Where`s my mom?
By: Julia Donaldson (writer) and Alex Scheffler (illustrator)
Text extracted from our book: Temario de oposiciones – Inglés Primaria.
Autores: Mariano Muñoz Pérez y Tomás Navarro-Soto Mínguez
The language as a communication means: oral and written language. Factors defining a communicative situation: encoder, decoder, functionality and context.
As we have already noted, the curriculum Act D 126/14 28th February emphasises the use of the FL to communicate in real-life contexts. In this sense, listening and understanding messages, using the transmitted information for the realisation of tasks connected with their experiences, is included in the first and second content blocks:
Block 1 relates to comprehension of oral texts. This block is devoted to the acquisition of strategies and basic learning for an adequate comprehension of the oral FL, fostering active listening in oral texts and understanding of oral texts.
Block 2 refers to production of oral texts: expression and interaction. This block intends to achieve oral expression from the acquired knowledge and to put that knowledge into real practice. Presentations, active and cooperative participation and the implementation of different strategies are essential elements in this block.
The relevance of oral abilities with a communicative intention must necessarily go through the creation of optimal learning conditions. In this light, Newton and Nation (2009) consider the “MINUS” framework as an acronym that refers to a set of relevant principles, especially interesting for the teaching of oral FLs at early stages. These principles can be resumed as follows:
Meaning: The main focus should be on language that learners can quickly use for their purposes. Meaning-focused listening and speaking may be directed towards classroom management, recalling or retelling stories or finding out about our learners´ preferences.
Interest: Considering the age of the learners in Primary Education and their limited attention span, activities should be short and varied.
New language: An overload in the presentation of new language and functions prevents students from gaining control over that language
Understanding: Before using the words in guided speaking, students need to be provided with plenty of comprehensible input through activities that require showing understanding. In this sense, the use of non-verbal language or visual aids offers a valuable contextual support.
Stress-free: It is widely accepted amongst researchers and FL teachers that anxiety influences students´ willingness to take active part in communicative activities. Thus, the creation of a safe and friendly cooperative classroom atmosphere is particularly important at early ages.
Nonetheless, before approaching the teaching of oral abilities, FL teachers should understand the nature of listening and speaking.