The branch of JSC NCPD “Orleu”, Institute for professional development of Zhambyl region.
As it is obvious today the present days are highly dynamic and rapidly changing, as well teaching and learning of foreign languages would necessary adapt to these changes. Output to language teaching should be a preparation for life in the new Kazakhstan without borders. The aim of education should not only broaden a cultural horizon of students, but also provide an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills required by an international labor market. The basic communication competences include the ability to use and communicate at least in one of internationally used languages; therefore, teaching of at least one foreign language should become a common and essential part of basic education. The condition for achieving this ability within the education is the need for the introduction of integrated approaches in the process of language teaching.
If learners are expected to succeed they need to be confident in language use as well as in subject knowledge. Confidence is seen possible only in a safe and enriching environment. In general, communication in a target language and repetitive activities and tasks help to reach the goal of confidence. Learner-centered approach, as CLIL is regarded to be, belongs to the active learning methods because teachers act as facilitators and all the work involvement and thinking is put on learners. Work in pairs and groups lowers learners’ distress of failure and on the other hand develops the motivation and the co-operative work helps to achieve language, content and learning outcomes.
Studying in a foreign language is a demanding task even more challenging though is creative and critical thinking. CLIL methodology enhances systematic building on a learners’ previous knowledge that is possible when scaffolding is applied. A term scaffolding was originally used to refer to teacher talk that supports pupils in carrying out activities and helps them to solve problems. Examples include simplifying tasks by breaking them down into smaller steps, keeping pupils focused on completing the task by reminding them of what the goal is, showing other ways of doing tasks[1,p. 48].
CLIL method is a suitable method because the content of non-language subject is presented by the target foreign language. In a CLIL lesson, all four language skills should be combined. The skills are seen thus:
Listening is a normal input activity, vital for language learning
Reading, using meaningful material, is the major source of input
Speaking focuses on fluency. Accuracy is seen as subordinate
Writing is a series of lexical activities through which grammar is recycled.
In fact listening is one of the significant skill which students should develop at lessons. Several types of it will be taken into consideration. Listening for information comes in three modes:
First, we can be listening to try to understand as much of the text as we can. This will apply to a lecture or the experiment explanation.
Second, we may be listening for key words to trigger more intensive concentration. This occurs when we listen to a scientific methods or research findings. In order to transfer information into a table.
Third, we may be listening in a monitoring mode, getting the gist of what we hear only, e.g., this news item is about sport, this one’s about an accident etc. We may do this until we hear something that catches our attention and then we switch to a more intensive mode.
Listening for discourse clues involves paying conscious attention to what is being signaled by the speaker. There are examples above about how this might happen in a lecture but it will also happen in other kinds of texts. Anecdotes, for example, are littered with time expressions to guide the hearer through the sequence of events and may be punctuated by appeals for response of confirmation such as Don’t you see? or You’ll never guess who it was … . Listening out for such things makes the task of listening and understanding easier.
In this mode we need to deploy our knowledge of the meaning and pronunciation of the lexis as well as the way in which structures such as tenses and their aspects inform us of the relationship between events and things.
Text as a Vehicle for Information approach is the most suitable for science teachers, the text is being used to develop the strategies that learners need to deploy to unlock the writer’s meanings and attitudes. The theory is that this approach will lead to the development of cognitive strategies which learners can then use independently to access the meaning of any text they encounter.
This approach is considered here because we are concerned with language skills rather than language systems development. In fact, scanning is a key skill when accessing internet sites because it is here that people are most often looking for explicit information.
The aim of these skimming exercises is to train students to follow simple skimming steps. You can’t just tell people to do this; we have to train students and give them the skills they need. All these exercises and tasks should be done with a clear time limit set for their completion. If you don’t do this, learners will often fall back on trying to read and understand every word. The intent is to force them to skim the text for essential information [2,p. 349–374].
We need to allow our learners to develop the skill of using shared knowledge to make speaking easier for them but still comprehensible for the listener. Here are some ideas:
Get students to work together on a picture story to plan how to tell it to the rest of the class (or another pair / individual) who does not have access to the pictures. While working together the learners will often take short cuts and refer to ‘the man’ or whatever but if it is clear to them that they are going to have to tell the story without a visual prompt, they will be encouraged to notice the extra information they’ll need to add to make it work.
Clearly this needs preparation so step 1 is to have a picture on the board (or wherever) and invite your students to describe it. Then hide the graphic and ask them to do it again as if you had never seen it. You can reverse this procedure and ask people to respond to a picture only one of them can see by talking to a you or a partner and then run the same exercise with both people having access to the picture. Get them explicitly to notice differences in language. You can do this in three with two talkers and one notice. Then swap roles around.
Get the learners to imagine a location within the school / college / campus where you are teaching and direct a partner to it. Now get them to do it with a building only one of them is familiar with. Finally, get them explicitly to notice the different kinds of language they used.
This is a traditional text-based approach which relies on the presentation of a model and its imitation or adaptation. The approach seeks to synthesize the components of the writing skill by focusing on each in isolation first. So we move, e.g., from the mechanics of the alphabet and punctuation systems, through a focus on syntax and lexis including considerations of cohesion and style until we have trained our learners to combine their knowledge of each to be able to produce a coherent, effective and accurate text[3, pp. 167–192].
Based on research into how good writers construct texts, it breaks down the writing process into a series of repeatable stages. First, for example, expert writers generate ideas in a random way and then evaluate each on the basis of relevance and importance. Then, the writer will plan, draft and re-evaluate before producing a final text. Often the process, or parts of it, is repeated until the writer is finally satisfied with the product.
A lot of speaking is interaction, even when we are also transacting.
For example, in a shop we use a lot, we may have a conversation with the shopkeeper about the weather, her family, her health etc. before we get to asking for what we want.
Equally, even in quite formal situations, we often combine a little interaction before we get to the point. Speaking is a much more active, two-way process than writing because feedback is usually immediate.
Speaking and writing are difficult skills because speaking is so immediate and puts time pressure on our learners and writing requires careful use of text staging, grammar and lexis.
We need to break down the skills into sub skills and practice each one before asking people to follow the instructions. These sub skills are slightly different but parallel because both skills are productive.
List of references:
- Schweizer, T. A., Ware, J., Fischer, C. E., Craik, F. I., & Bialystok, E. (2012). Bilingualism as a contributor to cognitive reserve: Evidence from brain atrophy in Alzheimer’s disease.Cortex, 48(8), 991–996.
- Linck, J. A., Hoshino, N., & Kroll, J. F. (2008). Cross-language lexical processes and inhibitory control. Mental Lexicon, 3(3), 349–374.
- Diaz, R., & Klingler, C. (1991). Towards an explanatory model of the interaction between bilingualism and cognitive development.In E. Bialystok (Ed.), Language processing in bilingual children (pp. 167–192). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Trudgill, P. (1992), Introducing language and society, London: Penguin