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- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Candice A. MacDonald
- 1. Introduction
This four skills English textbook is designed to support new university graduates seeking to develop their English fluency in order to apply for jobs in South Korea or abroad. According to a recent research done by JOBKOREA, English communicative competency has been considered one of the most important factors among Koreans for entering the workforce. In many cases, in an English interview process, they are required to read passages and discuss a variety of topics. Post-hiring, in most cases, in their new jobs, many of them will have to have the communicative competence to not only be able to read and talk about job-related issues, but also communicate appropriately with native speakers from varied countries. Besides English proficiency, Jeon and Kim (2005) also claim that HR managers, in the interview process, are quite interested in the candidates’ ability to speak and respond instinctively. In other words, it is likely that interviewees need to be more exposed to real communicative language learning environments. Korean students; however, have spent a great deal of time and resources on teacher-centered and rote-memorization instruction (Joh, 2002; McGuire, 2007). Jung (2018) also finds that although much effort has been made, many students still feel intimated and struggle to communicate in English. Therefore the main objective of this Textbook is to provide students with a number of cooperative fluency-focused activities to generate their own ideas and express their feelings on different topics. All materials and tasks are related to global issues such as: ‘Environmental Pollution’ and technology development. Some topics such as ‘Choosing a Career’ and ‘Food and Memories’ are more cultural and personal. The target student’s proficiency level is intermediate high according to the ACTFL guidelines. All students have been studying English grammar since at least middle school. Most of them have experience studying abroad when they are young. They are taking this course because they want to become familiar with other cultural aspects and also improve their fluency. Approximately 12 students will occupy a class and they are mixed gender. For 10 weeks a two-hour lesson will be held three times a week in a private language institute.
This Textbook adopts Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) and Cooperative Language Learning (CLL) methods in current communicative approaches. CLT views language as a functional structure to deliver meaning through interaction (Richards and Rodgers, 2001). Littlewood and William (1981) also state that communicative ability is understanding and expressing both functional and social meanings and it can be developed through functional and social interaction activities such as following directions, solving problems, and discussions. Since the target students want to intuitively convey their ideas in order to enter the workforce and get promoted, this method is appropriate for them to develop their English fluency. Harmer (2007) puts emphasis on the importance of generating the students’ desire to communicate the content not a form, stating that communicative activities should be truly communicative. Murcia and Olshtain (2000) also point out that in the second language (L2) process, language learners far more rely on their prior knowledge rather than bottom-up strategies. Furthermore, building up content knowledge has been proven to be effective for improving both comprehension and follow-up performance (Elleman and Compton, 2017). Thus, this Textbook tried to select interesting topics and content for young adults to be fully prepared to express their own ideas and feelings according to each topic. For example, in the ‘Learning foreign language’ section, students will share their L2 learning experiences and views on English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). CLL is another method adopted in this textbook. Thornbury (2001) argues that English teachers should interact with students for ‘Real Communication’. For example, in the ‘Food and Culture’ unit, students have to come to a consensus about ‘Top 3 Korean Foods Foreigners Must Try’ and share the group’s opinion on Google+ Community.
The target students have been accustomed to grammar-translation methods; this textbook seeks to show students different approaches to reading that will better facilitate their comprehension. Students will be encouraged to enjoy reading more, outside of class, by choosing their own texts related to the selected unit topics, and come back to class to share their opinions on these current issues. The intention is to get students back into the habit of reading since they have lost that joy in their many years of English study in test-driven classrooms. This Textbook seeks to show students that both learning to read as well as reading to learn are valuable assets in both professional and personal spheres even in an EFL environment, such as Korea. While reading and speaking skills are of the most importance in this textbook, the students also need build up their listening and writing skills since they are required to understand a part of communication (Celce-Murcia and Olshtain, 2000). In this Textbook, communicative activities will incorporate all skills and involve collaborative language learning in which students communicate and work with another about topics introduced in reading and listening texts. For example, simple writing strategies will also be included such as note taking or brainstorming with the intention of supporting students through more complex speaking tasks. This writing support also seeks to raise students’ confidence in speaking in that they will have more time to prepare, think and organize their ideas.
4. Expected Outcomes
By studying with this textbook, students will develop reading skills by building up reading strategies though intensive reading activities, and will be more encouraged to read extensively outside of class. They will also develop speaking skills and critical thinking skills through reading about current topics by looking at the issues from different perspectives. The students’ motivations should increase since they will use English to communicate about contents that interest them. Basic writing activities will also help students to organize their ideas more logically and facilitate communication in their pair and group work. Ultimately the students should have a plenty of chances to see, reflect, and learn to use English from others and will be able to apply them when they speak or write afterwards.
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