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English Language Skills Training: Theory and Practice-A Cuban Perspective - Transmitting InformationLynch suggests that it is important that teachers observe how foreign language students succeed or fail in their efforts to communicate in the classroom or language laboratory. It can help them to intervene to make learners’ use of the foreign language more effective. Teachers should never be afraid to search for new teaching techniques and approaches to improve the effectiveness of language teaching. Some methods may well work better in some settings such as rural schools or Universities but of paramount importance is to have the right attitude to at least try some new way of teaching.
Teachers should always try out something themselves so they can use this practical experience to argue in favor of any desired approach changes. Lynch points out that students should be encouraged to interact through classroom tasks such as presentations and group exercises by using the traditional language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Comprehension plays an important role in the development of the foreign language learners’ competence in that language. As part of the teaching process, teachers of foreign languages must develop the active listening skills of students. To become competent in another language involves much more than just recognizing what is being said. Comprehension is multi-layered and requires or allows interpretation at different levels. When people, for example, listen to their own language, they often go beyond the input in many ways. This is where language schools can provide learners with appropriate help. Research has shown that low-level learners tend not to use the effective listening strategies that they would apply in their first language.
Lynch quotes Krashen who argues that under suitable affective conditions such as positive feelings and motivation, language learners will use some parts of this input not only to comprehend the current message but also to pick up new items of grammar and vocabulary and to improve their fluency in speaking. Interactive negotiations are an effective route to improve language proficiency. Lynch considers that language teachers play a vital role in the effective teaching of foreign languages to students. Teachers, based on years of practical class room experience, recognize the important link between comprehension and progress in a foreign language and then design classroom teaching appropriately. This includes the effective utilization of tools such as the language laboratory and inviting native English speakers to interact with students. Krashen reports that it is the teacher’s personal style that makes a fundamental difference how students pick up language skills, for example, by how they ask questions. This has a major impact on how students learn. Krashen asserts that those teachers’ abilities to close the gap between the students’ perception what the teachers are trying to focus on and what they actually are focusing their attention on is of paramount importance to the effective teaching of a foreign language. The authors, based on years of practical classroom teaching in foreign languages, suggest that regular interactions with native speakers of languages provide students with opportunities to acquire and use, for example, new vocabulary, grammar and contemporary expressions and phrases in the relatively safe environment of the classroom. Native speakers of languages must modify their speech content to ensure that the messages sent are received as intended.
According to House, language is the most important means of communicating, of transmitting information and providing human bonding. It is a person’s prime means of acquiring knowledge of the world, of transmitting mental representations and making them public and inter-subjectively accessible. House considers that language per se has an influence on its speakers’ thinking, their world view and behavior. This is in contrast of the view that language “reflects” the culture of a social group. House suggests that some people have acquired language proficiency in more than one language.