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Using communicative activities to develop english speaking skills for elementary level student at pasal english center

HANOI OPEN UNIVERSITY
FACULTY OF ENGLISH

GRADUATION THESIS
B.A. DEGREE IN ENGLISH STUDIES
USING COMMUNICATIVE ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP ENGLISH
SPEAKING SKILLS FOR ELEMENTARY LEVEL STUDENTS AT
PASAL ENGLISH CENTER

Name of student

: Do Thi Ngan

Class

: 1271A03

Date of birth

: 21/04/1994


Supervisor

:Nguyen Thi Mai Huong, M.A

HANOI, 2016


DECLARATION
I here acknowledge that this study is mine. The data and findings discussed in
the thesis are true, used with permission from associates, and have not been
published elsewhere.

Hanoi, 14th April, 2016

Student

Supervisor

Do Thi Ngan

Nguyen Thi Mai Huong, M.A


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I would foremost like to thank my supervisor, Nguyen Thi Mai Huong
M.A. for giving me support, guideline and feedback when I carried out my
study.
I would like to thank all of teachers in Faculty of English at Hanoi
Open University who provideme with necessary help as well as good
suggestions whenever I get into trouble.
I would also like to send my special thanks to all the teachers and
students at Pasal English center who help me carry out the research.
Last but not least, I would like to extend my gratefulness to my family,
my friends and many others who continuously offer spiritual support and
encouragement during the process of doing this study.


TABLE OF CONTENTS
DECLARATION
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PART A: INTRODUCTION ....................................................................... 1
1. Rationale ................................................................................................ 1
2. Aims of the study................................................................................... 2
3. The research questions ......................................................................... 2
4. Scope of the study.................................................................................. 2
5. Methods of the stud ............................................................................... 2
6. Design of the study ................................................................................ 3
PART B: DEVELOPMENT ........................................................................ 4
CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW .................................................... 4
1.1. Speaking skills .................................................................................... 4
1.1.1. Definition of speaking skills ......................................................... 4
1.1.2. Types of speaking skills................................................................ 5
1.1.3. The importance of speaking skills ................................................. 6
1.1.4. Students’ motivation to participate in a speaking lesson ............... 6
1.2. A speaking lesson ............................................................................... 7
1.2.1. Stages of a speaking activity ......................................................... 7
1.2.2. Shape of a speaking lesson ........................................................... 8
1.3. Communicative activities ................................................................. 10
1.3.1. Definition of communicative activities ....................................... 10
1.3.2. Characteristics of communicative activities ................................ 11
1.3.3. The advantages and challenges of communicative activities ....... 13
1.3.4. Elements for successful communicative activities ...................... 14
Before Class ......................................................................................... 14
1.3.5. Some types communicative activities ......................................... 18


1.4. Roles of teacher in communicative activities .................................. 20
1.5. Some techniques for effective communicative activities ................ 20
CHAPTER II: THE STUDY ON USING COMMUNICATIVE
ACTIVITIES TO DEVELOP ENGLISH SPEAKING SKILLS OF
ELEMENTARY LEVEL STUDENTS AT PASAL ENGLISH CENTER
..................................................................................................................... 23
2.1. Settings.............................................................................................. 23
2.2. Participants....................................................................................... 23
2.2.1. The students................................................................................ 23
2.2.2. The teachers. ............................................................................... 23
2.3. Data collection methods ................................................................... 23
2.3.1. Class observation ........................................................................ 23
2.3.2. Questionnaires ............................................................................ 24
2.4. Research procedures ........................................................................ 24
2.5. Findings ............................................................................................ 25
2.5.1. Results from class observation and student’s questionnaire ........ 25
2.5.2. Results from class observation and teachers’ questionnaire ........ 31
2.6. Discussion ......................................................................................... 36
2.6.1. Students’ awareness towards four skills and speaking skills in
learning English ................................................................................... 37
2.6.2. Teachers’ and students’ favourite communicative activities ....... 38
2.6.3. Teachers’ and students’ perception towards the aims of
communicative activities ...................................................................... 39
2.6.4. Teachers’ sources of communicative activities used in speaking
lessons .................................................................................................. 39
2.6.5.

Difficulties

the

teachers

encounter

when

conducting

communicative activities in teaching speaking skills ............................ 40


CHAPTER III: SOME SUGGESTIONS IN RESOLVING
DIFFICULTIES THE ENCOUTERED BY THE TEACHERS AND
STUDENTS WHEN CONDUCTING COMMUNICATIVE
ACTIVITIES .............................................................................................. 43
3.1. Solutions for teachers ....................................................................... 43
3.1. 1. Students’ poor abilities of English ............................................. 43
3.1.2. Students’ shyness and passiveness .............................................. 44
3.1.3. Class size .................................................................................... 45
3.1.4. Class time limitation ................................................................... 45
3.1.5. The lack of facilities ................................................................... 46
3.2. Solutions for students ....................................................................... 46
3.2.1. Improving English ability ........................................................... 46
3.2.2. Improving confidence ................................................................. 49
PART C: CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS .................................. 51
APPENDIX ................................................................................................. 54
REFERNCES: ............................................................................................ 64


PART A: INTRODUCTION
1. Rationale
It is admitted that speaking a foreign language in general and English in
particular represents one of the essential requirements of today´s society.
Besides other skills and knowledge, speaking is considered as one of the most
influencing factors while applying for a job or sustaining in a particular work
position under the condition of advancing the language level. Thus, the
question of how to teach English effectively becomes more and more
necessary and requires relevant answers. English teaching and learning have
the goal of focusing students so that they are able to use English for
communication and as a tool for furthering their studies. In the process of
teaching and learning, the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading,
and writing) are simultaneously performed. Many Vietnamese learners tend to
concentrate so much on grammar or writing that they possess inability in
communicating appropriately and naturally. This leads to learners’ lack of
self-confidence and avoidance when communicating with native English
speakers.
According to many teaching theorists, speaking skills can be developed
through communicative activities which include an information gap, a jigsaw
puzzle, games, problem-solving, and Role-playing. In addition, supporting
this idea that there are some activities that can assist better speaking skills are
free discussion and role-playing.Also, stated that the language activities are
important factors in teaching language for communication. Activities help
create interaction in the language classroom. Additionally, communicative
activities can motivate the learners and establish good relationships between
the teacher and the students as well as among the students thereby
encouraging a supportive environment for language learning.

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On basis of these theories, I would like to conduct a research to clarify
the influences of using some communicative activities on teaching English
speaking skills for elementary students at Pasal English center in order to
apply in other teaching environments.
2.Aims of the study
The research aims to:
- Realize the reality of applying communicative activities in speaking
classes of elementary level students at Pasal English Center – benefits and
challenges.
- Find out some solutions for difficulties in teaching and learning
process.
- Suggest some implications for practicing communicative activities.
3. The research questions
- What is the real practice of teaching and learning English in speaking
classes of elementary level students at Pasal English Center?
- What are the benefits and challenges of applying communicative
activities in speaking lessons?
- How to apply communicative activities to learning English?
4. Scope of the study
In the frame of the study, the application of communicative activities
will be studied but the writer would not mention all fields related to
communicative activities. Particularly, the study focuses on the benefits and
challenges of the application for elementary level students at Pasal English
Center.
5. Methods of the study
The study has employed some research methods as main means for the
fulfillment. The first one is the literature search to clarify some definition

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refer to speaking skills and communicative activities. The second one is the
collective method. Some famous author’s opinion about communicative
activities will be viewed. The third are qualitative and quantitative methods
used in this paper to analyze and summarize documents. In addition, the
statistic method has been applied with the purpose of giving a brief look at
communicative activities to readers by collecting materials and systematizing
information from these materials.
6.Design of the study
The study is divided into three parts with three chapters and references:
PART A: INTRODUCTION includes rationale, aims and objectives,
scopes of the study, methods of the study, design of the study.
PART B: DEVELOPMENT consists of three chapters entitled as
follow:
- Chapter I: Literature review: deals with the concepts relevant to the
study: speaking skills, speaking lesson and communicative activities.
- Chapter II: The study on using communicative activities to develop
English speaking skills of elementary level students at Pasal English Center, the
current situation of teaching and learning speaking skills at Pasal English Center.
- Chapter III: Some suggestions in applying communicative activities
to teach English speaking skills.
PART C: CONCLUSION:Summarizes all the key issues as well as
the limitations of the study and suggestions for further study.

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PART B: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER I: LITERATURE REVIEW
1.1.Speaking skills
1.1.1.Definition of speaking skills
Oxford dictionaries define “Speaking is the action of conveying
information or expressing one’s feelings in speech”. In addition, Speaking is
"the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and
non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts" (Chaney, 1998).
According to Ladouse (in Nunan, 1991: 23) speaking is described as
the activity as the ability to express oneself in the situation, or the activity to
report acts, or situation in precise words or the ability to converse or to
express a sequence of ideas fluently.
Wallace (1978:98) stated that oral practice (speaking) becomes
meaningful to students when they have to pay attention what they are saying.
Thus, the students can learn better on how to require the ability to converse or
to express their ideas fluently with precise vocabularies and good or
acceptable pronunciation.
Speaking is the productive skill. It could not be separated from
listening. When we speak we produce the text and it should be meaningful. In
the nature of communication, we can find the speaker, the listener, the
message and the feedback. Speaking could not be separated from
pronunciation as it encourages learners to learn the English sounds.
Speaking ability is the students’ ability in expressing their ideas orally
which is represented by the scores of speaking. Speaking is only an oral trail
of abilities that it got from structure and vocabulary, Freeman (in Risnadedi,
2001: 56-57) stated that speaking ability more complex and difficult than

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people assume, and speaking study like study other cases in study of
language, naturalize many case to language teachers.
Speaking skills has many different aspects including two major
categories – accuracy, involving the correct use of vocabulary, grammar and
pronunciation practiced through controlled and guided activities; and, fluency
considered to be “the ability to keep going when speaking spontaneously”
(Harmer, 2001). Bryne, D. (1986) additionally declares that accuracy refers to
the use of correct forms where utterances do not contain errors affecting the
phonological, syntactic and semantic or discourse features of a language;
fluency may be defined as the ability to get across communicative intent
without too much hesitation and too many pauses to cause barriers or a
breakdown in communication. In this case, instant correction may be
inappropriate and could interfere with the aims of the speaking activity.
1.1.2.Types of speaking skills
Interactive:There are three kinds of speaking skills in which we find
ourselves.
Interactive speaking situations include face-to-face conversations and
telephone calls, in which we are alternatively listening and speaking and in
which we have chance to ask for clarification, repetition, or slower speech
from our conversation partners.
Partially interactive:Some speaking situations are partially interactive,
such as when giving a speech to a live audience, where the contention is that
the audience does not interrupt the speech. The speaker, nevertheless, can see
the audience and judge from the expressions on their faces and body language
whether or not he or she is being understood.
Non-interactive: Some few speaking situations may be totally noninteractive, such as when recording a speech for a radio broadcast.

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1.1.3.The importance of speaking skills
The capacity to put words together in a meaningful way to reflect
thoughts, opinions, and feelings provides the speaker with these important
advantages:
• Ability to inform, persuade, and direct. Speaking clearly and
confidently can gain the attention of an audience, providing the golden
opportunity for the speaker to make the message known. Wise is the speaker
who gains and then holds the attention of an audience, with well-chosen
words in a well-delivered presentation, forming a message that is effective,
informative, and understood.
• Ability to stand out from the rest. The ability to stand before others
and speak effectively is not an ordinary ability. Many people are afraid of
public speaking; others have little ability to form thoughts into sentences and
then deliver those words in a believable way. A speaker whose skills are
honed and developed with constant application and hard work can stand out.
• Career enhancement. Employers have always valued the ability to
speak well. It is, and always will be, an important skill, and well worth the
effort in fully developing.
Speaking skills are important for career success, but certainly not limited
to one’s professional aspirations. Speaking skills can enhance one’s personal
life, thereby bringing about the well-rounded growth we should all seek.
1.1.4. Students’ motivation to participate in a speaking lesson
When students learn a foreign language, they very often accumulate a
lot of knowledge (grammatical rules, lists of vocabulary items), but then they
find out that they cannot actually use this language to communicate when they
want to. Scrivener (2005, 147) claims that there seems to be some difficulty in
moving language from passive knowledge into active usage. Without

6


experience in using the language, learners may tend to be nervous about
trying to say things. Partly they may fear seeming foolish in front of others,
they may worry about getting things wrong they may want to avoid teacher’s
comments or correction and so on. It takes quite a long time for some students
to express themselves, which leads to long embarrassing pauses while
learners are trying to find out how to say what they really want to say.
1.2. A speaking lesson
1.2.1. Stages of a speaking activity
A teacher plays specific roles in different stages of learning process:
The Presentation Stage:
This is also known as the pre-activity of the lesson where the teacher
introduces something new to be learned. At this stage, teacher’s main task is
to serve as a kind of informant.
+ You know the language.
+ You select new material to be learned.
+ You present this in such a way that the meaning of the new language
is as clear and memorable as possible.
Students listen and try to understand. Although they can say very little
in this stage, except when invited to join in, they are by no means passive.
The teachers should take notice of spending so much time on presenting so
that students do not have enough time to practice speaking themselves.
The practice stage:
At the practice stage, it is the student’s turn to do most of the talking,
while teacher’s task is to divide and provide the maximum the amount of
practice, which must at the same time be meaningful, authentic and
memorable. This stage is also called While (or Main) Activity or Speaking
Activity Stage.

7


At this stage, the teacher should do the minimum amount of talking
yourself. Be a skillful conductor, giving each performers chance to participate
and monitoring theirs performance to see that it is satisfactory.
Production Stage:
At any level of attainment, the students need to be given regular and
frequent chances to use language freely, even they sometimes make mistakes.
This is not to say that mistakes are unimportant, but rather the free expression
is more important.
It is through opportunities to use language as they wish that they are
aware that they have learned something useful and are encouraged to go on
learning. Thus, in providing the students with opportunities for free
expression, teacher should play the role of a manager, guide or adviser.
1.2.2.Shape of a speaking lesson
Three main stages of a speaking lesson are: pre-speaking, whilespeaking and post- speaking. There is no exact time for each stage in a skills
lesson in general and a speaking lesson in particular; however, the teacher
should notice that most of the time must be for while stage, which gives
students enough time for practicing speaking skill.
- Pre-speaking stage (Presentation stage):
The stage prepares students for getting them to think about the topic or
situation before they speak about it. Pre-speaking tasks can be: discussion or
brainstorming, where students collect all their ideas on the topic; vocabulary
preparation,

where

the

teacher pre-teaches key vocabulary to aid

comprehension; prediction, where students guess what they may learn about. A
good pre-speaking is also necessary to involve integrating skills, maybe
listening and sometimes reading (for example, an information gap text). This
stage should be kept short, about 10 minutes equivalent the presentation stage

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of a Grammar lesson, but giving enough time for students to assimilate to what
they are going to speak. Warm-up activities may be included in this stage.
In this stage, the teacher’s role is to get students think about what they
are going to speak before they speak. The teacher will have to set up the Pretask and his/her clear instructions are required.
- While-speaking stage (Practice stage): This stage is the time for
students to practice speaking. The teacher does not have to do a lot of things
because students will be working on the while tasks individually or in pairs, in
groups. When working on the tasks, they may have some difficulties because
of a lack of language variety; therefore, during this stage, the teacher may
monitor and assist weaker students with their difficulties in completing while
tasks instead. Also, the teacher needs to evaluate how well students have
completed the tasks and whether they are ready to go to the next stage or not.
Activities called communicative ones are truly essential to be applied
in this stage for the purpose of helping students practice speaking skill. They
can be a role play, a game or a discussion. Depending on the lesson and the
classroom condition, the teacher will choose and set up the suitable activities
for students.
- Post-speaking stage (Personalization stage):
After students have practiced speaking skill in the while stage, they
may do an extension activity in this stage. This helps students take the
information or whatever they have produced in the previous stage and do
something meaningful with it. The post task is usually “an information
transfer” – a production type of exercise where they respond to what they
have just learnt. They respond in the way that relating what they have learnt
to their own experience. For instance, if they talk about a world famous
football player in the while stage, they may talk or write about their own

9


favorite one in this follow-up stage. Writing is a very appropriate integrating
skill for this stage. If students conduct a questionnaire on their friends in the
while task, they may write up the results in a short paragraph, for example.
1.3. Communicative activities
1.3.1. Definition of communicative activities
Richards defines that CLT can be understood as a set of principles
about the goal of language teaching, how learners learn a language, the kind
of classroom activities that best facilitate learning, and the role of teachers
and learners in the classroom.
The term CLT, in fact, covers a variety of approaches that all focus on
helping learners to communicate meaningfully in a target language rather than
a single methodology. These approaches parade under the general label
“communicative”, all of which characterize language teaching as the
development of communicative skills (Nunan, 1991: 78). CLT sets its goal to
teach the learners the communicative competence and this approach does a lot
to expand on the goal of creating communicative competence compared to
earlier method that focused on the same objective. Teaching students how to
use the language can be seen as important as learning the language itself.
According to Brown “We are exploring pedagogical means for ‘real
life’ communication in the classroom” and “We are concerned with how to
facilitate lifelong language learning among our students, not just with the
immediate classroom task”( 1994: 77)
There are many interpretations of what CLT actually means and
involves. However there are still some misconceptions about CLT. “Many
teachers of English believe that CLT means not teaching grammar, or CLT
means teaching only speaking not writing, listening and reading” (Thompson,
1996). As a result, this approach may be applied inappropriately.

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Although the various definitions of CLT have been offered, all of these
also claim that the goal of teaching language is to develop learners’
communicative competence which involves the ability to use the language
appropriately to a social context. These components can be seen as linguistic
competence, sociolinguistic competence, discourse competence, and strategic
competence. In order to help readers see what CLT means deeply and
completely, some characteristics of CLT would be addressed in the next
section.
1.3.2. Characteristics of communicative activities
Savignon (2001) claims that “the problem at present is that some of the
activities being introduced as communicative activities are not communicative
at all but structure drills in disguise”. Thus many teachers may think that the
activities they design and use in class are communicative, but actually they
are not. Therefore the features that make a real communicative activity should
be focused on.
Based on related views about communicative activities, Sun & Cheng
(2000) summarizes three common features as follows:
- Communicative activities are task-based. Task-based English teaching
concentrates on communicative tasks that learners need to engage in outside
the classroom.
- Communicative activities are learner-centered. The emphasis of
teaching activity is on students’ initiation and interaction. Students are
expected to participate in the activities as real people and take responsibility
for their learning.
- Communicative activities emphasize the use of authentic language
input and the teacher’s native or near native language competence in order to
produce communication in the classroom. Activities that are truly

11


communicative

also

have

three

features

in

common;

they

are

information gap, choice and feedback (Morrow, 1981).
- An information gap exists when one person in an exchange knows
something the other person does not. For instance, if two students both know
today is Tuesday and one asks the other “What is today?” and he/she answers
“Tuesday”, their exchange is not really communicative.
- Speakers’ choices in communication are very important. Speakers
should have a choice of what they will say and how they will say it. If the
teacher’s activity is tightly controlled so that students can only say something
in one way; they have no choice and the exchange; therefore, seems not to be
communicative.
- True communication is purposeful. A speaker can thus evaluate
whether or not his/her purpose has been achieved based on the information
he/she receives from his/her listener. If the listener does not have an
opportunity to provide the speaker with such feedback, then the exchange is
not really communicative.
From these features, it may be easier to distinguish between
communicative

activities

and

non-communicative

activities.

In

a

communicative activity, students must have a desire to communicate, and
there must be some communicative purposes to their communication. Their
attention, of course, will be focused on the content of what they are saying
rather than the form. They will use a wide variety of language, and the teacher
will not intervene by telling students they have made mistakes in their English
or correcting their pronunciation. The teacher would not expect the materials
which students were using would control their language. For noncommunicative activities, there will be no desire to communicate, nor will
students have a communicative purpose. Students are involved in repetition or

12


substitution drills so that they can be motivated by the need to attain accuracy,
not by a desire to achieve a communicative objective. In these activities, the
emphasis will be on the form of the language, not the content. As a result, the
teacher will ensure accuracy, and the materials used will often designed to
concentrate on a particular item of language. We can represent the
distinguishing features between the two types of activities in the following
ways:
Communicative activities

Non – communicative activities

A communicative purpose

No communicative purpose

A desire to communicate

No desire to communicate

Content not form

Form not content

Variety of language

One language item

No teacher intervention

Teacher intervention

No materials control

Materials control

1.3.3. The advantages and challenges of communicative activities
Advantages

Challenges



More exposure to Target Language

• Teachers



More authentic opportunities to

support and what support needs to be

USE the language

need to know how to offer

offered. This can mean more time is



Fun and interesting for learners

needed for planning and preparation of



Provides opportunity to use

activities.

authentic materials

• Communicative

activities can pose

challenges in assessment
• Learners

can be resistant- especially

if they are accustomed to teachercentered styles of teaching

13


1.3.4. Elements for successful communicative activities
According to Steven Tait, M.Ed. TESOL
Most of us recognize that communicative activities are great opportunities
for learning. But what goes in to making a communicative activity a success?
The truth is, the success of communicative pair and group work activities is
almost always determined by the work the teacher does before the students begin
the activity itself. This includes both what is done by the teacher before the class
starts and what is done in class to set up the task.
Before looking at the role of the teacher, it might be worth clarifying
what is meant by "communicative activities". These are fluency-based
activities. While such activities may involve students practicing a particular
grammatical form, they are likely to do more than this. The key element is
that the activity is based around a realistic situation. This could be anything
from an encounter in a department store, to a group of friends discussing
holiday plans. Within this kind of context, the students should be required to
negotiate for meaning. This is likely to require multiple turn taking.
Before Class
It is often helpful for teachers to ask themselves a few questions when
preparing for communicative activities:
What can I do to set the scene/create a context?
Try to picture a realistic situation where the language forms you have
been teaching might be used. Try to imagine both the location of the
conversation and the relationship between those involved.
What is the purpose of the task?
Within the context that you have thought of, try to imagine why the
participants would be talking. What would their objectives be? How do you
think they would respond to each other? For example, if the task involves

14


giving advice to a sick friend, perhaps he or she has already considered some
of the friend's suggestions.
How can I generate interest in the activity?
There is no doubt that activities go better when students are interested
in them. Depending on the activity, there are various ways you can generate
student interest. Providing personal examples may be helpful. Modeling the
activity in an enthusiastic way may help. Having students reflect on similar
experiences they are familiar with may also work.
Will the students require preparation time?
Most research these days suggests that students perform better if they
have been given preparation time. This is pretty logical when you think about
it. Without preparation time, students are required to do two things at once:
use their English language resources effectively and be creative. Preparation
time can often take care of some of the pressure that comes with having to be
creative while using the language spontaneously.
What type of groupings will be appropriate?
Would the activity work best with students in pairs or groups? Should
they be seated or stood? Should they be faced to each other?
What type of exchanges should the students is expected to
produce?
This may well be the most crucial element of the planning process.
Perhaps the best way to gain a sense of the language the students will need to
produce in order to complete the activity is to write out a sample dialogue.
Communicative activities often throw up language needs for which the class
work has not prepared the students. Writing out a sample dialogue can often
highlight these needs. It can also enable the teacher to get a sense of potential
demands/pitfalls in the activity. This kind of planning allows the teacher to

15


identify potentially useful conversational gambits, and to consider what is
needed to ensure a reasonably natural flow to the conversation.
In Class
Once the teacher enters the classroom, the process of preparing the
students for the activity begins. Following are a few stages that teachers (and
students) might find helpful.


Set the scene and generate interest: For example, this might be the

time to introduce a personal anecdote related to the communicative activity. It
is also important to make sure students know where they will be talking, who
they will be talking to, and why they will be talking.


Model preparatory task: If the teacher has decided to allow

planning time, it might be worth demonstrating how this time is to be used. For
example, the teacher might begin creating a list of suggestions for a sick friend.


Student preparation time: The students write while the teacher

monitors.


Modeling: T-S, S-T, S-S. This is perhaps the most crucial element

for successful communicative activities. It can be used:
- To show target language in action and elicit relevant language.
- To clarify/illustrate the requirements or the objective of the task.
- To add useful/necessary conversational gambits.
- To highlight the type of conversational framework needed.
- To identify potential problem areas.
- To gauge the students' readiness to begin the activity.
- To build student confidence.


Pair working: Monitor, interrupting only if students really get

stuck. Monitor in order to:
a) aid the flow of conversation when necessary,

16


b) identify any common errors or areas of breakdown,
c) offer encouragement, and
d) recognize when best to change the pairings.


Deal with problems: While you do not want to interrupt students in

the middle of a conversation, error correction can still be done effectively.
Write typical problems that you have heard on the board. After conversations
have been completed, draw attention to these problems. Encourage the
students to offer suggestions for solving the problems.


Pair working: New pairings. By repeating the activity with a new

partner, students can attempt to incorporate the corrections and suggestions
made during the previous stage.


Conclusion: Have students report on their findings. They can either

report to a new student or to the teacher. This final stage tends to bring a
sense of closure to the activity.
Communicative Activities: Some Useful Ingredients
Every communicative activity is different. It will not always be
necessary (or appropriate or practical) to use all of these "ingredients".
Finally, it is also worth remembering that the way a lesson actually unfolds
will always be influenced by the students themselves. It pays to be alert and
flexible.


Identify a "realistic" communicative context or situation.



Identify a clear objective or purpose.



Ensure there is an "information gap" or "opinion gap".



Generate student interest.



Allow student preparation time if necessary.



Be aware of the likely conversational framework or format.



Be aware of any useful/relevant conversational gambits.

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Model, model, model.



Determine appropriate student groupings.



Monitor.



Involve students in the self-correction of errors.



Provide a sense of conclusion.

1.3.5. Some types communicative activities
- Information gap activities
Using a broad definition for the concept, information gap activities
require students to communicate with each other to solve a problem or
complete a task. In these activities, individual students do not have all of the
information needed to achieve the activity’s goal, which creates a “gap” that
can only be overcome by speaking with other students to exchange
information. The missing information required to complete the activity can
be facts, opinions, or details related to textual, audio, or visual content.
The most common information gap activity is spotting the differences
in the pictures, exchanging personal information, guessing games and also
creating the story based on flashcards shown to the students in random order,
for a few seconds and one flashcard per group only. This makes the students
cooperate and communicate with each other to find the lacking information.
- Discussions
Discussions are commonly used activities in speaking lessons. A topic
is introduced to the students via a reading or a listening passage and then they
are asked to discuss a related topic in order to come up with a solution or a
response. Celce-Murcia (2001) mentions that students need to be reminded
that each person within a group should have a specific responsibility in the
discussion – either keeping time, taking notes or reporting the results made by
the group members.

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- Role plays
A widely spread and one of the best communicative activities is a role
play which trains students in the classroom to deal with unpredictable real-life
conversation in an English speaking environment. Ladousse (1987) points out
the special reasons for using the role play in the lessons. It puts students in
situations in which they are required to use and develop language necessary in
social relationships and also helps them to build up their social skills. Using
role plays is useful especially while teaching shy students who have difficulty
to participate in conversation about them. Through this activity they are put
into various roles and no longer feel that their own personality is implicated.
A role play is an essential communicative activity which develops fluency,
promotes interaction in the classroom and increases motivation.
- Class surveys
A class survey is an activity where all the learners in the group need to
ask each other questions to find information, which they then need to analyze
and report back to the class. Doing surveys can be a useful way of getting
students to interact, produce question forms, collect and analyze real
information. In the classroom, class surveys can have various aims and
functions: as warmers, as ice-breakers for new classes, as pre-reading
activities, to provide freer practice of target language, as tasks etc. The key
qualities of surveys are that they are communicative and dynamic.
- Games
Games and fun activities are a vital part of teaching English as a
foreign language. Whether teachers are teaching adults or children, games
will liven up their lesson and ensure that their students will leave the
classroom wanting more.

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