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teaching integrated skills


Subject Linguistics

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631214823.1999.x


One of the major features of the traditional language teaching paradigm has been the separating out of the so-called four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing into ped-agogically convenient units of learning. This compartmentalized view of the nature of a language skill has by and large been superseded as a foundation for course design by one that is closer to real-world usage, where skills are not normally activated in isolation from each other. The main thrust of this argument clearly derives from the development of communicative methodology , and it has also been an important element in ESP (see english for specific purposes ). In the traditional model of language teaching, the four skills are often linked sequentially within a unit of learning: thus, for example, a reading passage may precede a listening task, or written homework may be set that recapitulates the grammar points taught in a lesson. Byrne (1981 : 108) refers to this as ‘reinforcement’, and makes the important point that in this case ‘the process of integrating language skills involves linking them together in such a way that what has been learnt… through the exercise of one skill is reinforced and perhaps extended through further … activities which bring one or more of the other skills into use.’ With the development of the principles of communicative methodology (for an overview see McDonough ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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