Teaching english to pre-school children and children in a primary school

Method and techniques of teaching pre-school children. Three stages in teaching a foreign language in schools. General outline of a daily lesson. Goals and objectives of education. Principles of foreign language teaching. Teaching aids and materials.

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Язык английский
Дата добавления 23.09.2012
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Lecture 1.

Teaching English to Pre-School Children and Children in a Primary School.


Teaching problem how to teach a foreign language to pre-school children.

A distinguish between teaching pre-school children in the kindergarten and teaching children in primary grades in the elementary school.

Aims of teaching.

Content of teaching.

The problem how to teach a foreign language to pre-school children and the children of a primary school has not been solved either in this country or abroad, though some methodologists and teachers have shown an interest in it and there are some books, papers and theses dealing with this problem. For instance, soon after World War II the Modern Language Association in the USA, with Theodore Anderson at the head, began a campaign for the teaching of foreign languages in primary schools. A broad experiment was organized in many elementary schools throughout the country. It was done to prove that it is necessary to begin the teaching of a foreign language in the first grade and even j in the kindergarten if good results are to be achieved. Otherwise the younger generation will not master foreign languages.

In our country the interest for teaching young children a foreign language was aroused soon after the first schools with a number of subjects taught in a foreign language were opened in Moscow and other cities, i. e., in the 50's. Experience has proved that the earlier the children begin to learn a language, the better they master it. Besides, some teachers, first in Leningrad, then in other cities and towns, volunteered to instruct children in a foreign language in kindergartens. The experience and the results they have achieved are described in a number of articles published in „Иностранные языки в школе", „Дошкольное воспитание". A few guides for teachers have appeared. To help teachers and parents in teaching children foreign language lotto in four languages (Russian, French, English, and German), dominoes in the English language, and various pictures have been issued.

It is necessary to distinguish between teaching pre-school children in the kindergarten and teaching children in primary grades in the elementary school, as there are some psychological age characteristics which should be taken into account. Here are some of them.

1. A child of 5 or 6 easily learns words and sentences of a foreign language and associates them directly with the things, actions, etc. He learns a sentence as a sense unit without any strain as easily as he learns isolated words. He encounters the same difficulty in learning the sentences My name is Mike. I like this black cat. Give me a bear, please and words a cat, a bear. Moreover, it is easier for a child to learn a sentence than isolated words.

For example, if a child knows only isolated words, he includes them in Russian speech: Дай мне doll. Закрой door.

Sometimes a child does not notice that he uses English words in a sentence said in Russian. Д сейчас shall show you. English words live side by side with Russian words and the child uses those words which first come to his mind. Therefore in teaching English the children must be given words in connection with selected" sentence patterns.

For example: a doll.

Give me a doll. (There are some dolls on the table.) Give me the doll. (The teacher points out the doll she wants the child to give her.)

Under these conditions the children will not mix up English and Russian words in a sentence. They will use sentence patterns, and include the words they need (Give me a doll. Give me a bear, a ball, etc.,), though there is a tendency to continue the thought in Russian: Give me a bear, я буду с ним играть.

This phenomenon does not occur in the elementary school. The children of primary classes are more careful in their speech. They use either English or Russian sentences. Their Russian speech habits are much stable. They do not learn a sentence only as a sense unit, but as a model, a stereotype to be used for building up other sentences by analogy.

2. The imitative ability of pre-school children is better than that of school-children. They experience fewer difficulties in the assimilation of English pronunciation. Besides, they like to repeat sounds, words, and sentences. They try to pronounce in imitation of the teacher, and they usually succeed in imitating. Teaching pronunciation to school children is also based on their imitative abilities though some explanation may be given. Thus, the teacher may not only show his pupils how to pronounce, but explain to the children how to produce this or that sound. For example, place the tongue a little bit back, while producing [a:] -- car.

The natural activity of a child of 5--6 is a play. He lives in a world of various games. Moreover, if the child helps grown-ups in doing a room, cleaning a garden, in dusting chairs, watering plants, etc., he is playing because he pretends to be a grown-up. In teaching the English language to pre-school children the teacher must take this factor into consideration and suggest different games to them. This is one of the ways to make them learn words and sentences in a foreign language. Playing is, therefore, the best motivation for children to work at assimilating the language.

A child of 7--9 likes playing very much as well. He can and must work hard, however, in overcoming the difficulties he encounters. He is taught to do many things: to read, write in the mother tongue, count, make various things of paper, etc. Therefore in teaching him English playing, though very important, is not the only means to encourage him to learn the language. Various exercises should be performed alongside.

Aims of teaching.

The Ministry of Education has issued a draft programme on foreign languages for kindergartens. The aims and objectives of teaching a foreign language according to the programme are: to develop elementary skills in oral language, i. e., the understanding of the spoken language and talking in a foreign language. Learning a foreign language will stimulate the development of a child's intellect. As a result of learning a foreign language in the kindergarten pre-school children should be able (1) to understand orders and requests in a foreign language and little stories on familiar linguistic material within the topics of the programme; (2) to answer questions and use sentences connected with games and children's activities; (3) to recite little rhymes, sing songs, etc.

Content of teaching.

Pre-school children must assimilate about 200--250 sentences, these sentences may include 100--150 words; learn 8--10 rhymes and little songs by heart.

The material is arranged in the following topics:

1 - greetings, acquaintance, requests;

2 - games (the names of some toys, some words denoting actions with the toys, sentences the children say while playing);

3 - words (phrases) and sentences connected with children's daily activities: washing, playing, laying the table, clearing up, going home;

4 - holidays, the names of some holidays, some sentences connected with children's preparation for the holidays.

Pre-school children begin to learn the language at the age of 5--6. Children should have 4 periods a week, each lasting 25--30 minutes.


In teaching English to pre-school children in the kindergarten the aural-oral method is used since spoken language is the aim, the only means, and the only approach available here. No speech is possible unless the speaker associates a word with the thing it denotes, or a sentence with the thought it expresses directly within the target language so the direct method is most natural here. It must be borne in mind, however, that the use of the method requires a careful, thorough selection of the material for the pupils to assimilate. Its amount for each lesson must be within the children's ability to retain the linguistic material the teacher introduces. The teacher must strictly follow the rule: "never pass to new material until your pupils have thoroughly assimilated the previous one". For example, at the English lesson the teacher tried to apply the direct method. The children were able to answer the teacher questions of the What is it? type.

Teacher: What is it?

Class: It is a book (a dog, a cat, a pen).

The new material the teacher was going to present was a general question: Is it a pen (a dog, etc.)? What did the teacher do? She took a pen and holding it in her hand asked: Is it a pen? Seeing no response she repeated this question several times which did not help either. So the teacher was obliged to turn to Russian: Что я сказала? The children answered at once: Где ручка? Their answer was logically justified, because -they had learned What is if? question and now they naturally expected to learn the question with, где?. So the teacher had to translate this question and the questions following. Then she asked the children to repeat the question several times. The method did not work because it was applied in the wrong way. The teacher should have done the following if she wanted her pupils to understand the questions of that type directly. She should first ask and answer question herself: Is it a pen? Yes, it is. It is a pen. (She takes a pen.) Is it a pencil? Yes, it is. It is a pencil. (She takes a pencil.)

Sometimes the method fails, however. And this is not usually due to its drawbacks as a method but to unskilled application, on the part of the teacher.

Is it a pen? No, it is not. It is a pencil. (She holds a pencil.)

Is it a pencil? (She takes a pen again.) No, it is not. It is a pen.

And so, children! Is it a pen? (She addresses the group.) Yes, it is. (The group answers.)..

The pupils follow the teacher's questions and answers. They listen to her attentively and try to understand what she says. Time is not wasted as they listen to the spoken language and make efforts to understand it. Soon by their faces the teacher sees they have grasped the question. Then drill exercises are performed by the pupils to retain the new material.

This example shows that in the hands of unexperienced teacher the method does not work. The use of the direct method requires skill and experience on the part of the teacher, more than that, his emotions and enthusiasm. If the teacher does not possess such qualities he had better not work with small children with whom' these qualities are a must.

There are many techniques the teacher can use in teaching English to pre-school children, such as:

1. Show me (him, her, Natasha, Nina) a doll (a bear, flag, etc.). -- The child the teacher calls on must show the object. In this way the teacher checks comprehension.

2. Name the thing. -- The teacher points to a thing, a child names the thing either with a single word (a doll, a car, a dog) or with a sentence (7/ is a dog; It is a doll; or This is a dog; That is a doll.). The pupils fulfill the teacher's request in turn. In this way the teacher checks both comprehension and reproduction, i.e., the children's ability to say a word or a sentence.

3. Guess what it is. The teacher names some qualities of an object the children may see in their room. The children are to name this object in English.

Lecture 2, 3

The Essential Course in the-Secondary School.


Three stages in teaching a foreign language in schools.

Junior stage.

Intermediate stage.

Senior stage.

We distinguish three stages in teaching a foreign language in schools: junior, intermediate, and senior. Since every stage has its peculiarities we shall dwell upon each one separately.

Junior stage. This stage involves the 5th and the 6th forms. Pupils are eleven and twelve years old. They are usually eager to learn a foreign language. Indeed, the eagerness, with which pupils volunteer answers to the teacher's questions with frantically waving hands leaves little doubt that powerful motives are at work, among them the desire to display language aptitude, and intellectual strength, or simply to “show off” in front of the teacher and classmates. They want to speak the language and understand it when spoken. Pupils like to perform various exercises and the teacher can easily involve them into various activities during the lesson. The conditions for language learning are favourable enough: pupils have four periods a week in the 5th form, and three -- in the 6th form. The class, as a rule, is divided into two groups of about twenty pupils. Oral language receives the greatest time and emphasis although at this stage pupils learn hearing, speaking, reading, and writing.

Proceeding from the fourfold aim of foreign language teaching, namely, hearing, speaking, reading, and writing, as the syllabus sets, the problem arises what to begin with.

There are two possible solutions:

(1) to begin with teaching all the language skills, i. e., oral language (hearing and speaking) and written language (reading and writing);

(2) to begin with teaching oral language first.

1. When we begin teaching reading, writing, and speaking simultaneously, pupils have to overcome many difficulties in acquiring the language, among them unfamiliar sounds of the language different from those of the mother tongue; peculiar intonation, stress, and rhythm; the new alphabet which includes strange letters, familiar letters that stand for different sounds; a complicated relationship between letters and sounds, some new concepts fixed or reflected in words (Russian -- иди туда, иди сюда, English -- go there, come here); the peculiar word-order in various types of sentences and so on and so forth. To provide the necessary conditions for the assimilation of such a complex thing as a foreign language in all its activities, the teaching process is rather slow. First, pupils assimilate the elements, namely, sounds and letters (how to pronounce this or that sound, how to put down this or that sound in symbols, how to write this or that letter, how to write the words the child learns, how to read words, word groups, sentences, what this or that word means, what thought is expressed in this or that sentence). Then they come to “the whole”. The work pupils do is of analytical character. They learn elements first to get a “whole”. For instance, pupils learn sounds and letters in their relationship in order to be able to read a word; they learn words, their meaning, spelling, pronunciation, grammar forms in order to be able to use them while reading a sentence, or writing a sentence, or saying it. They learn how to put the words together to express this or that thought orally or in writing, etc. Consequently, the process is from the elements of the language to speech, and from analysis to synthesis.

The advantage of this approach lies in the fact that pupils get acquainted with all the language activities (reading, writing and speaking). The advocates of this approach say that one phase of a language helps the other. Thus writing helps reading; they both help speaking, and speaking helps reading. Language is, an organic unity, each language, activity is intimately related to every other activity. Language learning involves all types of memory: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic from the very beginning.

There are some disadvantages in this approach, however, and we must not overlook them. They are the following: there are too many elements pupils have to assimilate before they are able to understand sentences pronounced by the teacher or read by themselves. They have but little idea of the oral language they study for a long time (at least for a month or more); many children of eleven soon get tired, of the analytical work and lose interest in the language; besides, the teacher in his attempt to make pupils work easier (there is too much for them to memorize) conducts his lessons, as a rule, in the mother tongue, some elementary commands (sit down, stand up, and three-five more expressions) are an exception since teaching reading and writing requires a lot of time (pupils are slow in doing this, thereby speaking is neglected, which is, of course, undesirable when the aim is the command of the language). The most dangerous of all disadvantages mentioned above is the loss of interest in the subject and of the desire to learn the language. “No one can learn what he does not want to study” (P. Hagboldt). This is especially true when we deal with children.

The significance of interest-in learning cannot be overestimated. It is the strongest motive in all our efforts. It concentrates our attention, enlivens our impressions, ensures repetition, and favours a wealth of associations. Some psychologists even speak of the "law of interest". According to this law the most interesting parts of a subject most strongly resist the tendency to be forgotten.

“No teaching is so poor as that which puts the class to sleep” (P. Hagboldt). Perfect integration of the various language activities is an ideal, and like all ideals, unattainable but worth striving for.

To minimize the disadvantages the simultaneous teaching of all language activities possesses, a few introductory lessons at a purely oral level are conducted. Besides, of all the skills preference is given to the development of oral language in the junior stage, thus pupils are engaged in an exchange of ideas, however primitive they are from the very beginning. The linguistic material is presented orally which is important for developing hearing and speaking skills. The oral-aural competence of the pupil helps him in reading and writing, the latter in their turn support and reinforce hearing and speaking. This approach is reflected in the textbook for the 5th form by S. K. Folomkina and E. I. Kaar.

2. When we begin teaching hearing and speaking first in the 5th form pupils have to overcome but one difficulty, namely, they learn first how to speak and understand the foreign language when it is spoken. Teaching reading and writing is postponed for a while. In this case there is an opportunity to concentrate pupils' attention upon hearing and speaking: Fortunately, ability in oral language may be developed, before ability in written language. Bearing this in mind some teachers prefer the following sequence in teaching beginners, that is, from oral language to written language; they conduct the oral introductory course in the 5th form, and follow the oral approach in teaching a foreign language afterwards. The advocates of the oral introductory course in the 5th form believe that it will lead to radical changes in foreign language teaching in schools (where for many years the simultaneous teaching of language skills has been practised) and make the teacher revise the method and techniques he uses. It is practically impossible to make the teacher deviate from the methods and techniques he is used to, though they have not proved as effective as they were expected to be. The use of the oral introductory course changes the methods and techniques the teacher applies.

The advantages of the oral introductory course in the 5th form are as follows:

1. The oral introductory course allows the children to get a clear idea of how the language sounds from the very first steps. The pupils follow a natural sequence in language assimilation from hearing to speaking and later on to reading and writing.

2. The oral introductory course stimulates pupils' interest as they deal with the language in its communicative function. For children a language is first of all speech. Therefore when they begin to learn a foreign language, they naturally want to speak it and hear it spoken. We know how eager the children are to learn a foreign language in the 5th form when the school year begins, and how disappointed they become when it appears to be not what they have expected. The oral introductory course permits the teacher to instruct pupils in comprehension of elementary commands, requests, statements, and questions from the very beginning, on the one hand, and in saying something in a foreign language, on the other.

3. Pronunciation in teaching a modern language is known to be the most important skill to be developed when instructing beginners. In the oral introductory course much attention is given to teaching pronunciation. The imitative abilities of children are great enough to be relied upon in teaching pronunciation successfully. Besides, during the oral course hearing and speaking are in focus, therefore children have plenty of oral practice. Hearing and speaking improve their pronunciation.

4. At present much attention is given to finding ways of more effective teaching. The effectiveness depends to a great extent on how well “feed-back” (from the pupil to the teacher) is established, that is, whether a response from the pupil is elicited. If the pupil's response indicates he has accurately received and recorded the previous information the next increment of information is presented. If the pupil's response is of low fidelity or accuracy -- it is slow, inaccurate, fumbling, etc., --corrective information is provided. In oral language there is a constant communication between the teacher and the pupil. Therefore the feedback is permanent.

5. The oral introductory course provides an efficient activization of teaching from the very beginning. During the lesson pupils should be active. They must listen to what the teacher and their classmates say. Their memory, thinking, visual, auditory, and kinesthetic analysers are at work. That is why many teachers turned to the oral introductory course in the 5th form to gain better results in foreign language teaching. To meet the requirements of the teachers a new textbook for the pupils of the 5th form has been compiled. This is the textbook by A. P. Starkov, R. R. Dixon which is now in use.

When teaching the pupils orally the method used is the aural-oral method. The teacher must strive towards establishing direct connection between words, sentences in the foreign language and the concepts and thoughts they convey. However, this does not mean the teacher cannot use the mother tongue during the lesson. He uses it for conveying the meaning of some words, structures, and for those explanations and commentaries which provide the necessary comprehension of the language material. For example, the teacher presents a sentence pattern: This is a desk (the translation may be given). In this sentence there are two sounds the pronunciation of which should be shown [р], [d]. The rest are assimilated through imitation.

The Essential Course in the-Secondary School.

Intermediate stage. This stage includes the 7th and the 8th forms. Pupils are thirteen and fourteen years old. They already have some experience in learning a foreign language. If pupils have had good achievements in language learning, they are usually interested in the subject and work willingly both in class and at home. If their proficiency in hearing, speaking, reading, and writing is poor they begin to lose interest in the foreign language. Their desire to learn depends fully on the teacher's ability to involve each pupil in language activities during the lesson by asking questions which require thinking on the part of the learners, by presenting new facts that may be interesting to pupils, by stimulating their hearing and speaking with audio-visual materials which should not be too childish in form and content since pupils at this age think they are nearer to grown-ups than to children, and sometimes feel insulted when the teacher “dares” to use pictures or techniques he has used in the junior stage. In other words, they want to be treated as adults.

Pupils give preference to those exercises which require thinking on their part; therefore, the teacher should change the relationship between drill and creative exercises in favour of the latter. Since learning a foreign language requires drill, this must be provided through seatwork when each pupil learns for himself. The teacher's chief concern is to supply pupils with exercises, explain what and how they have to do these, provide time for solitary work, think of the proper techniques for checking and evaluating their work. At this stage most of the drill exercises can be done through mass work and work in pairs. The teacher wanders around the room while the pupils are involved in seatwork. As to creative exercises, they are to be performed under the direction of the teacher. To do an assignment pupils need a period of time for thinking after the task is set so the teacher must provide the necessary time.

Praising good work and encouragement are desirable since these stimulate the pupil's language activity and his desire to learn, whereas criticizing, constant interruptions for corrections; demands for repetition irritate pupils and make them dislike the subject.

In this stage pupils have three periods a week in the 7th form, and two in the 8th form. However they may have two more periods as an optional subject. The time allotted to learning a foreign language, including pupils' homework, should be evenly distributed between oral language and written language, and be in the ratio of 1:1. This means that half the time is spent on learning to speak, whereas the other half on learning to read and write in a foreign language.

Oral language is used both as a method of instruction and a means of communication as in the junior stage. As far as the material for developing auding and speaking is concerned, pattern dialogues, texts, and study guides should be more widely used. Moreover, oral exercises must be more communicative, therefore the teacher should seek ways for creating real or close-to-real situations. When hearing is taught care must be taken that comprehension drills do not become exercises of memory and recall, except in cases when pupils have to memorize the material which is drilled.

The topical arrangement of linguistic material allows the teacher to extend the use of audio-visual aids and audiovisual materials including educational films. The teacher also turns to pupils' experience and he may use it as a starting point for discussion. It has been proved that pupils lose their interest in a language that is presented to them by means of endless repetitions, pattern practices, and various substitutions. Consequently, in the intermediate stage speech exercises should prevail. Pupils want to use the target language as a means of intercourse. The teacher should do his best to create the necessary conditions for their conversations. At this stage both forms of speech - dialogue and monologue - are developed with preference to unprepared speech.

In the intermediate stage reading becomes more important in language learning. The teacher develops pupils' skills and habits in oral reading. Individual and reading in chorus following the pattern should be used. Among the special exercises designed to teach reading, structural-information and semantic-communicative exercises should prevail. Much attention should be given to the development of pupils' skills in silent reading both during the class period and at home. Pupils should be taught to read texts containing various difficulties. The teacher instructs them how to work at the text, how to consult the vocabulary list at the end of the textbook and the dictionary, how to use explanatory notes to the text.

Writing is used both as a means of learning vocabulary and grammar and as a means of testing pupils' achievements in language learning. In this stage writing plays a great role in language learning; pupils perform many exercises in written form, including those which develop their skills in arranging and rearranging the material in their own way. Written exercises should be done mainly at home. Much attention should be given to pupils' independent work in the classroom and at home because pupils, who have only 2-3 periods a week, can achieve proficiency in the target language if they work hard during seatwork and homework when every pupil learns for himself, and if they take an active part in the work which is done in class under the guidance of the teacher.

Homework is an important ingredient of pupils' language learning. It may include drill exercises designed for retention of new vocabulary and grammar performed orally or in written form; practice and learning of a dialogue or a story; oral composition based on vocabulary and structures acquired; reading aloud a paragraph, a few paragraphs or a short text; silent reading for obtaining information through various assignments accompanying the text; reading a new text; consulting a dictionary and so on. The amount of time necessary for homework should not exceed twenty-five minutes each day.

Proceeding from these considerations the teacher can succeed in achieving good results in pupils' learning the language if he thoroughly plans their behaviour in the classroom, how he and his pupils interact. A class should be “pupil dominated”, that is, most of the time pupils speak and perform other language activities, thereby-getting the lion's share of the lesson time for practice in the target language.

The Essential Course in the-Secondary School

Senior stage. This stage involves the 9th and 10th forms. Pupil's are at the age of fifteen to seventeen. They can realize the importance of foreign language-proficiency in the contemporary world. However their attitude to foreign language learning depends firstly on the achievements they have attained during the previous four years of studying this subject (if they meet the syllabus requirements, pupils preserve their interest in the foreign language and go on working hard at it); secondly, on the pupil's needs in the target language in his long-term goals for the future after finishing school, whether his needs require a command of the foreign language or they do not. If they require it, he works hard.

In this stage the emphasis in foreign language teaching changes from equal treatment of oral and written language to noticeable preference to reading. The time allotted to foreign language learning should be distributed between oral language and written language including both class and homework in the ratio of 1 : 3, i. e., most of the time is devoted to reading, and mainly silent reading with various assignments which make pupils read with a purpose in mind. As to oral language, it undergoes further development through performing various drill and speech exercises in hearing and speaking, most of which are based upon reading material.

Writing retains its helping function; the pupil turns to writing whenever he feels a need for fixing the material in his memory, for composing questions or plans, for writing a short composition on the topic covered, etc.

Ideally, the classroom time should be devoted to imparting the techniques pupils need for seatwork or any kind of solitary learning, for creative exercises where the teacher's supervision and direction are indispensable and, occasionally, for checking and evaluating pupils' achievements in language learning.

In this stage pupils have two periods a week in each form and they may have two additional periods as an optional subject.

Taking into consideration pupils' age, the stage of instruction, the conditions of foreign language learning, and the material pupils deal with, it is desirable that lessons should be at least of two types - speaking lessons and reading lessons - so that the learners may concentrate their attention on one language activity and work at it thoroughly. Proceeding from this the following general outlines may be suggested.

The general outline of a speaking lesson may look like this:

1. The beginning of the lesson 1-2 min.

2. Pronunciation drill 4 - 5 min.

3. Oral practice 37 - 39 min.

a) drill exercises (10 - 15 min.)

b) speech exercises (24 - 27 min.)

4. Homework 1 - 2 min.

The teacher announces the objectives of the lesson and sets the class to work seriously to achieve them. The material for pronunciation drill is closely bound up with the objectives of the lesson; pupils are taught to pronounce correctly the words, phrases, sentence patterns they will need for performing drill and speech exercises on the topic or subject for auding and speaking during the lesson. The work is conducted in chorus and individually. The teacher gives due attention to every pupil and correct errors when they occur.

Oral practice, in the first part (drill exercises), implies revision and presentation of the new material (words, phrases, idioms) pupils need to aud and speak on the topic. They may write something in their exercise-books if necessary. Pupils perform various exercises aimed at developing their hearing and speaking habits and skills. Drills are performed at a normal speed. They are quite indispensable.

In the second part (speech exercises) pupils either listen to a story and then use it as a subject for conversation, or see a filmstrip or a film with subsequent discussion.

The teacher uses those teaching aids and teaching materials which allow him to involve each pupil and make him an active participant of the lesson. The success of speaking lessons fully depends on the teacher's preparation for the lesson because the pupil needs to be guided cautiously through the difficulties he usually encounters when hearing and speaking the target language. To achieve the desired learning on the part of the pupils the teacher should foresee these difficulties and select carefully the material for revision, the techniques more suitable for the case, the “props” in hearing and speaking and, finally, the stimuli, first, for guided conversation when pupils use “props”, and then free conversation.

Homework may include:

- writing a short reproduction of the text they heard and discussed during the class period;

- making up a dialogue;

- making up a story on a picture, a topic either in writing or orally, etc.

The general outline of reading lessons may look like this:

1. The beginning of the lesson 1 - 2 min.

2. Pronunciation drill 3 - 5 min.

3. Teacher's narration, for instance, about the author who wrote the text or the book from which the text was extracted 3 - 5 min.

4. Pupils' silent reading 15 - 20 min.

5. A discussion on the text read 11 - 22 min.

6. Homework 1 - 2 min.

After the teacher sets the class to work he draws their attention to the words, phrases and sentences of the text which may present some difficulties in pronunciation, namely, stress in some words, stressed words in some phrases and word combinations, proper names, geographical names, terminology, international words, correct division into thought units, and intonation in some sentences which may influence the pupils' comprehension. Word cards, phrase and sentence cards are helpful because pupils should not only hear but see all these.

Teacher's narration about the author should include some information additional to that given in the textbook or the reader.

In all cases, it must help pupils in comprehending the text by extending their knowledge of the subject.

When pupils are invited to read a text silently, they are to follow a certain sequence in their work at the text. They should read the title and accordingly try to make a guess at its contents. Then they look through the text and read the first paragraph to make sure whether their anticipation is correct. The teacher may interfere in pupils' reading by asking a few questions arid, in this way, show them whether they are right or wrong in their anticipation. The teacher directs his questions to slow, average, and bright pupils, in the order mentioned to encourage all pupils in their work at the text. After pupils' anticipation is reinforced they read the text while the teacher wanders around giving some help to those who need it, or he writes communicative tasks (if there are no such tasks in the textbook or the reader) on the blackboard to start a discussion.

If the teacher wants to individualize the classwork, he may use individual cards which he places in front of each pupil. In distributing the cards he, of course, proceeds from each pupil's aptitude, intelligence and proficiency in reading and speaking so that everyone will be engaged in the discussion. Before the discussion, begins the teacher asks a few questions which cover the contents of the text to check his pupils' comprehension, or he may use other techniques for the same purpose. Then the discussion follows. The teacher only directs the pupils' participation.

Homework may include a short summary of the text in-writing, a written annotation of the text, etc.

Silent reading in the classroom is also used for developing pupils' skills in reading a text which requires the use of a dictionary or a manual for comprehension. The teacher furnishes the class with dictionaries and manuals and instructs them how to utilize these while reading a difficult text. The teacher's chief concern in this case is not his pupils' understanding the text. His concern lies in imparting techniques to them which they should acquire to be able to overcome difficulties while reading a text containing unfamiliar words or phraseological units and grammar forms. For instance, pupils have learnt the Present and Past Indefinite Passive, the text contains the Future Indefinite Passive, they have to find the “generalized” table of the verb in the Passive Voice in the textbook or grammar and look up this form there to be able to understand the sentences with verbs in this tense form. In other words, pupils should be taught to work at a difficult text in the classroom under the teacher's supervision for them to be able to do similar work at home independently.

There is another approach to differentiating lessons in the senior stage. For example, the authors of the book distinguish lessons of two types: (1) lessons at which pupils are taught how to use sentence patterns and vocabulary in various situations and contexts; the objective of such lessons is to enrich pupils' knowledge in grammar and vocabulary, and to develop their habits and skills in using all these in various exercises; (2) lessons at which pupils develop their language skills in reading and speaking (both monologue and dialogue), and in writing. The objective of these lessons is close interrelation of all the language skills pupils should acquire.

A few words should be said about pupils' independent work at the language both in class and at home. Thus,

(a) in class pupils:

- can learn a rule from the textbook if there is such (i. e., the teacher need not retell the rule as is so often done instead of asking his pupils to read it to perform exercises on a conscious ground);

- can consult a dictionary, read lexical and other commentaries, if there are any in the textbook or the reader, perform lexical exercises;

- listen to a text in English and give a short reproduction either in English or in Russian;

- watch a film-strip or a film, and give a summary;

- read a text silently and write an annotation, or a plan;

- read a text and translate it using a dictionary; etc.

(b) at home pupils:

- learn words, phrases, sentence patterns, grammar items while performing oral and written exercises;

- learn a song, a poem, a pattern dialogue by heart;

- read a text (a part of it) out loud;

- read a text silently and do all kinds of work with the text;

- prepare a topic to speak on;

- make up a dialogue; etc.

Success in learning English will depend on how much the pupil learns for himself both during the lesson and at home, and that is the chief concern of the teacher while planning a lesson.

Lecture 4

The necessity for planning and the approach to the problem


The necessity for planning.

The approach to the problem

General outline of a daily lesson

An efficient working level of teaching is ensured by systematic and careful planning. The foreign language teacher plans all the kinds of work he is to do: he plans the essential course, the optional course (if any), and the extra-curricular work.

The first step in planning is to determine where each of his classes is in respect to achievements. It is easy for the teacher to start planning when he receives beginners.

Though the teacher does not know his pupils yet, his success will fully depend on his preparation for the lessons since pupils are usually eager to learn a foreign language in the 5th form (or the 2nd form in a specialized school). Planning is also relatively easy for the teacher who worked in these classes the previous year (or years) because he knows the achievements of his pupils in each class. He is aware of what language skills they have acquired. Planning is more difficult when the teacher receives a class (classes) from another teacher and he does not know the pupils, their proficiency in hearing, speaking, reading, and writing.

The teacher begins his planning before school opens and during the first week. He should establish the achievement level of his classes. There is a variety of ways in which this may be done. The teacher asks the previous teacher to tell him about each of the pupils. He may also look through the pupils' test-books and the register to find out what mark each of his pupils had the previous year. The teacher may administer pre-tests, either formally or informally, to see how pupils do with them. He may also conduct an informal quizzing, asking pupils' questions in the foreign language to know if they can understand them and respond properly, or he has a conversation within the topics of the previous year. After the teacher has determined the achievement level of his classes, he sketches out an outline of the year's work. In making up his yearly outline the teacher consults the syllabus, Teacher's Book, Pupil's Book, and other teaching materials and sets what seems to him to be realistic limits to the content to be covered during the course of the year. In sketching out an outline of the term's work the teacher makes a careful study of Teacher's Book, Pupil's Book, teaching aids and teaching materials available for this particular form. Taking into consideration the achievements of his class, he compiles a calendar plan in accordance with the time-table of a given form.

The Essential Course in the-Secondary School.

Oral approach. The Russian for the oral approach is устная основа обучения. This means that the learner receives his initial contact with the material through the ear. The oral approach centres attention fundamentally upon learning a language as a set of symbols to be spoken and understood when heard. The oral approach is a name primarily for an end to be attained in the first stage of language learning, i. e., the building up of a set of habits for the oral production of a language and for the receptive understanding of the language when it is spoken.

The oral approach allows the teacher:

1- to centre attention on teaching the pupils how to pronounce correctly the language material they assimilate;

2 - to have plenty of time for hearing, repetition, and reproduction since all the work is done orally;

3 - to train pupils in assimilating the material through the ear and, in this way, not to become eye-learners;

4 - to arouse pupils' interest in learning as they deal with the language as a means of communication;

5 - to provide the natural sequence in language assimilation: hearing, speaking, reading, writing.

Pupils are taught a foreign language through hearing and speaking it. At every lesson they enrich their knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, and therefore they can understand and say more and more. Pupils develop their reading and writing skills first within the material assimilated orally.

When the teacher is to use the oral approach the following procedure should be adopted. The objective is: to teach pupils to understand and use a grammar item in speech. The grammar item should pass through the following stages to be grasped and retained by pupils.

1. Listening comprehension.

2. Listening repetition in imitation of the teacher.

3. Numerous repetitions of the sentence patterns; the words being changed.

4. Transformations.

5. The usage of the grammar item in various situations.
For example, the grammar item is "The Future Indefinite".

1. The teacher selects the situations suitable for presenting the grammar item. He may use a real situation. Imagine the class decided to go on a hike.

Teacher: Next Sunday {he points to the calendar) we shall go on a hike. We shall get up at 5 o'clock {he looks at his watch). We shall take everything we need for the hike. We shall leave at 7 o'clock. We shall have a good time, we are sure. We shall be back at 10.

Pupils listen to the teacher trying to understand what he says. Now and then the teacher may repeat a sentence or ask one of the pupils (the slowest one) to translate what he has said. After he has finished, he says it again.

2. Pupils repeat the sentences in imitation of the teacher. Attention is given to the intonation. Pupils may repeat the sentences both individually and in unison.

3. The teacher arranges a talk.

Teacher: Tomorrow I shall go to the library, and what about you, Mike?

Mike: Tomorrow I shall go to the cinema, and what about you, Lena?

Lena: Tomorrow I shall go to school, and what about you, Sasha?

S a s h a: I shall read a book, and you, Pete?

Pete: I shall not read a book. I shall watch TV and what about you, Ann?

Ann: I shall not watch TV. I shall do my lessons, and you Andrew?

Andrew: I shall listen to music, etc.

4. Then the teacher suggests that the pupils should change the person in the sentences following the model.

Teacher: We shall go on a hike. (He points to the children playing in the yard.)

Pupil 1: They will stay in town. (The teacher points to Pete.)

Pupil 2: I shall play chess. (He points to Mike.)

Pupil 3: He will watch TV, etc.

The pupil asks for confirmation.

Teacher: Dan will help us.

Pupil 1: Will he help us?

Teacher: Ann will be on duty tomorrow.

P u p i 1 2: Will Ann be on duty tomorrow? etc.

5. The teacher gives a pattern dialogue. He may use a. tape-recording and a picture:

- Will you help me, John?

- What shall I do, father?

- Will you polish the floor?

- With pleasure.


- What will you do tonight?

- I think I shall do my lessons first, then I shall go to see my friend or I shall watch TV.

The work results in assimilating the Future Indefinite, and more than that, in reviewing a great number of words and phrases.

If the objective is to teach pupils to understand and use in speech 6 - 8 words a similar procedure should be adopted:

1. Listening and comprehension.

2. Listening and repeating the word over and over.

3. Listening and repeating the word in different word

4. Using the word in various sentence patterns.

5. Using the word in the act. of communication.

1. The teacher selects situations for presenting the new words. He selects a method for conveying the meaning of each word. For example, the word is dance. It is not difficult to find pictures with dancing people in it. So the direct method may be applied. The teacher says a number of sentences with the word dance in the situations selected for the purpose.

Pupils pronounce the word in different forms (dance, dances, is dancing, are dancing, danced) in imitation of the teacher. Pupils are taught to pronounce it correctly as "a

whole" (a unit).

They pronounce word combinations: dance well, dance badly, dance at the party, dance in the hall, dance with somebody.

Pupils use the word in different sentence patterns: The girl (in the picture) can dance well. The people are dancing in the hall. We shall dance at the party, etc.

The teacher arranges a talk (Teacher - Pupil, Pupil - Pupil).

- Can you dance?

- Do you like to dance?

- Who can dance well in our class?

- Who will dance at the party? etc.

The oral approach in teaching the language material forces the teacher to plan his work carefully. It provides a systematic revision of vocabulary and grammar. Indeed, pupils assimilate a grammar item through the revision of words and phrases they need to use this particular grammar item. Pupils assimilate new words in different sentence patterns, therefore, they review grammar while learning the words.

Various exercises may be suggested which pupils are to perform to retain grammar and vocabulary, among them:

- Make statements following the model.

- Answer the questions. (Various types of questions are asked - general, alternative, and special.) The teacher asks a question, e. g., What will you do after classes? Many pupils answer this question.

- Ask questions.

Teacher: I shall read a book. Ask me questions to get more information.

Pupil 1: Will you read a Russian book?

Pupil 2: Will you read an English book?

Pupil 3: Will you read it at home or in the library?

Pupil 4: When will you read the book? etc.

- Make up a dialogue.

- Speak about a picture, a situation, a topic suggested.

Various audio-visual aids should be used. After pupils perform various oral exercises and use the material in speech for 1 - 2 lessons they read the text in which the grammar item or the words they have assimilated orally occur. They also perform various written exercises.

The relationship of oral language and written language in the junior stage must be approximately 3:1, that is, oral language receives the greatest time and emphasis in pupils' activity.

Reading is developed on the basis of the material assimilated orally. However, the teacher should bear in mind that oral-aural competence does not automatically create reading ability. It only helps pupils to acquire this skill. Among the exercises designed for developing reading, graphemic-phonemic and structural-information exercises should prevail. Pupils are encouraged to read a text for thorough comprehension and not for translation since the aim is to acquire proficiency in reading and not in translating.

Writing is developed on the material pupils can use in speaking and reading. In this stage writing is a means of teaching since it helps pupils in fixing words, phrases or sentence patterns in their memory. The leading type of written work at this stage is copying, though dictations and elementary compositions are available.

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