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2. Teaching Language Skills

In this unit we will start anticipating how to address common language learning issues, whilst covering techniques to introduce or expand on difficult aspects of language learning.

Teaching Language Skills

There are different ways of teaching the 4 language skills, which are Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Students can encounter various difficulties in these different skills. They will make mistakes in English pronunciation, grammar, syntax, vocabulary usage, and spelling. You have to remember that there is very often a connection between the native language of a learner and the mistakes he/she makes.

Generally listening comprehension and speaking are the hardest skills for our students, as learners tend to be more exposed to reading and writing in their everyday lives, than they are to native speakers and communication situations in English. In class, you will often cover various skills at a time, helping your learners with pronunciation, vocabulary-building, perfecting their grammar syntax, as well as their general fluency.

Beginners will focus on learning the most frequently used vocabulary for their practical real life needs, whereas more advanced students will be interested in perfecting their pronunciation, grammar, and complex vocabulary.

Although writing may be a familiar skill for some, spelling still poses a difficulty, due to the non phonetic nature of the English language: tough, through, trough, thorough, thought… may have similar spellings but very different pronunciations, and red, read (in the simple past) might sound the same – they are homonyms – they are spelled very differently.

Furthermore, vocabulary – also known as lexis – is the cause of more difficulties, due to collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms, proverbs, and other regional differences in vocabulary usage. Add to that, formal vs. informal English, and learners sometimes struggle to find an effective method of expanding their English vocabulary knowledge.

Key Words and Definitions of this Unit:

  • The 4 language skills = Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking
  • Homonyms = words which sound the same but are spelled differently
  • Vocabulary = lexis
  • Formal vs. informal English

Please complete the following 2 quizzes in order to conclude this unit:

Teaching Language Skills Quiz

and

Effective activities

Match the following reading, listening, speaking, or writing with the most appropriate / effective activity in the classroom, for developing this language skill. Only one answer is correct.


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