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Reading-into-speaking tasks in undergraduate EFL courses: a didactic proposal for Early Childhood Education

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Integrated tasks have been very common in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teaching and learning, either in testing or normal classroom conditions. In this regard, these types of tasks have been reported to be similar to what undergraduate students do under normal conditions since learners usually consult several sources (Cumming et al., 2000; Weigle, 2002, 2004). In fact, integrated tasks ensure that a connection exists between two different skills. For instance, previous research (Garcés-Manzanera, forthcoming/2021) has conflated the important role of reading with speaking skills through a fully critical-thinking-based channel of information. The importance of reading as a sociolinguistic skill, but also a trigger of background knowledge (Koda, 2004) favors the activation of linguistic structures and, in turn, of higher-level cognitive skills (Connolly, 2000) which are necessary for both real-life communications, and more importantly, in the academic world (Canale, 1983; Littlewood, 2007; Pally, 2000). Thus, bearing in mind the potential benefits that both skills may obtain from each other, the present paper intends to set the stage for a didactic proposal for the EFL modules of Early Childhood Education. Ours is an attempt to conflate these two skills into an integrated task by bearing in mind the importance of the context in Early Childhood Education, by including important critical thinking skills. Such skills are thought to favor the development and enhancement of cognitive operations (Connolly, 2000). Hence, our pedagogical approach will adopt a cross-sectional perspective since, even if the main aim is to further the EFL, contents are expected to draw on a number of aspects related to Early Childhood Education in addition to fostering critical thinking skills. A thorough description of the sequencing of the activity will be presented along with what the whole integrated task involves in terms of autonomous learning.

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Aitor Garcés-Manzanera (Spain)
Universidad de Murcia (Spain) 4278
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