistic skills, and writing development as an unconscious process which happens when teachers facilitate the exercise of writing skills. Genre approaches


Like product approaches, genre approaches regard writing as predominantly linguistic but, unlike product approaches, they emphasize that writing varies with the social context in which it is produced. We have a range of kinds of writings such as sales letters, research articles, and reports linked with different situations. For genre analysts, the central aspect of the situation is purposes. Different kinds of writing, genres, such as letters of apology, recipes or law reports, are used to carry out different purposes. Genres are also influenced by other features of the situation: The subject matter The relationships between the writer and the audience The pattern of organization Writing development (Cope and Kalantzis): they talk of a wheel model of genre literacy.

reflecting the social context and the language of the original description of a house. Genre-based approaches see writing as essentially concerned with knowledge of language, and as being tied closely to a social purpose, while the development of writing is largely viewed as the analysis and imitation of input in the form of texts provided by the teacher. Product approaches: Strengths: They recognize the need for learners to be given linguistic knowledge about texts Learners understand that imitation is one way in which people learn.

Weaknesses: Process skills are given a relatively small role The knowledge and skills that learners bring to the classroom are undervalued

This wheel has three phases: 1. 2. 3. Modelling the target genre, where learners are exposed to examples of the genre they have to produce. The construction of a text by students and teacher The independent construction of texts by learners.

Process approaches: Strengths: They understand the importance of the skills involved in writing They recognize that what learners bring to the writing classroom contributes to the development of writing ability

Dudley-Evans also identifies three stages: 1. 2. 3. A model of a particular genre is introduced and analysed. Learners then carry out exercises which manipulate relevant language forms. Learners produce a short text.

Weaknesses: Insufficient importance to kind of text Insufficient input

In a genre class, learners might examine authentic descriptions of houses produced by estate agents or realtors in order to sell the property. As with product approaches, the learners would carry out an analysis of the text (grammar, patterns of vocabulary). They would also consider the social context. With varying degrees of help, learners would then produce partial texts. Finally, working on their own, they would produce complete texts

Genre approaches: Strengths: Social situation Purpose



need to be able to understand what is said in order to function satisfactorily in the situation.

Weaknesses: Undervalues the process skills Learners are passive

An effective methodology for writing needs to incorporate the insights of product, process, and genre approaches. One way of doing this is to start with one approach and adapt it. For example, one problem in the process approach is the lack of input. So sample texts can be used, usually after the learners have produced a first draft. A process genre approach to teaching writing Writing involves knowledge about language (as in product and genre approaches), knowledge of the context in which writing happens and especially the purpose for the writing (as in genre approaches), skills in using language (as in process approaches) Characteristics of real-life listening situations. 1-Informal spoken discourse: Most of the spoken language we listen to is informal and spontaneous. Informal speech has various interesting features: Brevity of 'chunks': It is usually broken into short chunks. In a conversation, for example, people take turns to speak, usually in short turns of a few seconds each. Pronunciation: The pronunciation of words is often slurred, and noticeably different from the phonological representation given in a dictionary. Vocabulary: The vocabulary is often colloquial. Grammar: in informal speech tends to be somewhat ungrammatical: utterances do not usually divide neatly into sentences; a grammatical structure may change in mid utterance, unfinished clauses are common. 'Noise': There will be a certain amount of 'noise', bits of the discourse that are unintelligible to the hearer, this may be because the words are not said clearly or not known to the hearer, because the hearer is not attending, etc. Redundancy: it includes such things as repetition, paraphrase, glossing with utterances in parenthesis, self-correction, the use of 'fillers' such as I mean, well, er. This to some extent compensate for the gaps created by 'noise'. 2- Listener expectation and purpose: the listener almost always knows in advance something about what is going to be said: who is speaking, for example, or the basic topic. Linked to this is his or her purpose: we normally have some objective in listening beyond understanding for its own sake - to

Writing development happens by drawing out the learners potential (as in process approaches) providing input to which the learners respond (as in product and genre approaches).

ISTENING What does real-life listening involve? In principle, the objective of listening comprehension practice in the classroom is that students should learn to function successfully in real-life listening situations. Real-life listening situations. Situations where people are listening to other people in their own mother tongue. These include, of course, situations where they may be doing other things besides listening -speaking, usually - but the essential point is that they


find out something, for example. And we expect to hear something relevant to our purpose. 3- Looking as well as listening: only a very small proportion of listening is done 'blind'- to the radio or telephone for example. Normally we have something to look at that is linked to what is being said: usually the speaker him- or herself, but often other visual stimuli as well - for example a map, scene or object, or the environment in general. 4- Ongoing, purposeful listener response: the listeners usually respond at intervals as the discourse Is going on. It is relatively rare for us to listen to extended speech and respond only at the end. The responses, moreover are normally directly related to the listening purpose, and are only occasionally a simple demonstration of comprehension. 5- Speaker attention: the speaker usually directs his or her speech at the listener, takes the listener's character, Intentions etc. into account when speaking, and often responds directly to his or her reactions. Real-life listening in the classroom. Classroom listening is not real-life listening. However, in order to provide students with training in listening comprehension that will prepare them for effective functioning outside the classroom, activities should give learners practice in coping with at least some of the features of real-life situations. It is worth noting also that listening activities based on simulated real-life situations are likely to be more motivating and interesting to do than contrived textbook comprehension exercises. Below are some guidelines for the design of listening texts and tasks that are based on these ideas. Guidelines: 1- Listening texts Informal talk: most listening texts should be based on discourse that is either genuine improvised, spontaneous speech, or at least a fair imitation of it. Speaker visibility; direct speaker listener interaction: the fact that in most listening situations the speaker is visible and directly interacting with the listener should make us think twice about the conventional use of audio recordings for listening comprehension exercises. It is useful to the learners if you improvise at least some of the listening texts yourself in their presence. Video also makes a positive contribution to the effectiveness of listening practice.

Single exposure: If real-life discourse is rarely 'replayed' then learners should be encouraged to develop the ability to extract the information they need from a single hearing. The discourse, therefore, must be redundant enough to provide this information more than once within the original text; and where possible hearers should be able to stop the speaker to request a repeat or explanation. 2- Listening tasks Expectations: earners should have in advance some idea about the kind of text they are going to hear since it activates learners relevant schemata (their own previous knowledge and concepts of facts, scenes, events, etc.) and enables them to use this previous knowledge to build anticipatory scaffolding that will help them understand. Purpose: similarly, a listening purpose should be provided by the definition of a pre-set task, which should involve some kind of clear visible or audible response. Thus, rather than say simply: Listen and understand ...we should give a specific instruction such as: Listen and find out where the family are going for their summer holidays. Mark the places on your map. The definition of a purpose enables the listener to listen selectively for significant information - easier, as well as more natural, than trying to understand everything. Ongoing listener response: finally, the task should usually involve intermittent responses during the listening; learners should be encouraged to respond to the information they are looking for as they hear it, not to wait to the end. Implementing the guidelines: some specific practical implications 1.Listening texts Advantages. Less recorded material means less of the expense, inconvenience and occasional breakdown that the frequent use of tape-recorders entails. You can also adapt the level and speed of the text to your specific students and respond directly to their needs. Problems or reservations. Many teachers lack confidence in their own ability to improvise fluently in the target language, or are worried their spoken language is not a good enough (native) model for students to listen to; such teachers prefer to rely, if not on recordings, then at least on a written text they can read aloud. Another problem is that if learners only hear you, they will not have the opportunity to practise listening to different voices and accents.


Finally, on the point of single-exposure listening: even if learners can do the task after one listening, you may wish to let them hear the text again, for the sake of further exposure and practice and better chances of successful performance. Conclusion. In general, it is important for foreign language teachers to be able to improvise speech in the target language. 2.Listening tasks: expectations and purpose Advantages. Providing the students with some idea of what they are going to hear and what they are asked to do with it helps them to succeed in the task, as well as raising motivation and interest. Problems or reservations. Occasionally we may wish to ask students to find out what the passage is about without any previous hint: for the sake of the fun and challenge, and to encourage them to use real-world knowledge to help interpretation. Also, there are some excellent listening activities that need no clear task at all beyond the comprehension itself: listening to stories for example, or watching exciting films. Conclusion. If there is no pre-set task we should be careful to ensure that the text itself is stimulating enough, and of an appropriate level, to ensure motivated and successful listening on the part of the learners. 3.Ongoing listener response Advantages. The fact that learners are active during the listening rather than waiting to the end keeps them busy and helps to prevent boredom. Problems or reservations. The most naturally-occurring response - speech - is usually impractical in the classroom: you cannot hear and monitor the spoken responses of all the class together! A more serious problem is that materials writers often overload the task: too many responses are demanded of the learners, information is coming in too fast (not enough redundancy) and there is no time to respond during the listening. The result is frustration and irritation: even if the listening text is repeated the initial feeling of failure is something that should be avoided. Conclusion. Check the activity by doing it yourself or with colleagues before administering it. Learners problems

Learner difficulties in listening 1. I have trouble catching the actual sounds of the foreign language. 2. I have to understand every word; if I miss something, I feel I am failing and get worried and stressed. 3. I can understand people if they talk slowly and clearly; I can't understand fast, natural native-sounding speech. 4. I need to hear things more than once in order to understand. 5. I find it difficult to 'keep up' with all the information I am getting, and cannot think ahead or predict. 6. If the listening goes on a long time I get tired, and find it more and more difficult to concentrate Types of listening activities. Types of listening activities 1. No overt response The learners do not have to do anything in response to the listening; however, facial expression and body language often show if they are following or not. Stories. Tell a joke or real-life anecdote, retell a well-known story, read a story from a book; or play a recording of a story. If the story is well-chosen, learners are likely to be motivated to attend and understand in order to enjoy it. Songs. Sing a song yourself, or play a recording of one. Note, however, that if no response is required learners may simply enjoy the music without understanding the words. Entertainment: films, theatre, video. As with stories, if the content is really entertaining (interesting, stimulating, humorous, dramatic) learners will be motivated to make the effort to understand without the need for any further task. 2.Short responses Obeying instructions. Learners perform actions, or draw shapes or pictures, in response to instructions. Ticking off items. A list, text or picture is provided: listeners mark or tick off words/components as they hear them within a spoken description, story or simple list of items.

True/false. The listening passage consists of a number of statements, some of which are true and some false. Detecting mistakes. The teacher tells a story or describes something the class knows, but with a number of deliberate mistakes or inconsistencies. Listeners raise their hands or call out when they hear something wrong. Cloze. The listening text has occasional brief gaps, represented by silence or some kind of buzz. Learners write down what they think might be the missing word. Guessing definitions. The teacher provides brief oral definitions of a person, place, thing, action or whatever; learners write down what they think it is. Skimming and scanning. A not-too-long listening text is given, improvised or recorded; learners are asked to identify some general topic or information (skimming), or certain limited information (scanning) and note the answer(s). 3.Longer responses Answering questions. One or more questions demanding fairly full responses are given in advance, to which the listening text provides the answer(s). Because of the relative length of the answers demanded, they are most conveniently given in writing. Note-taking. Learners take brief notes from a short lecture or talk. Paraphrasing and translating. Learners rewrite the listening text in different words: either in the same language (paraphrase) or in another (translation). Summarizing. Learners write a brief summary of the content of the listening passage. Long gap-filling. A long gap is left, at the beginning, middle or end of a text; learners guess and write down, or say, what they think might be missing. 4.Extended responses Here, the listening is only a jump-off point for extended reading, writing or speaking: in other words, these are combined skills activities. Problem-solving. A problem is described orally; learners discuss how to deal with it, and/or write down a suggested solution. Interpretation. An extract from a piece of dialogue or monologue is provided, with no previous information; the listeners try to guess from the words, kind'

of voices, tone and any other evidence what is going on. At a more sophisticated level, a piece of literature that is suitable for reading aloud (some poetry, for example) can be discussed and analysed. EXTENSIVE LISTENING Extensive listening will usually take place outside the classroom, in the students home, car, or on personal stereos as the travel from one place to another. The motivational power of such an activity increases dramatically when students make their own choices about what they are going to listen to. Material for extensive listening can be found from number of sources. A lot of simplified readers are now published with an audio version on tape. Many students will enjoy reading and listening at the same time using both the reader and tape. In order for extensive listening to work effectively with a group of students we will need to make a collection of appropriate tape clearly marked for level, topic, and genre. These can be kept in a permanent collection, or be kept in a box or some other container which can be taken into classrooms. Where possible we should involve students in the tasks of record-keeping. We need to explain the benefits of listening extensively, and come to some kind of agreement about how much and what kind of listening they should do. We can recommend certain tapes, and get other students to talk about the ones which they enjoyed the most. In order to encourage extensive listening we can have students perform a number of tasks. They can record their responses to what they have heard in a personal journal, or fill in report forms which we have prepared asking them to list the topic, assess the level of difficulty, and summarise the contents of a tape. We can have them write comments on cards which are kept in a separate comments box, add their responses to a large class listening poster, or write comments on a student web site. The purpose of these or any other tasks is to give students more and more reasons to listen.


INTENSIVE LISTENING: USING TAPED MATERIAL Advantages: taped material allows students to hear a variety of different voices apart from their own teachers. Tapes offer a wide variety of situations and voices. Taped material is extremely portable and readily available. Tapes are extremely cheap, and machines to play them are relatively inexpensive. Disadvantages: in big classrooms with poor acoustics, the audibility of taped and disk material often gives cause for concern. Everyone has to listen at the same speed dictated by the tape. Although this replicates the situation of radio, it is less satisfactory when students have to take information from the tape. Having a group of people sit around listening to a tape recorder or disk player is not an entirely natural occupation.

INTENSIVE LISTENING: THE ROLES OF THE TEACHER Organiser: we need to tell students exactly what their listening purposes is, and give them clear instructions about how to achieve it. Machine operator: when we use tape or disk material we need to be as efficient as possible in the way we use the tape player. Feedback organiser: we may start by having them compare their answers in pairs and then ask for answers from the class in general or from pairs in particular. Students often appreciate giving paired answers like this since, by sharing their knowledge, they are also sharing their responsibility for the answers. Because listening can be a tense experience, encouraging this kind of cooperation is highly desirable. Prompter: sometimes we can offer students script dictations to provoke their awareness of certain language items after they have listened to a tape or a disk for comprehension.

INTENSIVE LISTENING: LIVE LISTENING A popular way of ensuring genuine communication is live listening where the teacher and/or visitors to the class talk to the students. Live listening can take the following forms: Reading aloud: the teacher reads aloud to a class. This allows students to hear a clear spoken version of written text. The teacher can also read/act out dialogues either by playing two parts or by inviting a colleague into the classroom Story-telling: teacher tells stories. At any stage of the story, the students can be asked to predict what is coming next, or be asked to describe people in the story or pass comment on it in some other way. Interviews: students really listen for answers they themselves have asked for, rather than adopting other peoples questions. Where possible we should have strangers visit our class to be interviewed, but we can also be the subject of interviews ourselves. Conversations: if we can hold conversations with a colleague, students will have the chance to watch the interaction as well as listen to it.

Bottom up and top-down approach in listening To understand how people make sense of the stream of sound we all hear, it is helpful to think about how we process the input. A useful metaphor often used to explain reading but equally applicable to listening is bottom-up and top-down processing. The distinction is based on the way learners attempt to understand what they read or hear. Whereas bottom-up processing goes from language to meaning, top-down processing goes from meaning to language. With bottom-up processing, students start with the component parts: words, grammar, and the like. The listeners lexical and grammatical competence in a language provides the basis for bottom-up processing. The input is scanned for familiar words, and grammatical knowledge is used to work out the relationship between elements of sentences. Top-down processing, on the other hand, refers to the use of background knowledge in understanding the meaning of a message. Learners start from their background knowledge, either content schema (general information based on previous learning and life experience) or textual schema (awareness of the kinds of information used in a given situation).

Teaching bottom-up processing Learners need a large vocabulary and a good working knowledge of sentence structure to process texts bottom-up. Exercises that develop bottom-up processing help the learner to do such things as the following: Retain input while it is being processed Recognize word and clause divisions Recognize key words Recognize key transitions in a discourse Recognize grammatical relationships between key elements in sentences Use stress and intonation to identify word and sentence functions.

Many traditional classroom listening activities focus primarily on bottom-up processing, with exercises such as dictation, cloze listening, the use of multiple choice questions after a text, and similar activities that require close and detailed recognition, and processing of the input. In the classroom, examples of the kinds of tasks that develop bottom up listening skills require listeners to do the following kinds of things: Identify the referents of pronouns in an utterance Recognize the time reference of an utterance Distinguish between positive and negative statements Recognize the order in which words occurred in an utterance Identify sequence markers Identify key words that occurred in a spoken text Identify which modal verbs occurred in a spoken text Teaching top-down processing Exercises that require top-down processing develop the learners ability to do the following: Use key words to construct the schema of a discourse Infer the setting for a text Infer the role of the participants and their goals Infer causes or effects Infer unstated details of a situation Anticipate questions related to the topic or situation

Examples of tasks with bottom up approach:

The following activities develop top-down listening skills: Students generate a set of questions they expect to hear about a topic, and then listen to see if they are answered. Students generate a list of things they already know about a topic and things they would like to learn more about, then listen and compare. Students read one speakers part in a conversation, predict the other speakers part, then listen and compare. Students read a list of key points to be covered in a talk, then listen to see which ones are mentioned. Students listen to part of a story, complete the story ending, then listen and compare endings. Students read news headlines, guess what happened, then listen to the full news items and compare.

We can apply the term grammatical to units smaller than sentences. A brief phrase said or written on its own can be grammatically acceptable on unacceptable in its own right. The minimal components to be combined may not be whole words (eg: the ed suffix indicates the past tense of a regular verb)

Grammatical structure A specific instance of grammar is usually called a structure. Examples of structures would be the past tense, noun plurals, the comparison of adjectives, and so on. Grammatical meaning Grammar does not only affect how units of language are combined in order to look right; it also affects their meaning.

Combining bottom-up and top-down listening in a listening lesson In real-world listening, both bottom-up and top-down processing generally occur together. A typical lesson in current teaching materials involves a threepart sequence consisting of pre-listening, while-listening, and post-listening and contains activities that link bottom-up and top-down listening. The pre-listening phase prepares students for both top-down and bottom-up processing through activities involving activating prior knowledge, making predictions, and reviewing key vocabulary. The while-listening phase focuses on comprehension through exercises that require selective listening, gist listening, sequencing, etc. The post-listening phase typically involves a response to comprehension and may require students to give opinions about a topic. However, it can also include a bottom-up focus if the teacher and the listeners examine the texts or parts of the text in detail, focusing on sections that students could not follow.

Unit 2: the place of grammar teaching The place of grammar in the teaching of foreign languages is controversial. Most people agree that knowledge of a language means, among other things, knowing its grammar; but this knowledge may be intuitive (as it is in our native language), and it is not necessarily true that grammatical structures need to be taught as such, or that formal rules need to be learned. Unit 3: Grammatical terms Units of language 1. The sentence It is a set of words standing on their own as a sense unit, its conclusion marked by a full stop or equivalent (question mark, exclamation mark). The clause It is a set of words which make a sense unit, but may not be concluded by a full stop. A sentence may have two or more clauses (She left because it was late and she was tired) or only one (she was tired). The phrase

Teaching Grammar Unit 1: What is grammar? Grammar is sometimes defined as the way words are put together to make correct sentences






It is a shorter unit within the clause, of one or more words, but fulfilling the same sort of function as a single word (eg: was going, a long table) The word It is the minimum normally separable form: in writing, it appears as a stretch of letters with a space either side. The morpheme It is a bit of a word which can be perceived as a distinct component. For example, within the word passed are the two morphemes pass, and ed. Parts of the sentence We may also analyse the sentence according to the relationships between its component phrase: these are called parts of the sentence. The most common parts of the sentence are subject, verb and object, which may be combined into a basic pattern. The complement looks like an object, except that it refers to the same thing as the subjet (eg. She is a [good doctor] complement) Finally there is the adverbial: another word or phrase which adds further information (eg. Yesterday, at home, on his own) Parts of speech Nouns Verbs Adjectives Adverbs Pronouns Auxiliary verbs Modal verbs Determiners Prepositions







In general, a good presentation should include both oral and written forms, and both form and meaning. Examples It is important for learners to have plenty of contextualized examples of the structure and to understand them. Visual materials can also contribute to understanding. Terminology On the whole older or more analytically-minded learners will benefit more from the use of terminology. Language How explain to the learners, in their mother tongue, in the target language or in a combination of the two? It depends on your own situation and judgement. Explanation You have to find the balance between accuracy and simplicity. Your explanation should cover the great majority of instances learners are likely to encounter; obvious exceptions should be noted, but too much detail may only confuse. A simple generalization is more helpful to learners than a detailed grammar-book definition. Delivery Were your speaking and writing clearly and at an appropriate speed? These are basic and important points; your observer will help you here. Rules You have to decide whether a rule would be helpful or not; then, whether to elicit it from the learners on the basis of examples (inductively), or give it yourself, and invite them to produce examples (deductively).

Unit 5: Grammar practice activities One of our jobs as teacher is to help our students make the leap from form focussed accuracy work to fluent, but acceptable, production, by providing a bridge: a variety of activities that familiarize them with the structures in context, giving practice both in form and communicative meaning. TYPES OF GRAMMAR PRACTICE: FROM ACCURACY TO FLUENCY Type 1: Awareness

Unit 4: Presenting and explaining grammar Guidelines on presenting and explaining a new grammatical structure 1. The structure itself

After the learners have been introduced to the structure, they are given opportunities to encounter it within some kind of discourse, and do a task that focuses their attention on its form and/or meaning. EXAMPLE: LEARNERS ARE GIVEN EXTRACTS FROM NEWSPAPER ARTICLES AND ASKED TO UNDERLINE ALL THE EXAMPLES OF THE PAST TENSE THAT THEY CAN FIND. Type 2: Controlled drills Learners produce examples of the structure: these examples are, however, predetermined by the teacher or textbook, and have to conform to very clear, closed-ended cues EXAMPLE: WRITE OR SAY STATEMENTS ABOUT JOHN, MODELLED ON THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE: JOHN DRINKS TEA BUT DOESNT LIKE DRINK COFFEE. A) LIKE: ICE CREAM/CAKE B) SPEAK: ENGLISH/ ITALIAN C) ENJOY: PLAYING FOOTBALL/PLAYING CHESS Type 3: Meaningful drills Again the responses are very controlled, but learners can make a limited choice. EXAMPLE: IN THE ORDER TO PRACTISE FORMS OF THE PRESENT SIMPLE TENSE: CHOOSE SOMEONE YOU KNOW VERY WELL, AND WRITE OWN THEIR NAME. NOW COMPOSE TRUE STATEMENTS ABOUT THEM ACCORDING TO THE FOLLOWING MODEL: HE/SHE LIKES ICE CREAM, or HE /SHE DOESNT LIKE ICE CREAM.

EXAMPLE: PRACTISING CONDITIONAL CLAUSES, LEARNERS ARE GIVEN THE CUE IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS, AND SUGGEST, IN SPEECH OR WRITING, WHAT THEY WOULD DO. Type 5: (Structure-based) free sentence composition Learners are provided with a visual or situational cue, and invited to compose their own responses; they are directed to use the structure. EXAMPLE: A PICTURE SHOWING A NUMBER OF PEOPLE DOING DIFFERENT THINGS IS SHOWN TO THE CLASS; THEY DESCRIBE IT USING THE APPROPRIATE TENSE. Type 6: (Structure-based) discourse composition Learners hold a discussion or write a passage to a given task; they are directed to use at least some examples of the structure within the discourse. EXAMPLE: THE CLASS IS GIVEN A DILEMMA SITUATION (YOU HAVE SEEN A GOOD FRIEND CHEATING IN AN IMPORTANT TEST) AND ASKED TO RECOMMEND A SOLUTION. THEY ARE DIRECTED TO INCLUDE MODALS (MIGHT, SHOULD, MUST, CAN, COULD, ETC) IN THEIR SPEECH/WRITING. Type 7: Free discourse As in Type 6, but the learners are given no specific direction to use the structure; however, the task situation is such that instances of it are likely to appear. EXAMPLE: AS IN TYPE 6, BUT WITHOUT THE FINAL DIRECTION. Unit 6: Grammatical mistakes Errors: they are consistent and based on a mis-learned generalization Mistakes: they are occasional, inconsistent slips)

A) ENJOY: PLAYING TENNIS B) DRINK: WINE C) SPEAK: POLISH Type 4: Guided, meaningful practice Learners form sentences of their own according to a set pattern, but exactly what vocabulary they use is up to them.

Language teachers perceive a mistake intuitively: something sounds or looks wrong. It may actually interfere with successful communication. Mistakes may be seen as an integral and natural part of learning: a symptom of the learners progress through an interlanguage towards a closer and closer approximation to the target language. Come would say that it is not necessary to correct at all: as the learner advances mistakes will disappear on their own.

TEACHING VOCABULARY What is vocabulary? Vocabulary can be defined as the words we teach in the foreign language. However, a new item of vocabulary may be more than a single word: for example, post office which are made up of two or three words but express a single idea. There are also multi-word idioms such as call t: a day, where the meaning of the phrase cannot be deduced from an analysis of the component words. A useful convention is to cover all such cases by talking about vocabulary items rather than words. What needs to be taught? 1.Form: pronunciation and spelling The learner has to know what a word sounds like (its pronunciation) and what it looks like (its spelling). In teaching, we need to make sure that both these aspects are accurately presented and learned. 2. Grammar The grammar of a new item will need to be taught if this is not obviously covered by general grammatical rules. It is important to provide learners with this information at the same time as we teach the base form. When teaching a new verb, for example, we might give also its past form, if this is irregular (think, thought). Similarly, when teaching a noun, we may wish to present its plural form, if irregular (mouse, mice), or draw learners attention to the fact that it has no plural at all (advice, information). We may present verbs such as want and enjoy together with the verb form that follows them (want to, enjoy -ing)9 or adjectives or verbs together with their following prepositions.

4. Aspects of meaning (1): denotation, connotation, appropriateness The meaning of a word is primarily what it refers to in the real world, its denotation; this is often the sort of definition that is given in a dictionary. For example, dog denotes a kind of animal; more specifically, a common, domestic carnivorous mammal; and both dank and moist mean slightly wet. Connotation is the associations, or positive or negative feelings it evokes, which may or may not be indicated in a dictionary definition. The word dog, for example, as understood by most British people, has positive connotations of friendship and loyalty; whereas the equivalent in Arabic, has negative associations of dirt and inferiority. Appropriateness is a more subtle aspect of meaning that often needs to be taught is whether a particular item is the appropriate one to use in a certain context or not. 5. Aspects of meaning (2): meaning relationships How the meaning of one item relates to the meaning of others can also be useful in teaching. There are various such relationships: here are some of the main ones. - Synonyms: items that mean the same, or nearly the same. - Antonyms: items that mean the opposite. - Hyponyms: items that serve as specific examples of a general concept. - Co-hyponyms or co-ordinates: other items that are the same kind of thing. - Superordinate: general concepts that cover specific items. - Translation: words or expressions in the learners mother tongue that are (more or less) equivalent in meaning to the item being taught. 6. Word formation Vocabulary items, whether one-word or multi-word, can often be broken down into their component bits. Exactly how these bits are put together is another piece of useful information.

3. Collocation The collocations typical of particular items are another factor that makes a particular combination sound right or wrong in a given context. So this is another piece of information about a new item which it may be worth teaching.


Teachers should teach the common prefixes and suffixes, and that in many common words the affixes no longer have any obvious connection with their root meaning. Another way vocabulary items are built is by combining two words to make one item. Presenting new vocabulary Ways of presenting the meaning of new items: - concise definition - detailed description - examples - illustration - demonstration - context - synonyms - opposite(s) - translation - associated ideas, collocations Remembering vocabulary There are various reasons why we remember some words better than others: the nature of the words themselves, under what circumstances they are learnt, the method of teaching and so on. The following is an interesting way to examine some of these factors. It is actually a memory experiment, involving the recall of as many items as possible on a learned list. Obviously, we do not usually do this in the classroom, but its results have clear relevance for conventional vocabulary learning and teaching. Implications for teaching There are various interesting practical conclusions to be drawn. 1. You will get better results if the words you teach have clear, easily comprehensible meanings. 2. You will get better results if items can be linked with each other, or with ones already known, through meaning- or sound-association. 3. It is better to teach vocabulary in separated, spaced sessions than to teach it all at once. In other words, words will be learnt better if, for example, they are taught briefly at the beginning of a lesson, reviewed later in the same lesson, and again in the next than if the same total amount of time is used for learning

the words all at once. This needs careful lesson-planning, but will repay the effort. Ideas for vocabulary work in the classroom 1.Brainstorming round an idea Write a single word in the centre of the board, and ask students to brainstorm all the words they can think of that are connected with it. Every item that is suggested is written up on the board with a line connecting it to the original word. This activity is mainly for revising words the class already knows, but new ones may be introduced, by the teacher or by students. Although there are no sentences or paragraphs, the circle of associated items is in itself a meaningful context for the learning of new vocabulary. The focus is on the meaning of isolated items. 2.Identifying words we know As an introduction to the vocabulary of a new reading passage: the students are given the new text, and asked to underline, all the words they know. They then get together in pairs or threes to compare: a student who knows something not known to their friend(s) teaches it to them, so that they can mark it in on their texts. They then try to guess the meaning of the remaining unmarked items. Finally the teacher brings the class together to hear results, checking guesses and teaching new items where necessary. This activity encourages student cooperation and peer- teaching.