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Activities and Approaches for Teaching and Learning in a Beginners` Course

Memorising Useful Phrases and Sentences


A quick way oI gaining early Iluency in a language is to memorise useIul phrases.
There are several ways oI deciding what sentences and phrases to learn.
The Iollowing list is ranked in order oI importance.
1. The learners think oI things they want to be able to say and the teacher provides the
second language phrase to say this.
2. The teacher thinks oI the uses the learners need to make oI the language and thinks oI
useIul phrases to meet these needs. In some cases this may involve the teacher talking
to the learners about their language needs and observing their daily use oI the
language.
3. The teacher consults lists oI useIul and Irequent phrases that researchers have
developed.
4. The teacher Iollows a course book.
Here is an example oI what can happen iI not much thought is given to what is taught.
Gareth is in his IiIth month oI learning Japanese in the Iirst year oI secondary school.
He is speaking to a researcher.
'Tell me something in Japanese, Gareth.
You ask me questions in English and Ill answer in Japanese
'Were you born in New Zealand?
e havent got up to yes yet
'All right. I`ll try something else. How old are you?
o you want me to say the whole sentence because I can only say the number?
'That`s Iine. Just tell me the number.

'That sounds good. Here`s another question. What do you do at school?
o, not that kind of thing
'Sorry. What sort oI thing should I be asking you?
ell all the regular things like This is a pen and The book is red
That kind of thing


Practising Sentence Patterns
In this way, sentences where regular substitutions can be made to produce other
sentences. These are called substitution table. There are many steps, namely:
1. The teacher should give the learner an oral cue and memorise one sentence beIore
they make a systematic substitution in one part.
2. In new pattern or substitution table is introduced the teacher should start regulary, so
that the lerners can tell what the next sentence will be and who will have to say it.
3. The teacher must keep the excercise interesting, one oI the way with increase the
speed oI pointing at the table or the learners.



Here is an example :
1 2 3 4 5
I `ll see you tomorrow.
Meet on Friday.
Call next week.
at six o`clock.
The substitutions are:
Teacher : I`ll see you tomorrow. On Friday.
Learner 1: I`ll see you on Friday.
Teacher : Next week
Learner 2 : I`ll see you next week.
Teacher : At six o`clock
Learner 3: I`ll see you at six o`clock.


Guiding Listening and Speaking
There are several techniques oI guiding listening and speaking, namely:
First, The prototypical technique Ior guided listening and speaking is the hat is it?
technique (Nation, 1978). This technique use many steps:
1. The teacher write some sentences with describe something or someone on the
blackboard and the learners must try to guess, what is it ?
2. The teacher gives the learners the name oI something and the teacher shows the
learners how to change the sentences to talk about diIIerent things then the teacher
can gives a Iew new words iI they are needed in the description. AIter that, one
learner describes something while the others try to guess, what is it ?

Second, Listening grids (Badger, 1986) involve using listening and oIten questioning to
Iill a matrix with inIormation.
Here is an example based on what people enjoy watching on television. Each learner makes
a short presentation describing what they like, using the construction 'I enjoy watching . . ..
The rest oI the group tick the appropriate places in their grids.

Tabel Listening Grids
!erson`s name News Comedy Game Shows Adventure








It is only a small step Irom grids to surveys. Each learner has a grid or a list oI
questions which are then used to gather inIormation Irom other learners in the class. This can
be done with each learner moving around the class. Surveys may also move out oI the
classroom to involve English speakers at home or at work, or learners in another class.

Tabel Surveys
What`s your name? Have you got any
brothers?
Have you got any
sisters?
Have you got any
children?





Third, Interview activities provide small-scale question and answer interaction. The
activities using grids and surveys described above can easily become like small interviews.
The person being interviewed needs a source oI knowledge, Ior example personal experience,
a report Irom a newspaper, part oI a science, mathematics or economics textbook, a picture or
a brieI written description. The interviewer needs some guidance on what inIormation to look
Ior and what kinds oI questions to ask.
Other element oI challenge or competition is also present in puzzles.
!uzzles may be based on pictures or brieI descriptions and give meaning Iocused practice in
listening.
!uzzles based on pictures can involve the use oI inIerence. For example, the learners may
have to decide what season it is, what the weather is like on that day in the picture, how old
the people are, and so on.

Fourth Quizzes are oIten simply listening activities with an element oI competition.
Many Steps in do Quizzes, are:
1. The teacher prepares general knowledge questions, incomplete statements, or
true/Ialse statements that the learners will hear and try to answer.
2. Teacher make two competing teams with an audience who also write their own
answers to the questions. It is not diIIicult to design quiz questions around a Iew
grammatical constructions. Example:
The airline oI Belgium is called ...............
The long thin parts oI a comb are called .................







Fifth, Listen and do activities are used in most classrooms and are the basis oI Total
!hysical Response language teaching (Asher, Kosudo and de la Torre, 1974).
Many steps in this activity, namely:
1. The teacher gives commands or makes statements
2. The learners do what the teacher says. They can become speaking activities with the
learners saying what to do and the teacher or another learner doing the action.

Sixth, Bingo is a very adaptable activity that provides learners with lots oI listening
and vocabulary practice.
In 'body part bingo (McKay and Tom, 1999).
Many steps in this activity, namely:
1. The teacher Iirst reads simple descriptions oI main body parts and learners guess what is
being reIerred to.
2. Learners then draw a grid with the required number oI boxes (3 3, 5 5, etc.) Ior the
number oI body parts.
3. The teacher dictates the names oI the body parts and the learners Iill in the grid in any
order with these names.

Seventh, The listening to pictures technique (McComish, 1982) is an excellent
example oI a technique that involves a large quantity oI material to listen to, and which uses a
supporting picture to make the language input comprehensible.
Many steps in this technique, namely:
1. The learners have a big picture in Iront oI them in which several things are happeni
2. The teacher starts describing the picture, and the learners Iollow the description while
looking at the picture.
3. Occasionally the teacher includes a true/Ialse statement.
4. The learners write T or F on a sheet oI paper, the correct answer is given, and the
description continues.
5. The teacher moves systematically and predictably through the picture, describing it.

Eighth, Information transfer activities can be used to help learners produce a
description involving several sentences (!almer, 1982).
For example, the inIormation transIer diagram could consist oI small pictures and phrases
showing the process oI cooking a certain Iood, or making something such as a clay pot.