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Let's Talk, Teens!
- Let's Talk, Teens!
- Issue Date
- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Candice A. MacDonald
There is a strong demand for communicating in English in South Korea, but English has mainly been taught with grammar translation methods, with a lack of focus on communicative competence. To help language learners learn how to use English in communicative contexts, Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) is becoming more of a trend in Korean private schools in which English is taught progressively more in English. (Richards, 2006). This Textbook seeks to address this issue by engaging teen aged students, attending private institutes, in meaningful speaking activities and tasks.
The target students are a group of 10 (mixed gender) in Seoul, that I currently teach, and they have been taught English in English for at least 5 to 7 years. The class takes place twice a week for 60 minutes and they are at a low advanced to advanced level according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. Most of them are confident in speaking English.
The problem I noticed with these students is a lack of motivation due to the lack of culturally relevant topics in their textbooks that are mainly published in the USA or UK. Despite their fluency, students are often reluctant to speak English due to the lack of opportunity to actively participate and produce the language in classroom discussions and activities.
In this Textbook, CLT is employed to involve learners in the dynamic and interactive process of communication (Sauvignon, 1987). This Textbook uses engaging and culturally relevant topics and encourages students to work together to foster a cooperative and communicative classroom environment. They are expected to engage in a variety of meaning-focused activities such as task-completion, opinion-sharing, and information-gathering activities in which they will learn how to use English in real life situations. While learners are doing their activities, they will be paired or grouped to produce a greater amount of language, have the chance to develop fluency, and increase their motivational level (Richards, 2006).
Expected outcomes and conclusion
By studying with this Textbook, students should be able to speak more confidently in English and learn how to negotiate meaning, expand their language resources, and notice how language is used in different contexts. Through the interesting topics employed in this Textbook, students will be encouraged to participate in English class. It will be easier for them to activate their background knowledge on the topics with which they are familiar in a Korean context. It will provide the students better opportunities to use their English skills, and build communication strategies that should lead them to the successful completion of the final projects at the end of the Textbook.
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