In teaching a foreign language much attention and strength should be given to formation productive skills which include language and speech skills. For efficiency of successful communication it is important to improve integrated skills. In other words process of communication involves the integrating skills of speaking, listening, writing and reading. And this requires the awareness of the nature of communication and its reference to various stages of learning. That is why the importance of integrating skills should be emphasized.
Communication between humans extremely complex changeable and has many variables. Communicative activities have communicative purpose. That means a speaker involved into communication, always has some purpose. In other words the speaker tries to get or to give information or wants to express pleasure etc. During the conversation speakers behavior may be rude, flatter, agreeable.
Communication is usually carried out by four types of speech: speaking, listening writing and reading. In oral communication speaking and listening skills are integrated and in the written form of communication writing and reading skills are integrated. Summing up all above said it should be stressed that while organizing communication teachers should improve integrated skills in all types of speech. It is obvious that whenever communication takes place of course there is a speaker and listener.
During oral communication we may notice a quick change of positions in which speaker quickly becomes a listener and a listener becomes a speaker, because communicative process is a bilateral process and they change their positions while talking. These all require that speech skills should be integrated. Whatever activity the learners are involved in, if it is to be communicative, and if really promoting the language use, the learners should have a desire to communicate. If they don’t have desire for communicating and if they are not involved or don’t want to be involved then such communication will not be effective.
But when the learners have objective (or communicative purpose) their attention is centered on the content of what is being said (or on the content of the conversation)
While the students are engaged in the communicative activity the teacher shouldn’t stop the student by correcting their mistakes or giving interactions. This will negatively influence on the communicative purpose of the activity. In such cases the teacher may be involved in the communicative activity as a participant.
In non-communicative activities there will be no desire to communicate on the part of the learners and they will have no communicative purpose. In other words in such cases the learners are involved just in a drill in repetition because they will not be motivated by desire of reaching a communicative purpose. If the emphasis is given to the use of the language forms but not to its content then such communicative activity cannot be real.
Comparative study of non-communicative and communicative activities help us to define their peculiarities.
Non-communicative activities have the following characteristic features:
– lack of communicative desire:
– lack of communicative purpose:
– attention is focused on the form not on the content,
– one language item is emphasized,
– teachers intervention in the conversation exist,
– using materials which force the use of certain language forms
Following peculiarities are characteristic for communicative activities:
– existence in the learners a desire to communicate
– existence a communicative purpose,
– attention is focused on the content not on the form,
– variety of language forms are available to be used;
– there is no teachers intervention to the learners conversation;
– there is no material control.
In improving productive skills of communication three major stages are emphasized. They are: a) introducing new language, b) practice and c) communicative activities.
The introduction of new language is often treated as non-communicative activity. During such activities the teacher will work with controlled techniques. This means that teacher asks the learners to repeat and perform language material in drills. And the teacher will insist on accuracy and correct if the learners make mistakes. The teachers job at this stage of the lesson is to present the students with clear information about the language means and to show the function of the language form or utterances. In other words the teacher shows what the new language means and how it is used.
The learners can see and hear the foreign language material at the same time and understand what it means. A good context will help the learners so, it should be interesting for them.
If the text book is not interesting for the learners, the teacher will create his own context for language use. The context of introduction may include the following types;
1) The classroom context (physical surroundings of learners);
2) Situational context (invented stories and simulate real life situations);
3) The context of formulated situation (simulated real life example).
Mind: every language material (phonetic, lexical, grammatical) should first be introduced orally, drawing the attention of the learners to the important points.
At the practice stage the language material is to be used in drill exercises. During practice stages the teacher may intervene very slightly to help the learners. Oral practice includes oral drills, information gap activities, games, personalisation and localization.
The main function of practice is to use language forms in practice. It should be stressed that drills are usually controlled activities. That is why they shouldn’t be used too frequently or too long. It is advised to use different speech patterns flashcards, pictures and other visuality during practice the new language forms.
In question and answer drills teacher may present a picture and may ask the learners question on the picture. In information gap activities the learners are given different bits of information by sharing this information they can complete the task.
Personalisation and localization activities are aimed to practice language material concerning the personality of the learners. Here they use language material to make their own real sentences.
Oral activities motivate the learners and involve them into active work. The learners may be given cards of the following type;
Guess who he\she is;
- Likes ice cream.
- Often goes to the cinema.
- Has a brother and two sisters.
- Yesterday missed the lesson.
- Plays football well.
The activity can be carried out by pair or group work. The learners ask questions using the given clues. The next activity is aimed to elicit likes and dislikes. In this case the following speech patterns can be used.
1. I like…. 3. I agree…….
2. I don’t like….. 4. I’m afraid I don’t agree……
A pair and group work are suitable here and this will improve discourse skills. Discourse involves four types of language skills: speaking, listening and understanding, writing, reading and understanding. Two of them are productive (speaking and writing) and the other two (listening and reading) are receptive skills.
It is teacher’s responsibility that all four main language skills should be integrated. In some cases teachers concentrate the attention of the learners only on reading and the other time on speaking. Such position is not right for two reasons.
- It is obvious that one skill cannot be performed without another. For example: it is not possible to carry out conversation if you don’t listen well. And people seldom write without reading.
- People usually use different skills when dealing with the same subject for all sorts reasons. For example during lectures while listening to the lecturer students may take notes so that to give information about the lecture to their friends.
In all above mentioned cases many different skills are used. So, in organizing teaching process or in teaching foreign language teachers should also take into consideration this fact. When teacher asks students to read the text it shouldn’t be just reading for reading. This reading should follow such activities as to retell or to answer the questions, put to the content of the text or to do some exercises dealing with the text and etc.
It is true that sometimes attention is focused on one particular skill but the attention later should be concentrated on two or more other skills.
The principle of integrating skills should be one of the leading principals in teaching English as a foreign language. Communication is usually carried out orally and in the written form. So, we differentiate oral speech and written speech. Oral speech includes speaking and listening. In oral communication a speaker has a great range of expressive possibilities at his disposal. Except words he can vary his intonation, stress and this helps the speaker to show which parts of what he is saying are more or less important. Besides this the speaker can use paralinguistic means as facial expressions, gestures and body posture to make conversation more expressive. But a person who is speaking on the phone cannot use facial expression or gestures. In such cases a speaker expresses his feelings by intonation and stress.
Written speech requires more accuracy. There is no immediate feedback from the reader. A person who is writing cannot use intonation and paralinguistic means of expressing speech. And these disadvantages may be compensated by accuracy and using grammatical and stylistic techniques.
Teacher should show the learners the difference between spoken and written forms of a foreign language. In conclusion we’d like to stress once more the importance of integrating skills in language learning, because the process of communication always include speaking and listening skills. While explaining the teaching material a teacher usually speaks, writes, reads and the learners also listen, write, read and speak. So, in organizing the teaching process we cannot get effective results without integrating language skills and four types of speech skills.
- Jalolov J. J., Makhkamova G. T., Alimov Sh.S. “English language teaching methodology”, (theory and practice), Tashkent, “Fan va texnologiya”, 2015.
- Celce-Murcia, M.”Teaching English as a second or foreign language”, N.Y., Newbury House, 1991.
- Littlewood, W. “Communicative language teaching”, London, 1981.