Writing about Teaching

Creating a Balanced Plan with the Four Strands

The Four Strands of Language Learning is a framework designed by Paul Nation. It involves a balanced lesson or curriculum consisting of four main areas, which include meaning-focused input, meaning-focused output, language-focused learning and fluency development in roughly equal amounts (Nation & Newton, 2009). The promotion of these strands involves interaction and use of language as a means of learning, as opposed to only study and rote memorisation. Although vocabulary and grammar are of course important, the active use of language and creation of purpose driven opportunities is the primary focus…

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Assessing the Benefits of 4/3/2 and 3/3/3 Speaking Activities

Fluency development activities are often neglected in classrooms. Perhaps this is because some teachers feel they need to actively teach the students new material, as opposed to practicing or teaching fluent use of language already acquired. I chose to give four people two fluency activities in the form of a 4/3/2 task and 3/3/3 task. These tasks work by giving the students a topic to talk about, a few minutes to think about the topic and then speaking about the topic for a set period of time. In the case of the 4/3/2 task, students discuss the same topic for four minutes, then three minutes and lastly two minutes. In the 3/3/3/ task, they discuss the same topic with the same three minute time restriction each time (Nation, 1989: 378).

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