Teaching oral communication
Andres Guevara Pineros I. D. 445114 November 11,2009 English Didactics 1 Department of Foreign Languages Universidad Nacional de Colombia IS IT REALLY DIFFICULT TEACHING ORAL COMMUNICATION TO CHILDREN BETWEEN 9 TO 10? The intention of this essay is to demonstrate, based on different theories of some authors, what problems are related to teach of speaking of a foreign language, those problems are related to motivation, variety in materials, pronunciation and the continuity use of the language.
Nunan (1993) has found that the biggest problem in the EFL classroom is the lack of motivation and the reiterative use of the mother tongue. “Language learners who lack confidence in their ability to participate successfully in oral interaction, often listen in silence while others are talking. One way to encourage learners to begin to participate is to help them build up a stock of minimal responses that they can use in different types of exchanges” (p. 110).
Such responses can be especially useful for beginners, often idiomatic phrases that conversation participants use to indicate understanding, agreement, doubt, and other responses to what another speaker is saying. Having a stock of those responses enables a learner to focus on what the other participant is saying, without having
The use of authentic, engaging materials should be the basis for in-class activities. ” Instructors can help students develop the speaking ability by making students aware of the scripts for different situations so that they can predict what they will hear and what they will need to say in response. Through interactive activities, instructors can give students practice in managing and varying the language that different scripts contain. There are different systems that give to the professors a useful method to represent the pronunciation in teaching English language to foreign learners.
There are based on the linguistic theories that began 50 years ago. At the same time as linguistics introduced a number of priceless techniques into language teaching and linguistics changed its emphasis from the written to the spoken language, its restriction to single accents and its exclusion of the written language do not supply the needs of practical language teaching well. Furthermore, linguistics has now abandoned the phonemic theory that serves as the basis on which pronunciation is represented. .
The conventional system of long and short vowels is used, but it has been expanded with 4 more unit vowels, giving increase to a system that applies to most accents with minor union. An English accent can consequently be almost precisely described by a characteristic set of diaphonic combinations, plus some distinctive preferences in word choice. A general plan of the linguistic examination of this diaphonic system provides a unexpectedly simple account of vowel features that works across accents, suggesting that these are the features that an Foreign English speaker actually learns to identify when reunion speakers of varying accents.
According to Brown (2001) “With trivial additions such as a circumflex accent to mark ‘continental’ vowel-values, this system is found to be consistent with everyday orthography. This allows a language learner to learn only one system of representation, ‘spelling plus’, that specifies both the spelling and the sound. Being equivalent to a phonetic representation with some extra marks, it can serve both the foreign learner and the native-speaking child learning to read, as well as supporting the teaching or learning of English spelling”.
It is found to be clearly superior to the traditional systems of phonemic representation used in English language teaching. The goal of teaching speaking skills is communicative efficiency. Learners should be able to make themselves understood, using their current proficiency. They should try to avoid confusion in the message due to faulty pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, and to observe the social and cultural rules that apply in each communication situation. Brown (2001) says that foreign language learning occurs in the formal situation of a classroom and that he learner has hardly any access to the target language beyond the classroom door. Colombia is a perfect example of what Brown has said, because students just use the foreign language in the classroom. They don? t need it outside because in our environment English, a foreign language, has not been deeply rooted. So, this is a problem when teachers want to work with new topics. Students don`t usually have a background and teachers have to start teaching. This is because students don? t practice English outside the school.
EFL teachers will want to do whatever they can to promote the development of speaking in their students. This essay has given an overview of the theoretical basis for teaching oral skills communicatively, described some features of the oral skills class, even as it is difficult to predict with certainty what the future holds for language teaching in general, and oral skills pedagogy in particular, it is reasonable to believe that the focus on the socio-linguistic and socio-cultural dimensions of oral communication will continue.
As we learn more about how people behave in real life and how this behavior is fixed in speech (by accumulating research on speech acts and different varieties of English, for example), we will be in a better position to teach and design materials based on authentic language and communication patterns. How will we as EFL teachers deal with the spoken grammar? Should we teach it alongside our rules of written grammar?
Will features of written grammar be seen as incorrect in speech as features of spoken grammar are in writing today? Furthermore, because recorded sound can now be transmitted over the Internet, it will be possible for learners to communicate with teachers and other learners without having to use audiotapes. Distance learning courses already permit teaching, learning, and interaction with others who are not present in the actual classroom.
And it is probably not too far in the future that speech recognition software will allow actual oral communication between a student and a computer to take place. As language educators, we must remain open to these new developments in order to provide the best possible instruction for our students. To sum up, nowadays several linguistics and TEFL teachers agree on that students learn to speak in the second language by «interacting». Communicative language teaching and collaborative learning serve best for this aim.
Communicative language teaching is based on real-life situations that require communication. By using this method in TEFL classes, students will have the opportunity of communicating with each other in the target language. In brief, TEFL teachers should create a classroom environment where students have real-life communication, authentic activities, and meaningful tasks that promote oral language. This can occur when students collaborate in groups to achieve a goal or to complete a task.