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Pros and Cons of English Extracts - Assignment Example

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The paper "Pros and Cons of English Extracts" evaluates several English extracts with the view to synthesizing the positives and negatives. The main components to be evaluated include vocabulary, reading, speaking and writing, listening, as well as pronunciation…
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Download file to see previous pages The activity on vocabulary discusses options by attempting to find and pair two sentences containing similar meanings with a sentence in the boxed section. The utilization of boxed sentences attracts the students’ attention to the vocabulary exercise and directs their input to the activity under study. The requirement to identify two sentences containing similar meanings with one of the boxed sentences can be termed as a form of deliberate learning which can readily transfer to communicative erudition (Nation 2003). The pairing of the sentences is quite involving to learners as they must understand the meanings of the two sentences to be able to pair them with a sentence in the boxed section. As such, the activity is effective in assisting students to learn and internalize vocabularies owing to the fact that learners remain active participants in the learning process. Additionally, the exercise is effective as it assumes a planned approach to vocabulary development in terms of understanding which words and vocabularies can be used to replace others in a sentence and still get the same meaning. The activity is likely to make a strong contribution to the learning of various vocabularies as students rely on matching and generative use of sentences to pair them in order to achieve similar meaning. Although no incidental learning is likely to occur, the students will nevertheless benefit from information transfer through answering questions that extend the meaning or use of words in the text and also through deliberate attention to vocabulary (Nation 2003). The form of matching words with definitions is also likely to be of immense benefit to students undertaking this activity. Furthermore, this exercise is bound to assist students in finding common meanings of sentences, choosing the right meaning, as well as undertaking semantic feature analysis. However, although the exercise exemplifies a student-centered approach to learning vocabulary, it nevertheless encourages the propensity to concentrate on individual words rather than on overall meanings of the sentences in question. The process of pairing students and requiring them to remember two expressions with similar meanings reinforces the belief that social interaction is the basis of learning and development as demonstrated in the sociocultural theory. It also underscores the importance of internalization as a vehicle for transforming learning from the social to the cognitive plane (Lavadenzi 2010). The exercise provides students with an enabling environment to transit from word-level learning to phrase-level learning. A good understanding of phrase-level learning will assist learners to graduate to intermediate-level learning by exposing them to new vocabulary definitions and uses. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that learners using this approach develop the capacity to use the context of the sentences to decode meaning (Larsen-Freeman 2000). The reading extract titled “Hello, Class, I am the 16-Year-Old Head” and the ensuing questions are instrumental in developing students’ creative and critical thinking skills. For example, the question requiring students to use the title of the extract and the picture to tell a partner what they would like to find out in the rest of the extract is instrumental in assisting students to develop innovative and critical thinking capabilities.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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