Teaching language for communication: an action- oriented approach

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1 Teaching language for communication: an action- oriented approach Mark Hancock For video of authors Mark Hancock and Annie McDonald explaining principles behind course book English Result, see:

2 An action-oriented approach Presenting the subject matter so that students can see that it is action (communication) as opposed to just knowledge (of a system of rules) Teaching a balanced syllabus which includes various communicative language competences, not just words and grammar.

3 The grammar ladder An action-oriented approach: approach: attempts to define the sees the teacher s minimum that a language responsibility as being to learner should know and be build up the learner s able to do in order to knowledge of grammatical move as an independent structure from the simple agent in the foreign to the complex and language environment vocabulary from the most common to the less common items, seeing their use as entirely the responsibility of the individual learner. (Quotes from article by John Trim describing how he and his team developed Threshold in: )

4

5 COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE COMPETENCES

6 Verbal exchange patterns: a conversation frame Start Are you doing anything on Friday evening? Well, I'm a bit busy actually Why? Do you fancy going for a drink? What are you doing at the weekend? Oh, nothing much. Why? I'm having a party. Do you want to come? I'd rather not. I have to get up early in the morning Well, I'm going out on Saturday but I'm free on Friday. How about going out for dinner? Well, I'd prefer not to. I'm on a diet. Ok then. Maybe some other time Would you like to come round and see my holiday photos? I'd love to. What time? Let's meet around 8 o'clock. Finish

7 Text organization: paragraph structure People who take unnecessary risks shouldn't receive free health care. (extract from essay 3rd paragraph out of 4) Personally, I disagree with this point of view because it's difficult to say exactly what is risky and what is not. For instance, not doing enough exercise is probably more risky than skiing in the long term. So it isn't fair to give free health care to an inactive person and make the skier pay. A paragraph plan a. State a fact or argument. b. Show what you mean,eg give an example c. State the implications of the fact or argument. Which step is missing? 1. Not all medical treatment is really necessary for the health of the patient. The taxpayer should not have to pay the costs of such treatment. 2. There are some aspects of health care which are not covered by the national health system. For instance, in my country, dental work is not covered. 3. For example, fire-fighters take risks, but they are necessary risks. Obviously, these people should receive free medical treatment if they are hurt on the job.

8 Pragmatic force: interpreting signs and notices Danger of Suffocation I bought a new TV the other day and as I removed the various layers of packaging from the product, I noticed this warning on a large plastic bag, "To avoid suffocation, keep away from children". Since reading this message, I've been so worried that I've been keeping away from children in order to avoid being suffocated. Do not wash in hot water NO DOGS EATING BICYCLES Keep away from children. We don t change underwear Shoes are required to eat inside Empty when full Fine for littering! Remove top before standing in microwave No exit for passengers Now serving live lobsters

9 Level of formality: mixed messages Stand up straight! In you go! Sorry to trouble you. Would you mind answering a few questions? Would you mind stepping this way please? Stop right there! Sorry to keep you waiting. Would you liketocome through now?

10 Tactfulness: refusing invitations Des and Jen are teenagers working in a burger bar... Des: Jen: Are you doing anything tonight? Oh, well I'm a bit busy actually Des: Jen: Des: Jen: Des: Jen: Des: Jen: I'm going to see 'Bats' at the cinema. Would you like to come? I'd like to but I can't. I've got to study for an exam. Oh come on! I bet you'll enjoy it! I'll collect you from your house at 7:30. That's very kind of you, but really Ok, I'll wait and we can go tomorrow. I'm sorry, but I'm meeting some friends tomorrow. Ok, will you go out with me next week? I'll think about it, ok? Can I help you? I'd rather eat mud! Oh no I think he wants to ask me out! If you come near my house, I'll call the police! I d prefer to sit in a box of fish!

11 Politeness: a respectful Dear Antonia I hope you are home safely. I had a great time away, and I was delighted to find a lovely box of chocolates in my room when I got back! Thank you very much for those. Was everything OK for you here in the hall of residence? Were you comfortable in my room? The campus is very pleasant this time of year, isn't it? Did you have chance to explore the town? I'm sorry to bother you with this, but I've got a couple of questions for you. Did you use my computer while you were here? It's fine if you did, but I'm a bit worried because whenever I switch it on, I keep getting a strange error message, and my files seem to have been erased. Don't worry - fortunately, I've got back up copies, but I was wondering if you d had a problem with the computer? My other question is about the key to the laundry room. As you know, I normally keep the key on a hook behind the wardrobe door, but I can't seem to find it. Do you know where it might be? Well, that's all for now. I hope that we may actually meet one day - maybe next year? All the best Asha Hey Toni - what on earth have you done to my computer?! I'm sick to death of these error messages and my files have all disappeared. And another thing - where have you put the key to the laundry room? I've been searching high and low for it! Asha

12 Formal register: public notices In order to help us improve our service, guests are kindly requested to complete the feedback form. Walkers and climbers are kindly requested to remove their boots before entering. Visitors are kindly requested to leave coats and umbrellas in the cloakroom located near the main entrance. Formal announcements 1 often use verbs in the passive. are requested 2 sometimes use adverbs. kindly 3 often use a plural noun. guests You are cordially invited to join us in celebrating the wedding of Joseph Brice and Linda Jarvis, to be held at Delegates are warmly invited to join us for an opening cocktail in the lobby, Weds 8pm Passengers requiring lunch are invited to make their way to the restaurant car. a. to show who is being addressed. b. to make it less personal by not mentioning who is announcing. c. to show how something is said, as a substitute for tone of voice.

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