Преподавание иностранных языков
План-конспект выступления на городском семинаре учителей иностранного языка по теме Проблемы школьников
Ситникова Елена Евгеньевна, учитель английского языка
Good morning, dear friends!
A year hasn’t passed yet since our last meeting, but my students and I are really happy to see you again. You are always welcome to school №5.
First of all let me introduce my assistants. Here they are the students of the 8th form, the form with the advanced course of the English language.
We’ve gathered here to discuss such an important problem as forming of learner’s communicative competence through the usage of situational approach and to watch how this approach is realized at our school.
Situational Approach plays a vital role in the strategy. A situation makes the attendant ability to conceive meaning possible. The situations the teacher creates in the classroom should ideally be simulations of real life experiences; but not all real life experiences can be had in the classroom. Even if some of them can be had occasionally, the language items cannot wait for such occasions. The only real situation is the classroom; all other are artificially created or better contrived by the teacher for the students. The child is made to get at the meaning of the item through the situation. So first the child uses the situation to interpret the language and later, as he grows up, he uses the language to interpret a situation. In other words, the former is the usage the latter is the use.
Situational language teaching was originally called oral approach, which was developed by British applied linguists from the 1930’s to 1960’s, and it has provided guidance to many well-known EFL/ESL textbooks and courses, including New Concept English written by Alexander.
The theory of learning underlying Situation Language Teaching is behaviorism, addressing more the processes, than the conditions of learning.
Richards and Rodgers summarized the main characteristics of the approach as follows:
1. Language teaching begins with the spoken language. Material is taught orally before it is presented in written form.
2. The target language is the language of the classroom.
3. New language points are introduced and practiced situationally.
4. Vocabulary selection procedures are followed to ensure that an essential general service vocabulary is covered.
5. Items of grammar are graded following the principle that simple forms should be taught before complex ones.
Reading and writing are introduced once a sufficient lexical and grammatical basis is established. Situational Language teaching uses a structural syllabus and a word list. Structures are always taught within sentences, and vocabulary is chosen according to how well it enables sentence patterns to be taught. The practice techniques employed generally consist of guided repetition and substitution activities, including chorus repetition, dictation, drills, and controlled oral-based reading and writing tasks.
Since the purpose of teaching a foreign language is to enable the learners to use it, then it must be heard, spoken, read, and written in suitable realistic situations. Neither translation nor mechanical drills can help if they are not connected to practical life. The situational language teaching methods focused on the need to practiсe language in meaningful situation-based activities.
The first task for my students is just such an activity. It sounds like this “Your Aims in Life”. Students are to fill in the blanks in the handouts, first choosing the area of their aims and then making a few notes on what they want to achieve within this or that area in the time specified.
AIMS IN LIFE
NEXT 5 YEARS
NEXT 30 YEARS
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When everybody is ready they’ll speak about their aims. This task is supposed to be a discussion but as we are in the time limits students won’t discuss their aims and only speak on them. While they are getting ready with the task I would like to explain you what we are going to demonstrate you further.
As you know to use situational approach means to give students the opportunity to communicate in the target language about real things that are relevant to them in their lives. There are various methods and techniques to do this: constructing dialogues, acting role plays, doing projects and what not. Teaching English in this group I use the textbook written by O.V.Afanasieva and I.V.Mikheeva. We have already studied two topics: “Choosing a Career: The World of Jobs” and “Education: The World of Learning”. Having learnt new words, new grammar material, some idioms, having discussed the problems connected with the topics students constructed dialogues of their own, acted some role plays and did projects. A bit later we are going to present them to you.
And now it’s high time to get back to the students and to know what their aims are in the areas and the time specified.
Student 1: I have chosen four aims to achieve in four years. They are possessions, partner, travel and learning. In the area of possessions my aim is to buy a car. I think it won’t be easy for a young man of 18 but I have some ideas how to do it. In the area of partner my aim is to get acquainted with a beautiful and clever girl. In the area of travel my aim is to travel around the world. In the area of learning my aim is to get a high education in one of the universities of Great Britain. I consider the British system of education to be the best one in the world
(All the students speak about their aims in the areas chosen and discuss them.)
And now here comes the role play. In the role play learners usually act out parts that have been assigned to them in well defined situations. Every speech situation consists of speakers, location and topic. So does our situation, our role play which we are going to act just now. But before acting I’d like to give some explanations. While studying the topic “Choosing a Career: the World of Jobs” we dealt with the supplementary text “So, You are Looking for a Job” from the book “Everyday English” written by T.U.Drozdova. From this text students knew that in Britain there is a special service for school leavers, the Careers Advisory Service, which helps young people who are looking for their first job. Careers Officers give practical advice on interview techniques, application forms, letters, pay, National Insurance and Trade Unions. Students were offered to make up dialogues and then to act them as a role play. Here is what we’ve got as a result of their work.
- Tina Groves – a school leaver, not a very smart student, without any special career goals.
- Mrs. Roberts – a Career Officer, a woman of thirty who likes her job very much and is always eager to help young people with advice.
In the Career Advisory Office.
Topic – getting the information about how to find a job.
- Good morning Mrs. Roberts. I’m Tina Groves, a school leaver and I really need your advice how to get a job.
- Good morning Tina. Nice to meet you. Come here, make yourself comfortable. What would you like me to tell you?
- It sounds strange, but I even don’t know what to begin with when looking for a job.
- First of all you should study the market of the offered vacancies to get an idea of necessary demands and size up your own chances. The best way of doing this is to use the help of employment agencies.
- It seems to be very boring going to and fro and it will take much time. Are there any other ways of finding a job?
- Sure, you can independently study the ads of job opportunities being published.
- Well, but announcement of job opportunities can be read in almost all printed publications. Which of them is worth reacting to?
- You shouldn’t put much trust in ads in the yellow press. Solid companies place ads in prestigious expensive publications with a firm reputation.
- Do they offer the demands and duties in the announcements, I wonder?
- Yes, of course. The structure of job opportunities ads is usually the same: the name of the vacant position, the list of professional duties, the demands and the system of compensations and benefits.
- You know, I’m not very quick on the uptake, that’s why I’m not going to continue my education after leaving a school. The job of a secretary is just what I need. Actually I’m sure that in doing we learn. May be some day I’ll take pains to get to a college.
- Do you really think that a job of a secretary doesn’t demand any skills and knowledge? You must know that often the ads do not describe the demands in detail. According to international standards, a level of typing is a speed of 60 words per minute. Besides, a secretary is usually required to be able to work on a personal computer.
- As for the computer I’ve learnt working on it at my mother’s knee and typewriting is my weak point. But it’s never too late to learn. Mrs. Roberts, I’m very sorry but I have to go.
- Tina, we haven’t discussed much yet: interview techniques, application forms, for example!
- Could you see me at 12 next Tuesday?
- Yes, that will be very convenient.
- Thank you very much. Good-bye.
- Bye. Have a nice day.
While studying the topic “Education: the World of Learning” students made up dialogues on the situations connected with learning. I offer you to listen to the dialogue which will be introduced to you by two boys. According to the dialogue and not only to the dialogue they are friends but one of them was lucky enough to study for a certain period of time in Great Britain and is supposed to be a great expert on British system of education. Another boy got a task to make a report about it. It was fate itself that brought them together in the street.
- I haven’t seen you for ages! How are you doing?
- I’m OK! And you?
- I have a problem. My English teacher asked me to make a report on the system of education in Great Britain. I’ve heard you studied in London. Can you help me?
- Sure! What can I do for you?
- Just answer some questions. As far as I know you are fourteen and you are a student of the 4th form. It looks strange, doesn’t it?
- Nothing of the kind! The matter is that in Britain children go to nursery school at the age of 5. Then they study different subjects in infant and junior schools. Compulsory secondary education lasts five years. Pupils can leave school at the age of 16 and continue their education in Further Education Colleges.
- Just as in Russia where pupils can also leave school at the age of 16 and enter vocational schools. But good pupils prefer to continue their education in the 10th form to get the opportunity to enter an institute or a university in future.
- In Britain pupils at the age of 16 may study in the 6th form that lasts two years and prepare for the “A” Level Exams. Good “A” Level results in 2-5 subjects are necessary to get a place at one of British universities.
- And what does GCSE mean?
- At the end of the 5th form pupils take the exam called the General Certificate of Secondary Education. Everybody calls it GCSE.
- It’s something like our Unified State Exam, isn’t it?
- No, the USE reminds “A” Level Exam.
- And one more question if you don’t mind. Can you explain me what “Eleven-plus” means?
- OK. According to the old system of education children at the age of 11 took exams called “Eleven-plus”. Those who got the best results went to the best state schools called “grammar”. Those who failed went to modern schools.
- Thank you. I think that’s enough. You’ve really saved me. I have to go. Bye!
- Bye! Have a nice day!
How to get good education, how to find a good job after having got education, how to achieve some prominent results in life – it is not a complete list of young people problems. One of them and I think one of the most acute problems is the problem of the first love which very often ends with pain and despair. The following dialogue is just about it.
Robin – she is in a hurry because she is going out in half an hour and wants to wash and dry her hair beforehand. Her phone rings…
Fransis – she has just split up with her boyfriend and desperately needs someone to talk to. She rings up her friend Robin…
F: Hi, Robin! Is that you? It’s me, Francis. Do you know what happened? I have just split up with Bob. He is such an egoist, he is a real selfish fool!
R: … You know, I’m busy and don’t have much time…
F: He thinks only about himself!
R: Yes, yes, I see. But I really need to go…
F: How I hate him!
R: Frances, listen, I want to wash my head quickly and…
F: You’re just like him! It’s awful when nobody wants to understand you.
R: Frances, dear, I understand you, but not now…
F: Oh, my God! Did you hear that? And this people call friendship? Are you my best friend yet? If you are not, I will drown myself right now, in this bathroom, where I’m crying…
R: Dear, I think it’s not the best way out in this situation. You only imagine your ugly blue body in the bath with no make up, your hair wet and tangled. The door opens, your confessed Bob comes in and sees you… Nice scene, isn’t it?
F: But… Well, I think you are quite right! OK, then maybe…night, the Moon, blood, knife… Yes, it will look more tragic!
R: Frances, dear, for Goodness sake, come down! In the end my hair isn’t worth your sufferings. Well, so, what do you say has happened?
Speaking about the life and problems of young people we can’t but mention the following thing: young people often need somebody to admire. They try to imitate their idols in everything they can and of course they often think “If only I were you…” Dear friends, I must say that not only a dialogical speech can be situational but a monological one too. So, I want my students to imagine the following situation: you are the person you respect and admire most of all, you are him or her. Would you lead the same way of life or would you change something?
(Students speak about what they would change in their lives if they were their idols.)
As you understand all the dialogues introduced are prepared dialogues but they all were constructed by the students themselves. The overriding principle in the use of dialogues as in the use of any pedagogical device should be to awaken in the learners a genuine desire to communicate in the target language with real people about real things that are relevant to them in their lives. I am sure we managed to observe it.