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This unit talked about the definition, importance, purpose and interconnection of the three elements vocabulary, grammar and language function. Meanwhile, it talked about the teaching philosophy for each of the three elements with the suggestions of compatible teaching methods discussed in unit 2 such as the Straight Arrow, the Boomerang and the Patchwork ESA (engage, study, activate) methods.
Incorporation of the teaching methods detailed before to the teaching of specific part further enhances the understanding of the teaching strategies and the practical utilization of each technique.
In the discussion of vocabulary teaching, the unit warned that one of the biggest challenges is how to select the suitable words to teach for the groups of learners who have different backgrounds and different skill levels. It recommended a few criteria for the educators to follow including the words’ appropriacy to the students, appropriacy to the task, frequency of usage and teachability. The criteria do appear to be acknowledging learners’ backgrounds, skill levels, and the purposes of learning the English. Moreover, the unit emphasized that in the vocabulary teaching one would also have to pay attention to several other components of the vocabulary such as the meaning, proper usage, word grammar, words’ interactions, spelling and pronunciations. The methodology for teaching the vocabulary can be any one of or blended among the three ESA techniques stated above.
In the discussion of grammar teaching, this unit stressed that the educators should be guided by what the language means, how the grammar is used and in what form it is presented and how it is said or written. For the methodology, the Patchwork ESA method seems to be a more effective way to make the teaching productive.
Lastly, as for the teaching of language function, educators should make the students be aware that the vocabulary and the grammar are not only having their own functions, but also serving the language function. The language function is a higher level component which plays important roles in communication and thought sharing such as inviting, agreeing, disagreeing, refusing or suggesting, etc. Either the Boomerang or the Patchwork ESA method would well suit the teaching of language function.
After learning the units 1 – 4 with the steps of acknowledging the composition of learners, knowing the suitable teaching methods for various situations, mastering the techniques of classroom management and now identifying the compatible teaching methodology on each of the three elements vocabulary, grammar and language function, I feel that the teaching is ready to start and I look forward to putting all these teaching tools in use.