Productive and Receptive Skills in the ESL Classroom - Receptive Skills - Avoiding Problems


So, some of the ways in which we can avoid these problems occurring in the first place is to reteach the vocabulary that's going to be required in the particular activity and the grammar. Now, having said this, it doesn't mean that if we think about a particular article that they're going to read or a listening activity that they're going to listen to. They don't have to know every single word in there but they do need to know a certain number of words in order to actually make sense out of it. Secondly, most of the materials that we'll be using for both reading and possibly for listening will be what's called an authentic material. In other words, it's a real piece of material from a newspaper or magazine that hasn't been created for a particular class and so we need a very careful selection of text in terms of what vocabulary is in there, what actual language uses in there and also the way in which has been written. So the careful selection text. We need to be careful about the choice topic. Is it something that our group is going to be interested in? Is something indeed that they're going to know anything about? One of the most fundamental things that you can do to avoid problems is to create interest before you start the actual lesson. It's very very difficult for students just to go straight into a reading or listening activity without any interest having been generated.

Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.

I found this unit interesting in terms of the approach to teaching the grammar, vocabulary and new language components. Students are more likely to have a higher receptive vocabulary than their practical vocabulary. Listening and comprehension are usually greater than the speech. Students might be less likely to use their knowledge of their receptive vocabulary in a practical sense, due to their lack of skill in pronunciation, spelling, sentence form and structure and appropriateness of use. It is therefore important these aspects are learnt to encourage communication and usage. Pictures, games, worksheets, drilling and role play are some of the techniques that can be used in the ESA lesson. Depending on the level of the students and new language being taught, consideration can be given to the structure such as ?Straight Arrow?, ?Boomerang? or ?Patchwork?. There are no hard and fast rules as to which one should be used, as long as the lesson always commences with the Engage phase and concludes with the Activate stage. The criteria for selecting the words to teach should be dependent on the appropriateness to the student and task, frequency and coverage that they will be using the language, and the teachability of the students and their level. It is important the students learn the correct meaning of the word, its use, how it is constructed and the correct pronunciation. They should be encouraged to use the vocabulary as much as possible in the Activate stage. I found this unit interesting as I see it as the exciting part of teaching, extending a student?s knowledge of words and building up a vocabulary for them to use in life, which is their main reason for learning the language. The technical side of the language can be dry and could considered by students to be boring. Learning new words and increasing vocabulary would be more interesting for the students and in the course of that, the rules governing the language, its construction and use would start to fall into place. Take for example, a child learning how to use a tennis racquet. A coach would show the child the physical movements of how to hold the racquet and how to hit the ball. These are the fundamental skills. As part of that process, and as experience progresses, the child would gradually learn the ?why?. Why angling the racquet in a particular way will assist in a certain type of shot being played, why placing their fingers around the racquet in a certain way will give them more strength and control. For beginners, a different approach is required to ensure they don?t lose interest and allow the fun side of the learning to quietly assist the technical side.

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