Language is primarily speech. The knowledge of a language is often associated with the ability to understand and speak the language.
The development of aural-oral skills (listening and speaking) has a crucial role to play in second language teaching programme as it comparatively easy to develop other skills namely reading and writing . Basing on the oral foundation of speaking and listening.
The advantages of oral approach are that foundation of learning to read and write especially second language. It is vital to personal development . By providing learning children with tools for intellectual development of comprehension and problem-solving. Furthermore help in the internalisation of grammar ,in addition to easier correction of studies.
The skill of listening helps the learner to understand the spoken language and the teacher in particular as he/she directs the methhod of instruction. The learner recognise both the language speech sounds both in isolation and in combination.
Moreover in the skill of listening the child is capable of distinguishing the language sounds in similar one in his/her first language and understand the lexical meaning of words in context and grammatical meanings of structures. Listening skills make it understandable in the meaning conveyed by stress and intonation patterns.
The listener can able to grasp the mood of the speaker and the theme of the discourse ,that's the speech. Anticipation words and structures from the context for understanding speech at normal conversation speed. The listening skill also enables to guess the meaning of unfamiliar words from the context.
The skill of speaking in other side helps to assist the student to be able to produce the characteristc language speech sounds both in isolation and combination. The use of appropriated stress and intonation pattern. The speaker can use appropriate words and structures to express intended meaning . Through recalling words and structures quickly ,organised in thoughts and ideas logically. In addition can also able to adjust speech according to audience situation and subject.
The teacher can now plan activities for training discrimination of sounds by uttering pairs of words or sentences for pupils to identify whether the same or different. For example:
ship: ship. They are the same.
sheep:ship. They are different.
The man is watching the car.
The man is washing the car. Are these two sentences same/different.
The second activity the teacher can write minimum pairs of words or sentences on the board.
Tin / thin
Show me the tape/ Show me the tap.
Minimum pairs for stres and intonation patterns.
You have á book.
You have à book.
The teacher can give various commands to be followed by pupils ,for example:
Put the ball on the bag
Put the ball in the bag.
Though listening and speaking go together . It is speaking which makes the learner more effective in learning process hence provides maximum opportunity to the students to speak the language . The effectiveness of language speaking is through a greater pupils ' speaking time ratio than teacher speaking time.
Above all it is important to note that pupils should speak the language in meaningful situations (Functional) . Sufficient repetition annd variety for habit formation without creating boredom.
The corrections should be selective and should be mainly based on the drilling of the best form ,whilst persisten crucial errors should be dealt with in a separate remedial lesson.
Baruah, T.C(1991)English teacher's handbook.
Sprosty,L(1995) Theaching language arts in primary school.
Byrne ,D.(1983)ENglish teaching perspectives.
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