Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondHello, everybody, and welcome to our Week 3 review. Hello, everyone. It's Week 3, and we're almost halfway through, are we? Yeah. And this week it's all been about communication skills, about reading, writing, speaking, and listening. And we've had lots of contributions from everybody. And people are replying to each other. So it's just not us having to reply all the time, which is good. And so Monica, round up some key points from this week. It's been a really rich week this week in terms of the comments that people are making. Lots of people said that the skills are interrelated, so reading, writing, listening, speaking are interrelated.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsLots of people mention, actually, that there is also body language, and mime, and gesture are a part of communication. That's true. That's true. We asked people to group the skills, didn't we? We put them together into pairs. And a lot of people grouped them into productive skills, speaking and writing, and receptive skills, reading and listening. Some people did it a little bit differently. Emma, for example, said that reading and writing for her go together because you've got more time to think when you read and write where speaking and listening happen in real time. That right, and somebody else mentioned that there were output skills and input skills, which I thought was interesting.

Skip to 1 minute and 16 secondsThat's right, and actually John Bennett made an interesting comment. He said that we listen 45% of the time, and we only speak 30% of the time. And listening is, therefore, very important, and people need to give more attention to listening. And if you think about it, Marie Therese, we've got two ears and one mouth, so - So double important. Double important. Double the number of bits to do it with. There was one concept, though, that I didn't agree. There were lots of people that said that reading and listening are passive skills. But they're not, absolutely not. Our brain is working very hard when we're reading and listening.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 secondsA lot of processing, a lot of imagining, a lot of trying to make sense of it. Yeah. Absolutely. And when we were talking about reading and listening, we talked about subskills. And there was a little bit of confusion sometimes over what is skim reading, which is just getting a general idea and reading for detail. And so I brought an example. I thought you could do an example - All right. - For everybody to demonstrate what it is. So I have an article here, which is called, "Why cows carry more weight than the Met Office for Weather Forecasts". First of all, tell me what you think this article is going to be about.

Skip to 2 minutes and 35 secondsI think it's about people's beliefs, maybe, about cows and the weather. OK, fine, so what skill was that? That's predicting. Predicting, exactly. And this is a natural skill that we do in our first language. So now, can you look again at the article. Read it really, really quickly, and tell me what you think it's about in general.

Skip to 2 minutes and 58 secondsSo this is about a survey of the old wives tales that people believe about the weather. Oh, OK. Things that tell you what the weather is going to like tomorrow, which aren't very scientific. So what were you doing then? Were you reading every single word? No, I was just skimming through looking for a general idea. Exactly, exactly. So this is skim reading or reading for gist, sometimes called global reading. So this article has something about cows in it.

Skip to 3 minutes and 30 secondsCan you read it again, and this time, tell me what it is about the cows? Is it - Oh, OK. - About all what you said it was about, old wives' tales. Old wives' tales, yeah, various old wives' tales like Red Sky at Night. But there's something here about cows, and that's the old wives' tale that cows lie down when it's about to rain. Apparently 61% believe this to be an accurate way of forecasting rain. Wow. And the Met Office, that's the weather office in the UK, say that's absolutely false. Oh really. Yeah. OK, That's interesting. So the second time you read it, did you read every single word?

Skip to 4 minutes and 3 secondsI did in that little bit, yes, to find out about the cows because you asked me. OK, great. And you always do what I ask. So that's reading for detail then because you're reading and you're getting absolutely the maximum amount of information from the text. So Monica, this is the front of the newspaper. How much is it? It's �1.60. It's always in the top corner, the price. So did you read every single word? I certainly didn't. I just went for the information that you wanted. Exactly, so what kind of reading is that? That is scanning, which is - Exactly, scanning, or if we were talking about listening, it's listening or reading for specific information.

Skip to 4 minutes and 40 secondsSo you're not reading any of the other words at all. You're only looking for that one thing. Yeah. So anyway, I hope that clears it up, anybody who had a bit of confusion about the terminology. And why can't we use scanning for listening? Ah, because we've got two ears. And also we scan with - With our eyes. - Our eyes. Yeah, you can't scan with your ears. No, no, ears don't have eyes. [INTERPOSING VOICES] Yeah, OK, grand. And so what else did we talk about this week? Oh, Claudine, I wanted to mention because she had a really nice way of dealing with this subskill thing. She said that when we read a novel, she doesn't remember exact details.

Skip to 5 minutes and 20 secondsShe gets an impression of a scene with the smells, and the sounds, and the movements, and I think that really conjures up the gist reading or the skim reading idea. And when she listens to a song, she gets a vague emotion or a global feeling. So again, I think this sums up the gist idea whereas she says if she's reading a recipe, then she reads every single word because she needs to know what goes in to - Sometimes people say, don't they, oh, I don't read like that. For example, Claude said when he reads a novel, he reads every single detail. But he's always getting parking tickets because he doesn't read for detail when he should.

Skip to 6 minutes and 2 secondsSo sometimes our reading preferences are slightly different, but the principles are the same. I think, so yes. And what other things? Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention, which was mentioned by Sos Gram. I'm sorry. Pronunciation is not so good. And this is about giving specific tasks. So we know we read things in different ways, and when we bring listening or reading texts to class, we know what it is that we want to help students to do. And the way that we can help students to do it is to bring specific tasks that help them to develop specific skills.

Skip to 6 minutes and 43 secondsSo the thing that makes reading and listening boring and useless in class is to give the students a text and say, here you go. Read it. And I'll go have a cup of coffee. Or I'll sit here and fiddle about with my pens. And you read it. And then afterwards, I ask questions. Well, we're not guiding or directing the students into any specific skills development. So task before texts, with listening and with reading, direct the students, help them, guide them to understand the texts. I think also a lot of people may be the very important point is that the task, the text, is got to be interesting. Oh, absolutely.

Skip to 7 minutes and 23 secondsAmar and Rabbia said, just listen to something interesting, giving advice to the people. Go and something interesting to watch or to listen to. Yeah, absolutely. So that's kind of receptive skills we talked about, and we also had people talking about productive skills. And I had a contribution from Simon who brought us into the 21st century with writing activities, saying that using iPhones or mobile devices and apps really engaged students in writing activities. And I wanted to tell you about one of my teachers, who I observed last weekend, who did a writing activity where she created a Padlet.

Skip to 8 minutes and 10 secondsAnd the students logged into her Padlet in class, and they wrote about their hobbies, about the things that they did in their hobbies without saying what the hobbies were. And then when they all finished their writing, she put them up on the board. And they came up to the board, and they read about each other's hobbies. And they had to guess what they were. The students were absolutely engaged. They were engaged in writing. They were engaged in the sharing, helping each other with words And stuff. And they were engaged in coming up to the board and guessing. And reading. Yes, reading. That's, again, the integrated skill, isn't it? Exactly.

Skip to 8 minutes and 46 secondsAnd a lot of people mention that, the idea of something going from writing to listening or writing to reading, that takes just to speaking, doesn't it, because I think Emma mentioned where we had that activity where they had to do the role- play between the parents and the children who weren't doing their homework [INTERPOSING VOICES] come home from school. And she said that could lead into a nice writing activity where you agree rules would be. But I think with the role play, the points people who are making there, which are all very important, was the importance of preparation.

Skip to 9 minutes and 15 secondsAnd with a role play, it's important that people know what their role is, that they have some vocabulary, maybe some structures that they can use, but also preparation time. Because if you just going cold to a role play, you're dry up and not know what to say. But any kind of speaking activity, actually. If it's a discussion activity, if it's an interview, any kind of speaking activity, I think the winner in a speaking activity is the preparation time. And don't stuff it in for the last 15 minutes and say, right, you're going to do a discussion about the weather. Go ahead discuss. Give the students thinking time. Somebody actually on the MOOC mentioned about thinking time.

Skip to 9 minutes and 53 secondsReally, really important - give them thinking time. Give them preparation time. And get them to do it. Do the role-play once. Give them a little bit of feedback, and then get them to do it again. So the first one is like a rehearsal. Exactly. So people are, oh, I have done that then. I've done this speaking activity. But actually, the second time the students - they know their stuff a bit better. They've had a bit of feedback on their language. They're much, much better prepared, so think about doing speaking activities more than once. And the students won't object to it because I've talked about the weather more than once in my life.

Skip to 10 minutes and 32 secondsYeah, I think we're going to do lots about speaking and writing in the Q&A next week. We're going to a little bit about that, yes. Because there are a few questions about that, so maybe we can leave that. And should we go on now to our quote of the week. Quote of the week! Yes, my quote of week is from Anastasia. And Anastasia's says that reading, writing, listening, and speaking are members of one family, and if you leave one out, then the family won't be complete. Every member is important, and every member has his own responsibility. And only together can they form a friendly family. I thought that was lovely. That's really nice.

Skip to 11 minutes and 10 secondsI've got a quote Svetlana she said it was like a painter's palette. Oh. So reading, writing, and listening - You choose the colours and you mix them up, so that was nice. But there were a couple of kind of stories I want to - Oh gosh, here we go. So it was Vivianna who told a lovely story about her grandmother when she emigrated to America. And she arrived in America as an Italian speaker with no English, and she wanted to buy eggs. So she mimed being a chicken. That's definitely a communication skill. That was really lovely. And Bianca had a lovely strategy. So this is a maybe new thing we can do Marie Therese, is strategy. End of week strategy.

Skip to 11 minutes and 44 secondsEnd of week strategy. Bianca said that what she does that she sits in public places like a cafe and just listens in to people's conversations when she was learning German. And Bianca, that really reminded me of when I was a young girl in Germany, my first teaching job, learning German. And I sat on a train, and I learned the third conditional in German by listening to someone on the train saying, Wenn ich einen D-Zug genommen h�tte... which is a subjunctive. And I learned that by listening in. What does that mean? If I'd taken a D train... Ah. Because the train was late. Fantastic. That's a really nice strategy. Listening in to conversations. And it's free listening comprehension. Free listening comprehension.

Skip to 12 minutes and 23 secondsAnd you get to get out as well. OK, so next week Marie Therese. So next week we are on Week 4, aren't we, and we're talking about language. So we're doing grammar, vocabulary, and phonology. So next week is a very important week. We love language, don't we, Marie Therese. We do. And so we ought to talk about the - Profile. - The profile this week. We're putting up a profile about China and what it's like to work in China because there are lots of people who said they were interested in that in Week 1. And that's about it everybody. Thank you very much. See you next week. See you next week.

Video review of Week 3

In this video, the educators look back from all around the world at some of the main talking points of this week. The video will appear here on Friday 21st of July at about 3pm (UK time).

You can find our profile about teaching in China here or in the ‘Downloads’ section below.

Add your comments and questions below.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Exploring the World of English Language Teaching

Cambridge Assessment English

Contact FutureLearn for Support