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Here Below you can check out the feedback (for one of our units) of one of the 16.000 students that last year took an online course with ITTT!
Teaching receptive skills is the main point of unit eleven. There are four basic skills: reading and listening (receptive skills), and speaking and writing (productive skills). All four of them are equally important and teacher should incorporate all of them when teaching. He/she should try and make an integrated lesson, even though sometimes we want to focus on just one.
There are different reasons and motives behind receptive skills, we can read for purpose (it helps us achieve some particular goal (e.g. reading instructions on how to use a new smart phone); or for entertainment, when the information is enjoyable in some way (e.g. reading a novel). Often reading and listening are mix of the two motives (reading a tour guide when travelling).
Unit then explains how we read and listen, it’s not only by recognizing and understanding words, we must also be able to grasp the overall meaning from a pre-existing knowledge of the world. Readers and listeners should use the following skills when reading or listening: predictive skills, specific information-scanning, general idea-skimming, detailed information-deduction from context.
Naturally, some problems arise when listening or reading, and they mainly relate to the language, topic and tasks students will perform.
Language problems arise from sentence and word length, and number of unfamiliar words. Reading is easier than listening as the text is ‘captured’ on the paper, and students may read it multiple times.
There are many ways on how to approach language difficulty: by carefully choosing texts (authentic and non-authentic), materials and topics that will interest and motivate students; arousing students’ interest by motivating and engaging them in the tasks (by discussing the topic, showing pictures or employing any other engage phase activity); selecting comprehension tasks that promote understanding and should be challenging, not too easy or difficult (jigsaw reading, jumbled texts); as well as incorporating activate phases that naturally lead on from the text.
Unit gives an outline of a typical receptive skills lesson (patchwork) on the life of Elvis Presley; as well as the lesson on ‘What people wear – making comparisons’, which gave me an opportunity to provide some of my own questions and exercises, which I found to be a good practice.