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Why This Approach Is Ideal To Deal With Language Skills

Teachers of EFL can deal with language skills in two different ways – two different instructional approaches:

1. Some teachers integrate the language skills together during instruction.

The skills are interwoven and fastened ideally as they are in everyday life for the purpose of communication.

2. Other teachers segregate the language skills during instruction.

The skills are isolated and non-interactive. The emphasis is on one skill at a time in the

classroom; and no actual communication through the language takes place.

The first instructional approach is known as Integrated-skill Approach; while the second is known as Segregated-skill Approach.

Segregated-skill Approach

It is an instructional approach in which the focus of instruction is on only one skill, or at best two skills at a time in the language classroom.

Instruction is intentionally oriented toward the development of only that skill. The development of the other skills is merely an unexamined by-product.

This approach is also known as “language-based instruction” because the specific skills of the language itself – rather than communication – are the focus of study.

Why This Approach Is Not Ideal To Deal With Language Skills

  • Mastery of separate language skills is seen as the key to successful learning.
  • There is a separation of language learning from content learning.
  • The focus is on the language itself as a language.
  • Language is taught as an end in itself rather than a means to achieve authentic interaction and communication.
  • Memorization rather than understanding is the primary process in this kind of instruction.

Integrated-skill Approach

It is an instructional approach in which the teacher’s primary goal is to help students develop communicative competence.

This primary goal requires the use of normal, real-life communicative language, which in turn presupposes the integration of the four language skills.

The desired final outcome is a person who is capable of using language effectively, appropriately and accurately in a variety of settings.

Skill integration is the linking of the four main language skills in addition to the subsidiary skills during instruction for the purpose of real communication.

Why This Approach Is Ideal To Deal With Language Skills

  • In this approach, the skills are interlocked ideally as they are in everyday life.
  • The four language skills are taught in a coherent way, and practiced together, with a distinction of the importance of one upon the other.
  • Practice with any given skill strengthens the other skills as well.

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