CELTA skills related tasks

8 August 2016

I have chosen a reading text titled “How to be a good traveller” due to travel’s relevance to the students. All of our students are from another country, and many of them have expressed desires to visit other countries. A text that gives good advice for travelers to follow should prove both interesting and useful to the students. The receptive skills tasks I designed for this lesson will focus on reading for gist and reading for specific information. Students could also read for detail or attempt to make predictions.

However, since some students left their home country for the first time to come to San Diego, their lack of traveling experience may make it difficult to make predictions about the advice contained in the text. The chosen receptive skills tasks will help the students practice skimming and scanning. Harmer defines skimming as looking over a text to get a general idea of what it is about. (Harmer 2007:101) He defines scanning as looking through a text without having to read every word or line to find particular bits of information they are searching for.

CELTA skills related tasks Essay Example

(Harmer 2007:100) The reading for gist task will provide the skimming practice, and the reading for specific information task will provide the scanning practice. The tasks were also chosen to place an emphasis on extensive reading rather than intensive reading. Scrivener defines intensive reading as “reading texts closely and carefully with the intention of gaining an understanding of as much detail as possible,” and he goes on to say that this typically involves rereading a text numerous times to find more and more information and to ensure correct interpretation.

(Scrivener 2005:188) This can be contrasted with extensive reading, which he defines as “fluent, faster reading, often of longer texts, for pleasure, entertainment and general understanding, but without such careful attention to the details,” and he states that “when we don’t understand words or small sections, we usually just keep going, maybe only coming back when there has been a major breakdown in our understanding. ” (Scrivener 2005:188) He also makes the very valid point that we tend to do much more extensive reading in everyday life than intensive reading.

For the productive skills practice, the students will be put in groups for discussion. Students will first consider the advice in the text and decide what is and is not relevant to their time in San Diego. Once they have come to a consensus on that matter, they will attempt to come up with some advice of their own tailored specifically to San Diego. While I am not familiar with the background of each individual student, the vast majority have been in San Diego for at least a month or two.

This will hopefully provide enough experience to give each of them a few ideas to contribute. Alternatively, the students could be grouped for role play with one or more playing the part of visiting foreigners and the others playing the part of locals as they try to put the given advice into practice. Given the variety of nationalities participating in the class, each could play a different sort of local and bring a small part of their own culture to the activity. However, such a task may require more scripting than I would prefer for such an activity.

Scrivener gives a number of obstacles that might hinder students’ ability and desire to contribute to the discussion, and I believe the activity handles them. He includes “no interest in the subject, no relevant knowledge or experience, no motivation, no desire or perceived need to speak about it and worst of all, a slight panic. ” (Scrivener 2005:149) Travel has already been established as an area of interest to at least a majority of students. As they have all left their home countries to come to San Diego, they clearly have at least a little knowledge and experience with traveling to foreign lands.

I believe the wide range of cultures the students have come from should give them enough difference in perspective to perceive a need to speak and contribute their own individual ideas, and these different perspectives should motivate them to do so. The productive skills activity also meets Scrivener’s definition of a communicative activity, in which “learners use the language they are learning to interact in realist and meaningful ways,” generally to fill an information gap. He describes an information gap as “when one of us has information that another does not have,” and he lists facts, opinions,

ideas, and instructions as examples. (Scrivener 2005:152) The students will each bring some variety to their group to provide information gaps. This will come from their traveling experiences, their time in San Diego, and the perspective they bring from their home cultures. At the end of the activity, I would elicit responses to the task questions from the groups. Word count: 809 Bibliography Scrivener, Jim. Learning Teaching: A Guidebook for English Language Teachers. Oxford: Macmillan, 2005. Print. Harmer, Jeremy. How to Teach English.

Harlow: Pearson Longman, 2007. Print. What’s the Title? Read the text and decide which of the following titles fits best. 1) Traveling in China 2) When, Where, and How to Haggle 3) How to be a Good Traveler 4) Differences between Cultures Find the Mistakes Mark each sentences T for true or F for false. If the sentence is false, fix it in the larger blank below. 1) The author’s hosts got angry when he spoke their language poorly. ___ 2) If you can’t speak the native language, you may be able to speak a shared language. ___ 3) The guard on the train thought it was funny that the author had to sit between carriages. ___ 4) Things usually go smoothly when you have to meet a deadline while traveling. ___ 5) When in a country where people haggle, you should stop haggling if you stop enjoying it. ___ 6) If an official is being unreasonable, be polite, stand your ground, and don’t lose your temper. ___ 7) You and your host both get more out of the experience if they learn about you and your country. ___ 8) Gifts are a good substitute for getting to know people. __

9) A little research can help you find things people in your destination country will find useful or interesting, like the ‘beautiful game’ of soccer in many countries. ___ 10) You should get permission before taking a picture of someone. ___ Do You Have Any Other Advice? Think about the advice in the text. Is it all good advice? Is it all relevant to visiting San Diego? Is there any extra advice you would like to give to someone who was about to come to visit San Diego? Consider your experiences with people and places since arriving in San Diego.

Discuss these questions with your group. Answer Keys What’s the Title? 3) How to Be a Good Traveler Find the Mistakes 1) F – They thought it was very entertaining 2) T 3) F – The guard took pity and brought him to his carriage 4) F – Things often start to unravel 5) T 6) T 7) T 8) F – Gifts are nice, but they are not a good substitute. 9) T 10) T Do You Have Any Other Advice? These questions largely have subjective answers. Haggling, however, is a rarity in America, and students should take note that it may not be relevant for San Diego except in exceptional cases.

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