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Unit 11 is about the way to teach receptive skills. I have already learnt new methods and tips to make my reading and listening lesson shine in this unit.
‘Receptive Skills’ (also known as ‘Passive Skills’, or reading and listening) are often contrasted with productive skills (speaking and writing). When learning a new language learners tend to develop their receptive skills first and then acquire productive capability. It’s a complex relationship between the two as they all play a supporting role with developing other skills. For example, reading skills can be a supporting factor to the development of writing, whereas listening can improve speaking fluency.
The best way to improve receptive skills is from exposure whether from an enjoyable authentic text or a quality ESL text book. For example, television, music, books and magazines are great ways to build vocabulary while incidentally promoting learner autonomy. Coursebooks can provide a basic scaffold and are adapted for an ESL learner, whereas authentic materials provide exposure to real language use.
The below staging is an effective way to teach either a listening or reading lesson:
1, Pre-teach vocabulary:
As with the ‘present’ stage of a vocabulary lesson, elicit, drill and concept check any vocabulary that you predict students will need to navigate the reading or listening material they will work with.
2, Gist reading/listening
When students have demonstrated their understanding of the target vocabulary, set a quick skimming task for students to get a first contact with the text or recording. Gist tasks can be in the form of true-false questions, paragraph matching, ordering or adding headings.
3) Detailed reading/listening
When students have got the gist of the text, they can move into some more detailed comprehension or language work. Set questions which deal with the relationships between points in the text, or which focus on use of specific language in the text or recording. This encourages a closer analysis of the information being presented.
4) (optional) Response to text
A follow-up stage (which asks students to respond to what they have read or listened to) can consolidate the ideas presented in the text and engage students with the content they have read or listened to.
5) (optional) Vocabulary in Context
Another option for a post-reading stage is to examine the meanings of some other vocabulary items (which were not taught in the first PTV stage) in the context of the sentences and paragraphs where they appear in the reading or listening material.