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Language learning startegies for speaking

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This is a sample of a unit I created that is based on language learning strategies. The listening and vocabulary can be modified for your purposes. It is meant for ELT professionals who know about language learning strategies. I would appreciate any criticisms and praises - write to mvusko@yahoo.com

Here it goes...

3. Education

1. Being Creative with Words

Strategy: Direct memory, Applying images and sounds by using keywords

Aim: To help learners easily remember what they hear or read in the new language

Task 1: Read the items in the box below and then listen to the monologue about education.

Freshman, daunting, beanbags, engaged, delinquents, grammar school, dawned , pursue, figured out, a pipe dream

Task 2: For each of the items above, try to find a word in your mother tongue that sounds like the word in English.
E.g.
Word in English: Freshman Word in Spanish: Fresco

Word in English Word in your language
Freshman yearDauntingBeanbagsEngagedDelinquentsGrammar schoolDawnedPursueFigured outA pipe dream

Task 3: Now make sure you know the meaning of each word in English and then create a sentence either in English or in your mother tongue that links them either through visual or aural representation or both.

E.g.

Word in Spanish: Musulmαn Word in English: Muscleman

* I visualize a muscleman in the middle of the desert wearing a turbine.

*This visualization has helped me remember the Spanish word “Musulmαn” which is “Muslim” in English

Write your sentences here

1. ……………………………………………………………………..

2. …………………………………………………………………….

3. ……………………………………………………………………

4. ……………………………………………………………………..

5. ……………………………………………………………………..

6. ……………………………………………………………………..

7. ……………………………………………………………………..

8. ……………………………………………………………………..

9. ……………………………………………………………………..

10. ……………………………………………………………………

2. Moving it Around

Strategy: Direct cognitive, practicing by recombining

Aim: To help learners put together already known elements in new ways.

Task: Read the patterns below that were extracted from the monologue and try to recombine them in new ways. Listen for the patterns in the monologue to help you out.

E.g.

Pattern: The most difficult thing about….

Recombination: The thing that is most difficult about…


Patterns and recombination:

1.
Pattern: The most difficult thing about…

Recombination:

2.
Pattern: I’m not saying that…

Recombination:

3.
Pattern: I would have to say that…

Recombination:

4.
Pattern: Once you start…

Recombination:

5.
Pattern: I must have…

Recombination:

6.
Pattern: One good thing about…

Recombination:


3. Speaking with your Body

Strategy: Direct compensation, Overcoming limitations in speaking by the use of mime or gesture

Aim: To learn to use physical motion in place of oral expression to indicate meaning in a conversation

Task 1: Instead of using oral expression, express the following phrases to your partner with physical expression.

1. It’s expensive.
2. It’s dirty.
3. It’s cold
4. That’s really sticky.
5. It’s too loud.
6. It’s not loud enough.
7. It doesn’t matter.
8. It goes right there on the table.
9. How sweet.
10. It’s really humid today.

Task 2: Ask your partner which expressions were the easiest and the most difficult to express. Ask them how they think this strategy can help them in communication.

Easiest expressions:

Most difficult expressions:


4. Listen and Learn

Strategy: Indirect metacognitive, Centering your learning by delaying speech

Aim: To help learners focus on listening before oral production

Task 1: Read the 4 phrases below but do NOT say them aloud, then find the same phrases in the monologue and rewind the parts where the phrases occur and listen to them a few times. When you are finished listening to them in the monologue, them go back and say them aloud.

1. I expected it to be like…

2. And it was just incredible…

3. I would have to say that…

4. We had this thing…


Task 2: Read the 4 phrases below and say them aloud. The phrases are not included in the monologue so there is nothing to listen to.

1. Once in a blue moon

2. That just goes to show…

3. There’s no time like the present.

4. That’s about the strangest…

Task 3: Ask your partner which set of phrases were easier for them to say aloud after doing tasks 1 and 2. Then collaborate and come up with a way in which you can use these strategies beyond the classroom.

5. Go for It!

Strategy: Indirect affective, Encouraging yourself by taking risks wisely.

Aim: To help learners take reasonable risks regardless of the possibilities of making mistakes

Task 1: Ask your partner the questions below and then compare answers.

1. What is your definition of taking a risk wisely?

2. Considering your current level of linguistic ability, what would you say is a very challenging task for you? E.g. giving a talk in English, selling products to English speakers, etc…

Task 2: Read the following anecdote and answer the questions that follow.

Jeff Sonders moved to Spain to learn Spanish. After a couple of weeks in the country, he decided to take a risk and talk to a girl that he was really attracted to. Jeff had not yet developed enough social strategies in Spanish and the young girl laughed in his face and walked away. After this heartbreaking event, Jeff made a conscious effort to practice social strategies in Spanish. A short time after, Jeff approached another young girl that he liked and this resulted in a very long and meaningful relationship.
1. What did Jeff learn from the first risk he took?

2. How did Jeff use this experience to his advantage?

3. What did Jeff learn from his second risk?

4. What would you consider an unwise risk to take as far as language is concerned?

5. What five risks would you like to take in English?

6. Why didn’t you just Ask?

Strategy: Indirect social, Cooperating with proficient users of the new language.

Aims: To enhance communication with proficient users of the new language

Task 1: Fill in the following categories with role relationships in your life.

1. People who are very close to you: E.g. My children,

2. People who are kind of close to you:

3. People who are not very close to you:

4. People who are strangers:

Task 2: Of the relationships you filled in in task 1, which ones include native speakers of English? Which ones could you approach about helping you with a problem or curiosity you have about the language?

Task 3: Look at the following way for asking to help you out, then think about which ones you would use for the role relationships mentioned in task 1.

Help me out, please!Could you lend me a hand here?Do you think you can help me with this?Are you free?I need some serious help here.Tell me what this means.Could you tell me what this means, please?I need to know what this means.


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