Unit 3 The Teaching and Learning of ESOL

Module 3 Speaking and Writing

At the end of this module you will:-

a) understand some of the problems students experience when speaking

b) be able to teach oral skills

c) be able to identify problems associated with successful writing

d) be able to design activities to train students in the skills needed for effective writing



Oral communication is a two-way process involving a speaker and a listener, yet it is useful to look at ways of teaching and learning speaking as separate from those of listening. As language teachers, one of our tasks is to equip our learners with the skills needed for effective oral communication by providing opportunities for the situational practice of a range of speaking skills.

1) Problems

a) Students have various problems with oral skills. Sometimes they struggle due to previous learning experiences emphasising the structural basis of the language with little or no communicative methodology employed and therefore little realistic oral language practice of the language having been done. Difficulty can also be due to poor listening skills and the inability to distinguish important words or sounds from unimportant ones. They may also struggle to interpret others’ intonation and so misunderstand intent in speech and reply inappropriately. (Refer back to Unit 2 Module 2 to remind yourself of the elements of connected speech.)

b) Poor spoken phonological ability (ie pronunciation, stress, rhythm, intonation) can cause sounds to be mispronounced, leading to poor comprehension on the part of the listener. If someone fails to understand what you're saying, you soon give up and stay quiet (more on this later in the course)....

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