Monday, June 30, 2008

How Can Limited Proficiency in English or a Foreign Language be Managed Using a Communicative Approach?


Teachers and Learners Alike Have Limited English Proficiency
All of us, teachers and learners alike have “limited English language knowledge” or Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to some degree. Even I am still “learning the English language”, so to speak. But in the case of language learners in the early stages of skills acquisition, critical factors can emerge.

So, I definitely think that in using ANY language teaching-learning approach, the more it’s adapted to the inclusion of “Whole Language” (ref. Rubin) the more effective the teaching and learning scenario can be. Language is the sum of many diverse and integral “parts” which must be utilized together in order to form “comprehensible input” (Krashen-Terrell, 1984) as well as comprehensible output or discourse to be understood and effective.

An Important Key to Consider
An important key to managing LEP foreign language learners is in teaching and learning grammar and lexis in context, just as a child does with their first language (L1), but at a more accelerated level and pace available to teen and adult EFL learners, for example. Teach grammar, lexis and function concurrently, or in tandem and in context, and you’ll manage quite nicely with your learners. They’ll progress in a way that’s noticeable for them, which will motivate them as well.

Motivated English language Learners
Motivated learners, especially LEP learners, acquire foreign language skills far better, faster and more easily than those who are not. With the use of whole language aspects elemented into the language learning and acquisition process, students don’t just see disconnected language elements like vocabulary lists, grammar, reading and writing lessons, but rather digest English or other foreign languages as whole, communicative sessions which can be used in a number of ways at different times, under different circumstances.

The written or spoken sentence, “I’d like some water, please” is not simply the sum elements of vocabulary plus grammar and structure. But in fact is a whole language lexical context which can be morphed and modified in numerous ways to add, change or alter the register of its meaning.



Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, expert author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: lynchlarrym@gmail.com Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.


1 comment:

S A M said...

I support this article because I have found that if I'm not speaking with a native or fluent speaker and somewhat immersing myself into the language it is VERY hard for me to learn. I can study vocabulary and grammar but there is alot you will miss out on if you can't speak it. I'm using wwwe.edufire.com for the one-on-one tutoring sessions; this is a great way for me to learn a new language. They have all the other tools for grammar and vocabulary but I think the tutoring is something unmatched by other language resources on the web.