6.2 Stage 1:
(a) listening/reading activities
6.3 Stage 2:
(b) speaking activities
(c) writing activities
6.4 Stage 3:
(b) examples of reading and listening
(c) speaking activities
(d) writing activities.
This chapter contains examples of activities at the three consecutive stages described in the previous chapter. There is an underlying progression relating to the activities i.e. from activities aimed primarily at developing receptive skills in listening and reading, building up vocabulary etc. to productive skills in speaking and writing which build upon and use the skills acquired at the previous stage. An example is given ofhow a text can be reintroduced at successive stages to facilitate this progression in the development of the learners' skills. Even in the initial stage it is important to provide learners with opportunities to try out their hypotheses about the target language and with feedback about their performance. Speaking and writing tasks with inbuilt support that place limited demands on the learners can fulfill this function.
6.2 Stage 1
(a) Listening/Reading activities
The first phase of this model is an introductory one providing a basis for the later stages and ensuring that the pupils' spoken and written production is supported by having ample input before they are required to engage in productive activities.
(a) It is helpful at the initial stage to engage the interest of the learners by asking them to talk about their prior knowledge of the topic and to ask questions of them which arouse their curiosity. In the first activi~, learners are asked to compare the school system in their country to the German school system.
(b) In the next activi~, the learners are asked with the help of a diagram to compare the ~vo school systems and then to complete a vocabulary - enriching exercise, matching words with correct definitions.
(c) The third activity is a listening task which highlights many features of the German secondarv school system and revises the vocabulary relating to this subject/topic area.
(d) The fourth activig' is a reading task in which learners are asked to identify the chronological order ofevents in a text and in the second section entitled "Verhängnisvolle Affäre" to identify the main words associated with the five main points of the text.
6.3 Stage 2
The introductory phase (stage one) of the integrated approach as suggested above is aimed at equipping the pupils with the background knowledge, vocabulary and structures that they will require when they engage in speaking and writing activities related to the chosen topics. While some speaking and writing activities were suggested these were mainly of the guided variety within a supporting framework. Acdvities of a freer nature i.e. involving choice and greater independence on the part of the learners can then be introduced to build on the skills developed in an earlier phase.
(b) Speaking Activities
While texts can be used, as in stage one, as stimulus material for dialogues, pairwork and roleplay they can also provide the basis for more open-ended oral activities such as giving personal responses to the content, as in this example: This example of a roleplay involving four people explores the issues raised in the reading exercise "Verhangnisvolle Affare". Learners are provided with a list of useful phrases, thus expanding their vocabulary and enabling them to carry out the task more successfiflly:
(c) Writing Activities
In stage rwo the initial writing activities could involve matching exercises e.g. sentences, dialogues filling in a form on the basis o f information in another text, to create a new text. Other possible activities include writing formal and informal letters. Where appropriate pupils should be given clear guidelines as to layout, expressions etc.
Before they can produce longer pieces o f writing learners will need to develop some knowledge o f the ways in which words and sentences are combined. Giving them patts o f sentences and requiring them to link these together, as in the following example, will help to promote this knowledge.
In this example learners are asked to explain choices and express opinions in response to a written text:
6.4 Stage 3: Reading and Listening
Stage three of the suggested approach is based on applying more demanding Performance Targets to the chosen theme ofschool studies. The specified objectives for reading and tistening are intended to be used in conjunction with texts that would be considered more demanding in terms of content and linguistic difficulty. The activities are also aimed at helping pupils to go beyond the surface meaning of particular texts and to evaluate content by identifying attitude, tone and giving and justifying personal reactions to the content.
(b) Examples of Reading/Listening Activities
(i) In this example of a pre-reading activity learners are asked to predict the contents of an article as suggested by the title of the article. Their opinion is sought in relation to the topic:
· Was erwarten Sie von einem Artikel, der erklärt: "Rambo ist kein Held!"? Welchen Zusammenhang könnte es Ihrer Meinung nachzwischen "Rambo" - Filmen und Gewalt in der Schule geben? Diskutieren Sie vielleicht auch in Ihrer Muttersprache.
fi.) Writing Activities
The writing activities suggested at Stage 3 - summarising the main points of a text, giving a personal reaction to a text, making comparisons on the basis of a text, writing formal/informal letters are also more demanding than the activities suggested for Stage 2 particularly if the texts used as a stimulus are more complex. In the following example learnets are asked to discuss the topic Schülerzeitung as it relates to their personal experiences.
In this exercise the learners are asked to establish the different steps in putting together a school magazine. They are given a choice o f writing in the passive or active voice, thus raising the awareness o f the purposes o f both.
Ih the following task learners note information in relation to the main points in the text and this helps them complete a summary o f the text.
(cj Speaking Activities
The speaking skills in stage 3 are based also on expressing personal opinions, sometimes at a more abstract level and engaging in discussion and debate. To enable pupils to engage in these types of activities it will be necessary to provide background and cultural information as weil as vocabulary and structures needed in these kinds of activities. In the case of the topic of work, materials describing German people's attitudes toward work-related issues and/of surveys showing comparisons etc. could be particularly suitable.
Groupwork, while also suitable at an intermediary stage, could be used at stage three for the purposes of developing areas covered at Stage 2 in pairwork.
Having worked on exercises in pairs learners might then be organised into larger groups to introduce new elements involving 3 or 4 speakers or to work co-operatively on filling in words in a worksheet words that proved difficult. Group work is also suitable for problem solving activities or for working on debates etc. The general activity Engaging in discussion provides a framework on which to base pairwork and groupwork.
Pairs or groups could initially work on expressing something as an opinion. Groups could then take up a stance and work on ordering points in a discussion.
An opposing group could work on rebutting these points through working on such functions as stating that something is true/untrue insisting that something is true/untruedenying contradicting finally groups could work together on tasks such as negotiating a compromise concluding a discussion. To make sure that all members of the group participate in the debate, cue-cards could be distributed assigning different roles to different students. In this task learners are required to respond to suggestions as to how they might react to bullying, in school, violence on television etc. Also they are asked to describe personal experiences of bullying in school:
As outlined in the Introduction it may not be always considered possible or desirable to draw up such a detailed scheine ofwork. It is desirable however that the nature and progression ofactivlties conform to some framework designed to facilitate the integration of syllabus content and the planned development of learner skills.