CLEP-2 Day 6 Reading Material - Assessment Tests - Webinar Youtube Live Link

CLEP-2 Day 6 Reading Material - Assessment Tests - Webinar Youtube Live Link. Pedagogical aspects of teaching English Skill based language teaching. Here is the CLEP-2 Day 6 - 11th May CLEP Webinar Reading Material and Material for Assessment Tests and Live Youtube Webinar Link On "Pedagogical Aspects of Transacting in English" by Dr. Monishita Hajra Pande, Facultym Ambedkar University, Delhi from 11am to 12 noon. Along with this, all are advised to watch
Role of Story Telling on Our Lives by Deepa Kiran of TEDxAmityUniversity in Youtube. Skill Sheets for Session-6 Download

CLEP-2 Day 6 Reading Material - Assessment Tests - Webinar Youtube Live Link

By the end of the module you will be able to:
  1. -understand skill-based language teaching and ways to strengthen LSRW
  2. -identify skills and sub-skills needed for your children
  3. - integrate the sub-skills to adopt an integrated approach to teaching English
Skill based language teaching
Explicitly teaching listening (L), speaking (S), reading (R) and writing (W) skills the four macro skills to students enables us to develop their language skills in a holistic manner. Skill- based instruction ensures that a good amount of instructional time is dedicated to teaching students how to read, think, write, and speak in all subject areas. Through explicit teaching, students develop the ability to read complex texts and express sophisticated ideas on their own. Skill-based instruction will move students toward independence and teach them how to think at high levels, solve problems, and perform on various academic tasks with great success.

Throughout primary and secondary education, courses are designed around content--that is, classes are developed based on the information we want students to know. What our students learn in history, for example, is quite different from what they learn in a life science class. The content is different. Each class has its own set of facts, vocabulary, and concepts that students must learn in a short period of time. But what skills are students learning in these classes? They are expected to know a wealth of information, but what are they able to do as a result of taking the class? Skill-based instruction moves students toward independence as they learn how to make meaning on their own.

Skill-based instruction is about planning, implementing, and assessing literacy skills. In a skill- based classroom, a good amount of instructional time is dedicated to practicing, assessing, and reflecting on skills. As students practice skills, they are reading non-fiction texts, discussing ideas, and summarizing essential information. They are learning how to think critically, analyze ideas, and speak and write with insight and sophistication. The focus in the classroom is on developing students’ into independent readers and thinkers so that they are prepared for the rigors of secondary and college education. Content knowledge is critical, and using reading, writing, listening and speaking skills to access that knowledge helps students learn it and retain it.

If we teach literacy skills and truly focus our efforts on helping students read, write, and think in all subject areas, then our students will learn the content and be able to make new meaning through original analysis, evaluation, synthesis, and application. Strong skill-based instruction relies on four main elements.
  • 1. explicit teaching
  • 2. clear objectives
  • 3. strategic scaffolds for learning
  • 4. skill practice, practice, practice
Now we will discuss the four language skills LSRW in greater detail. Listening and Reading are called receptive skills and Speaking and Writing are called productive skills.


a. Listening
The act of listening means “to pay attention to somebody/something that you can hear” (Hornby, 2005). This implies the idea of understanding the message you hear so that you can respond to it and interact with the person you hear. It is “perhaps the most challenging of the skills to master in a second language” because “spoken language is different from written text. In English, speakers may miss a subject or verb, or may break off their sentence in the middle, or hesitate to think about what he is going to say next or include words, phrases, or ideas that are not strictly necessary.” According to Penny Ur (1996), it is important to work on the development of listening comprehension, since “students should learn to function successfully in real-life listening situations.” 

Harmer (2007) mentions two different kinds of listening. On one hand, Extensive Listening “refers to listening which the students often do for pleasure or some other reason. The audio material they consume in this way – often on CDs in their cars, on MP3 players, DVDs, videos or on the internet–should consist of texts that they can enjoy listening to because they more or less understand them without the intervention of a teacher or course materials to help them.” This kind of listening is very important from the motivational point of view, because it “increases dramatically when students make their own choices about what they are going to listen to” On the other hand, Intensive Listening is the one in which “students listen specifically in order to study the way in which English is spoken. It usually takes place in classrooms or language laboratories, and typically occurs when teachers are present to guide students through any listening difficulties, and point them to areas of interest.” 

In order to develop listening skills, Hadfield (2008) mentions different kinds of activities and strategies: One of them is Listening with a purpose, which is important because learners “can adapt the way they listen to their aims” paying more attention to the information they need to extract from the listening text. Another aspect that Hadfield mentions is Listening for gist. When the teacher uses this strategy, he/she sets “a question or task which” is given to the “learners before they listen so that they know what information they are listening for.” The third aspect mentioned by Hadfield is Listening for specific details which means that to listen with a clear purpose in mind means that learners develop the ability to filter out everything they do not need to know.

Hornby (2005) states that a person reads when he/she looks at and understands “the meaning of written or printed words or symbols.” 

Harmer (2007) states that there are two types of reading: extensive and intensive reading. The first term refers to the reading that students often do for pleasure. This is better when students have the opportunity to choose what they want to read. As extensive reading is very important, teachers need to have a programme which includes materials, guidance, tasks and libraries. On the other hand, intensive reading is the detailed focus of reading text, complemented with study activities, such as, uses of grammar and vocabulary. this kind of reading, teachers have to motivate students to read intensively, engaging them with the topics and tasks. There are further roles teachers need to adopt when asking students to read intensively: organizer, observer and feedback organizer. Besides, when reading intensively, it is necessary that teachers find some accommodation between the desire of having students with a development of understanding a general message without considering every detail and the students‟ natural desire to understand the meaning of every single detail or word. If students and teachers want to get the maximum benefit from reading, learners need to be in involved in both.
HOW TO DEVELOP READING SKILLS To develop reading skills, teachers play a crucial role. They should help students to focus their reading in such a way that they read for meaning instead of getting involved in individual words or unimportant details thereby losing the main meaning of a text. Also, teachers need to help them to read in diverse ways and use sub-skills that will help them to improve and understand what are they reading efficiently. According to Harmer (2007) to understand reading texts students need to do some activities or use some strategies. First, students need to be able to scan the text, which means reading quickly while looking for specific information. On the other hand, students also need to be able to skim, which is used to quickly identify the general idea of a text, readers are focused briefly on a few words per line, headings or the first and last sentence in a paragraph.

Hadfield (2008) says that reading for a gist is another strategy that implies reading with a purpose in mind. Also, reading for detail is considered as a strategy. Sometimes, students need to read carefully, because it is necessary to pay attention to all the sentences to get the meaning of the whole text. Hadfield (2008) also talks about sub skills.

Activating Background knowledge 
helps learners to understand a text by discussing the topic before reading. Brainstorming and Mind-Mapping are useful techniques to do this. The first one means to think quickly of anything related to the topic and the second one tries to order the ideas, for example in separate categories. These two activities help to activate vocabulary learners already have. 

Predicting can be done by looking at titles, pictures or words from the text. Students can make mini-predictions throughout the whole reading.

• Using Linkers
The last sub-skill is Using Linkers. Linkers are words that act as signals that show the structure of a text and help to understand when a new piece of information is coming. The use of these sub skills can be very helpful in the development of reading skills.


Richards & Renandya (2002) mention that writing is the most difficult skill for second language (L2) learners, since they need to generate ideas, organize them and translate these ideas into readable text which can be very difficult for students. Harmer (2007) mentions some important aspects that are considered in writing such as handwriting. Spelling is also a main issue in writing and in literacy. One of the reasons why spelling is difficult for students of English is that the correspondence between the sound of a word and the way it is spelt is not always obvious. A single sound may have many different spellings and the same spelling may have many different sounds. A third aspect is ‘Layout and Punctuation’ which are essential in writing. They are different in writing communities and, frequently, non-transferable from one community or language to another. In fact, to success in writing, in teachers‟ own language or another language, it is necessary for students to be aware of layout and punctuation rules, in order to produce the written message as clearly as they can.

Many authors agree that there are some issues that help in the development of writing. One of those issues is Genre, which according to Harmer (2007), represents the norms of different kinds of writing. It helps to recognize an advertisement, poetry format and formal letter. A good way to teach genre is when teachers show models of what they want learners to write and then, using these techniques, students try to do their own work. In relation to this, Hadfield (2008) says that if teachers are teaching how to write a particular type of text, they can give students activities to practice accuracy, give guidance in what to say or how to say it or allow students to write freely.

Another aspect of writing is ‘Cooperative Work’. Although many students write on their own, it is much better to use the cooperative writing in classes, because group writing allows giving more detailed and constructive feedback. To write in groups, whether as part of a long or short process, is very motivating for students to develop this skill. (Harmer, 2007)
Writing is a journey of self-discovery and self-discovery promotes effective learning. Students feel more motivated when teacher gives imaginative writing tasks, because they feel engaged and try to do their best in producing a variety of correct and appropriate language than they might for more routine assignments. As writing is an important ability, it is necessary to build a writing habit in students. Doing this, students will recognize writing as a normal part of classroom practice and they come to writing assignments with much enthusiasm. To achieve the writing habit, it is necessary to give the students interesting and enjoyable tasks to do. According to Hadfield (2008), another way of helping students to organize and express their ideas is to focus on the writing process that consists of dividing the writing activity in many stages, each of which practices an important sub-skill in this process.

Hornby (2005) defines Speaking as the act of talking to or having a conversation with somebody. According to Hadfield (2008), this presents the necessity of interaction among people, which is not only “putting a message together” but also the response that the listener can give to the speaker. However, this interaction presents a difficulty for learner of English as a second language, since they need to think of something to say and feel confident enough to try to express it. Then, they have to use what they have learned in terms of vocabulary and grammar to produce a message that other people can understand. 

Hadfield (2008) proposes that teacher can help students to develop their speaking skills by giving them ideas such as asking them to read a text concerning the topic that is being discussed so that students can learn some vocabulary about it. This is also helpful because it “and can get students thinking around the topic and stimulate ideas.” He also proposes teacher to provide students with what to say by giving them some role cards with an outline or suggestions of what they can say. Moreover, he proposes that tasks should be precise, with a clear goal for students to reach so that students have a clear idea of the outcome of their work. In order to help student to develop their confidence for speaking, Hadfield (2008) proposes, for example, allow the students to practice in pairs what they want to say so that they will feel more confident to say it in front of the whole class. To help learners developing fluency, the most useful tool is asking them to speak, presenting different – and interesting – topics or communicational situations for them to express themselves as many times as possible. Another important aspect to consider in the development of speaking skills is the feedback that the teacher gives to students. He/she should avoid “interrupting learners to correct them while they are speaking” because this could mean “that they will not get the chance to develop fluency.” (Hadfield, 2008)


As Peregoy & Boyle (2001) state in Chen (2007), “in natural, day-to-day experience, oral and written languages are not kept separate and isolated from one another. Instead, they often occur together, integrated in specific communication events.” Moreover, Chen (2007) considers that during “the language learning process, listening, speaking, reading, and writing should be treated as integrated, interdependent, and inseparable elements of language.” Peregoy & Boyle (2001) conclude in Chen (2007) that the teacher should incorporate opportunities throughout the reading for students to develop their own learning by responding verbally as they read, write, and learn in English, because it is the integrated use of oral and written language for functional and meaningful purposes that best promotes the full development of second language proficiency. They suggest that reading and writing as well as speaking and listening should be integral parts of all language classroom activities because all these processes interact with one another. Teachers should provide opportunities and resources for students to engage in authentic speech and literacy activities. Hungyo and Kijai (2009) explain that the “term integrated means language learning where all four skills take place at the same time and with teacher, learner, and setting as playing their roles in the learning.”

According to Brown (2001, quoted in Hungyo & Kijai, 2009), the Integrated Skill Approach “is a whole language approach where if a course deals with reading skills, then, it will also deal with listening, speaking, and writing skills.” This approach is considered as one in which “the English language is taught not just for academic but also for communication purpose.” In other words, it considers the communicational goal that every language course should achieve by exposing learners “to the richness and complexity of the language” (Hall, 2006, quoted in Hungyo & Kijai, 2009).

Hungyo & Kijai (2009) state that the “activities used by teachers in the integrated approach are real-life activities and situations and thus create an interactive learning environment.” In other words, when using the Integrated-skill Approach, teachers face their students with communicative situations that have to as real as possible so that students realize the importance of learning the foreign language. Oxford (2001) states that there are two types of integrated- skill instruction which are Content-Based Language Instruction/Learning (CBLL) and Task- Based Language Instruction/Teaching (TBLT): In Content-Based Instruction, students practice all the language skills in a highly integrated, communicative fashion while learning contents such as science, mathematics, and social studies. Content-based Language Instruction is valuable at all levels of proficiency, but the nature of the content might differ by proficiency level. For beginners, the content often involves basic social and interpersonal communication skills, but past the beginning level, the content can become increasingly academic and complex.

In Task-Based Instruction, students ‟ basic pair work and group work are often used to increase student interaction and collaboration. For instance, students work together to write and edit a class newspaper, develop a television commercial, enact scenes from a play, or take part in other joint tasks. More structured cooperative learning formats can also be used in task-based instruction. Task-based instruction is relevant to all levels of language proficiency, but the nature of the task varies from one level to the other. According to Harmer (2007), productive work should not always be imitative. Students are greatly helped by being exposed to examples of writing and speaking which show certain conventions for them to draw upon. Harmer (2007) also states that skill integration is a major factor in lesson planning. Weaving threads of different skills and topics is a major art of teachers who plan for a sequence of lessons. Skill integration also happens when students are involved in project work, which may well involve researching (through reading or listening), speaking (e. g .in discussions or when giving a presentation) and writing (e.g submitting a report).

In this module we discussed skill-based language teaching and the macro skills LSRW. These macro skills can be divided into micro skills or sub-skills. Take a look at the handout on

‘Graded activities for the Four Macro Skills’ attached with this material. Explicit teaching of skills allows us to develop strong language abilities of our students. We recommend an integrated approach to teaching of skills.
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