Four Skills (comments and opinions)

In my book TKT are some comments from teachers in relation to the four language skills and I would like to comment about them.

In the case of reading…reading-listthey said that reading for details is the most important reading skill and I agree with them because you show if you really understood the reading. With questions about the reading you did, you can verify if you really have captured the main idea.

They like to read them stories, even if they don’t understand anything. I think it’s good to do this, because little by little, they will understand more and more because of the frequency of the readings and they are to be identifying much more with vocabulary.

Some of their learners try to understand each new word in a text; they often don’t understand what the whole text is about. It is a mistake that most students make, when they want to translate each word not known in the read text. It is important that teachers make them know that it’s wrong to translate every word and remind them that they should try to imagine what the story is about with the little they understand when they read.

writingIn writing, when they teach writing they usually focus more on accuracy than on communicating ideas. I think this is a bad idea. I say that you must first teach students to understand main ideas and then accuracy. It is very difficult; especially for beginners write accurately and I think it is more important to convey thoughts and ideas in a text than just write something without errors.

Their learners find writing really boring. Teachers do it as little as possible. That’s horrible; they should not stop teaching this important skill just because students are bored. When this happens it is necessary that the teacher finds a way to make it more fun, such an activity, teamwork or a game. He/She has to motivate them. If they do not, they are failing as teachers.

ListenAbout listening, to improve their listening, what their students need most is to learn more vocabulary. Learning listening skills won’t help them. I agree because if they know more vocabulary, listening they will understand more words, so they understand the idea or message. Teach listening skills is just to explain the purpose or objective of skill and some tips, so not much help to get the main idea of the text.

Teachers do not think their learners should listen to them for listening practice. There is no point in them listening to English spoken with their accent. Students must listen to their teachers speak English, thus they can notice the pronunciation, tone of voice, accents, and also recorded some expressions. It is an obligation of the teachers speaks in English in front of students.

Their learners always try to understand every word when they listen, so they give them transcripts to read as they listen. Like writing, it is important not to want to understand every word we hear because we will not understand the main idea. You should try to guess, with the words that you understand, what the person says. When students hear recordings, it is good to give them an idea about what comes through questions or describing a picture. Then, let them hear the recording without the aid of a transcript and the second time, enable them to see the transcript. This helps students to see the spelling, sentence structures and finally understand the whole recording.

hablarIn speaking, their students get really embarrassed talking and making mistakes in front of their classmates, so they do not often ask them to speak in class. A teacher should promote respect within the classroom; it is part of their job. If students do not practice in class where are they going to do? Classes are to learn and practice.

Teachers like asking their class to tell one another stories. Students get so interested that they do not worry about the mistakes they make. It is a good activity, teachers should encourage students to practice speaking English but the teacher must correct their mistakes, so they do not continue making the same mistakes.

Please, let me know your comments and tell me if you agree with me or not.

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Un pensamiento en “Four Skills (comments and opinions)

  1. Jessica,
    Not everyone will agree with you about the most important subskills. In reading, in order to be a critical reader, you must be able to understand the author’s viewpoint. Sometimes that is even a TOEFL question.

    Writing: I totally agree….and we can get students to be able to express their ideas more easily by using graphic organizers BEFORE they start to write.

    You really hit the nail on the head with listening. Listening is more informal than writing, so many idioms and phrasl verbs, and even metaphors pop up in listening texts….just like the one I used here. Good analysis.

    And in speaking, the more we as teachers create situations in which students have a need to communicate the more they will speak without fearing mistaking.

    Great post and great job synthesizing the week’s work.
    Ellen

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