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close this bookTeaching Additional Languages (IAE - IBE - UNESCO, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentThe International Academy of Education
View the documentSeries preface
View the documentIntroduction
View the document1. Comprehensible input
View the document2. Language opportunities
View the document3. Language practice
View the document4. Learning strategies
View the document5. Listening
View the document6. Speaking
View the document7. Reading
View the document8. Writing
View the document9. Grammar
View the document10. Comprehensible pronunciation
View the documentConclusion
View the documentReferences
View the documentBack Cover

2. Language opportunities

Classroom activities should allow students to use natural and meaningful language with their classmates.

Research findings

Learners need opportunities to practice language with one another. Conversations are important since they require attentiveness and involvement on the part of learners. By conversing, they can practise adapting vocabulary and grammar to a particular situation and making their own contributions to the conversation comprehensible.

The best conversations for such learning exchange real information, ideas and feelings among the participants. By engaging in such activities, learners have opportunities to try to make themselves understood. They receive immediate feedback as to whether they were successful and where alternative language is needed. As they engage in such exchanges, learners also receive additional comprehensible input, which further aids language acquisition.

In the classroom

Several classroom-teaching strategies derive from these research findings:

· Teachers should go beyond simple language drills to create opportunities for meaningful interaction in the classroom by using activities in which students employ natural language examples in real language situations.

· Students should be encouraged to work in pairs or small groups, with the teacher serving as an occasionally helpful observer rather than a controlling force.

· Teachers should employ activities in which students have to solve problems in which each party must contribute information that others do not possess and which challenge students’ minds.

· When feasible, the tasks should relate to students’ needs and interests so as to motivate them.

· Teachers should usually avoid intervening in these activities while they are occurring, but should provide feedback after they conclude.

References: Doughty & Pica, 1986; Ellis, 1990; Long & Porter, 1985.