OP 8: Balanced and Integrated teaching approaches

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OP 8: Balanced and Integrated teaching approaches

Post  Jung namsook on Sun Jun 08 2008, 18:19

OP8: To date, most of the English language instruction carried out in public schools has been oriented around reading and grammar skills. How do you think the next generation of teachers in Korea could ensure that teaching approaches incorporate a more even balance (and integration) of skills?





When considering the function of English language, a key lies in communication with people. Until now, weíve overlooked the importance of language productive skills and sought out more analytic skills. For the next generation, we would make it possible for students to produce real English. To make it happen, each section of English skills should be taught in combination with other skills in the class.



First of all, a large part of reading lessons should incorporate more of speaking and writing. Reading good material must be a big part, so we were told to speak as clearly and loudly as learning a mother tongue. Taking my own experience, reading was a good resource to make it possible to speak and write. Once I took a reading class demanding students a timed summary writing. The class was quite tough because asking for timed reading, as well as timed speaking response to the article and summarizing. I used to take and practice written tests and I was far behind other students. The bitter patience, however, made me think outside box as to reading. Thanks to the incorporated reading class, I came to advance productive skills.



Next, grammatical pattern drill should help enhance speaking skill. The pattern drills are directly related to speaking practice when teaching with rhythmical chant. Moreover, the pattern practice also encourages students to learn grammatical rules with fun. My old high school teacher would always adopt pattern drills when giving a grammar lesson. She wrote down useful sentences on the board and we tried to find the pattern applied in common. Itís like a game of discovering the road in the maze. Most of all, those drill sentences were very relevant with our school life enough to attract studentsí interest and meant to speak as well. Her point was always in there: grammar in use and speak. Therefore, we couldnít imagine being quiet in learning grammar.



Last but, certainly not least, we would adapt to a more practical assessment and listening practice process. No doubt that listening skill is very important in communication and itís given a great deal of weight on national English exams. High score of listening comprehension, however, doesnít approve of good productive skills all the time. Thatís partly because of each individual habit in studying listening. Those students are occupied with dictation without speaking correct sounds and sentences, rather obsessed with catching the correct answers. In schools, teachers should guide students to listen and speak at the same time in order to tell the sounds and meaning and producing real English. Besides, the introduction of new assessment, speaking along with listening at KSAT would be the immediate measure to let consider the importance of speaking ability.



In conclusion, itís high time that Korean students meet a certain standard of English proficiency. Nonetheless, school exams have focused on the written tests of reading and grammar. However, students must not be given the wrong information that such reading and grammar skill are unimportant. They can be fully applied with speaking and writing. Therefore, in the current English classroom, teachers can balance teaching reading and grammar with other practical English. Of course, the new approach of English assessment would boost to implement of more productive and practical English class.
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Re: OP 8: Balanced and Integrated teaching approaches

Post  Ji hye Lim on Mon Jun 09 2008, 09:36

When I red your wrighting, I always thought that you are good writer.
My writing skill is pretty low compare with you. So I wanted to be good at writing in English like you. So your kind praise about introducation give me big confidence.
You said that you are not logical person. But Your writing is very logical. Especially, you have clear reason about your opinion. Making persuasive and plentiful reason is really difficult for me. But you always suggest good reasons and detail. In my opinion, your introduction is great. But if you get stress to make clear introduction, I suggest that you should think easily. In my case I can't use hard expression in English so I ususally write simplly and directly. Another tip is I usuallystart with my own experience or present condition. flower
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Re: OP 8: Balanced and Integrated teaching approaches

Post  Ju-mi,Im on Mon Jun 09 2008, 12:35

After reading your writing, I come to compare to mine. My writing is too abstract but yours is very detailed and specific. I need to write essays like you.
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Re: OP 8: Balanced and Integrated teaching approaches

Post  Young on Tue Jun 10 2008, 19:09

Namsook, as I remember, this topic made me have a headache. I like introduction part. I felt like reading education section of Korean Herald. Also, three things for integrated skills that you mentioned are very detail. I usually get feedback from Jason that my essay is ambiguous and vague. I'm happy to share your essays this semester. Thank you for giving me mitivation to study more and made me have self-consciousness through your essays.
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