Developing speaking skills

Trimis la data: 2009-04-20
Materia: Engleza
Nivel: Facultate
Pagini: 21
Nota: 9.82 / 10
Downloads: 0
Autor: Dumitrache Anastasia
Dimensiune: 47kb
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Tipul fisierelor: doc
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Literate people have a number of different language abilities: speaking, listening, writing and reading. Speaking and writing involve language production and are therefore often referred to as productive skills. Listening and reading involve receiving messages and are often referred to as receptive skills. Very often language users employ a combination of skills at the same time. In conversation, for instance, speaking and listening happen simultaneously. People may read and write at the same time, they may make notes or write something based on what they are reading.

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This is a very general picture of language skills. It does not mean that skills are separate and should be treated as such. Very often one skill cannot be performed without another. Moreover, in order to use language skills, competent users need a number of sub-skills for processing the language that they use and are faced with. For instance, the way we listen for general understanding will be different from the way we listen in order to extract specific bits of information. The same is true for reading.

A great deal of what English teachers do in their classes can be considered communicative, and their objective is to develop their pupils' communicative competence. In fact many teachers would probably say that they follow the Communicative Approach. They might however find it difficult to say precisely what they mean by this, or to define communication, as definitions can vary. Linguistic competence is the ability to manipulate the system of the language. Sociolinguistic competence is the awareness and ability to adapt all use of language to a communicative context. In combination, these two competences can be said to form communicative competence.

Two other competences, strategic competence and discourse competence, are also involved. In their mother tongue, speakers have the ability to discriminate and manipulate sounds and sound sequences in order to produce fluent, intelligible speech and to use accurate and meaningful stress and intonation. They also have the ability to make linguistic choices at the level of vocabulary and grammar, and at the level of style and register, to form natural and meaningful sentences, appropriate to one's communicative purpose in a given situation.

The factors which influence the speaker's language choices are: a) the interlocutors (speaker and listener); b) the code (shared language of the interlocutors); c) the message topic and the message form, the setting / situation, the function of each utterance as it relates to what has been said before, to what each interlocutor assumes the other already knows, to the intended message of the speaker. The interlocutors' attitudes towards each other are also important.
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