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Content of Foreign Language Teaching

The content of foreign language teaching or what to teach is one of the main problems the Methods deals with. The first component of ―what to teach‖ is habits and skills which pupils should acquire while learning a foreign language. According to the aims of learning this subject they are: hearing (listening comprehension), speaking, reading, and writing. The level of habits and skills is determined by the syllabus for each form. However, quantitative and qualitative characteristics of skills, or the so-called terminal behaviour, is not defined yet for different types of schools and stages of instruction. This is one of the problems for methodologists to investigate and solve. Nevertheless, some attempts have been made in this respect. Thus in school syllabi we can find some directions as to the level of skills that should be reached in each particular form and their development from form to form. The second component of ―what to teach‖ is language (textual) material, arranged in topics and serving as starting points for the development of oral language and written language, which allows the teacher to reach the practical, educational, and cultural aims set by the syllabus.

The third component of the content of foreign language teaching is linguistic material, i.e., phonology, grammar, and vocabulary carefully selected for the purpose. The selection of linguistic material, the compiling of the so-called minima, for instance, minimum vocabulary and minimum grammar, has always been one of the most important and difficult problems to be solved and, although a great deal of work has been done in this respect, we are still on the way to its solution. A limited body of linguistic material is required by pupils who have about 600 class hours at their disposal spread over six years (extensive course), and at the same time it must be

large enough to serve as a sound basis for developing pupilsí language skills.

To sum up what has been said above, the content of foreign language teaching


∑ language skills: hearing, speaking, reading, and writing;

∑ language (textual) material;

∑ linguistic material; vocabulary; grammar, phonological minima.

In conclusion it should be said that the content of teaching in our schools is laid down in the syllabus and realized in teaching materials and in the teacherís own speech.


Lecture 4

Date: 2014-12-22; view: 6068

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