Subárea de Comunicación y Lenguaje L3 (Inglés) - Cuarto Grado
Students realize that learning a foreign language could be easy if they engage in meaningful activities that require its use and its components. Throughout each task, learning English should be fun, so students may get an authentic, contextualized and interesting learning process.
Nowadays, English is the international communication language, used in commercial, technical, scientific and academic fields. English is the key to access a globalized world in the 21st century characterized by technological and communication advances. Students that learn another language develop communication and interpersonal skills to communicate with people from different places and cultures. This cultural exchange helps learners to develop critical thinking when comparing other societies to their own social, cultural, political and economical environment for judgment and reflection. In addition, English speakers have a powerful key to access labor markets, to obtain a better academic preparation to face technological and global challenges. It promotes cultural exchange, as well as information enhancement to improve their performance in the working area that students choose.
Four basic communication skills support their learning process, which should be supported by a strong proficiency in their native language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. These skills determine their performance level. The approach to English learning must be technical, functional and communicative to assure students competence to use the language system appropriately in any circumstances.
The language practice and skill development activities have been designed to involve students in all aspects of the contents, making them active participants in the learning process. This process is centered on learners to encourage them to express their own reality in English and to help them to maintain a high motivation level.
- Oral Expression and Comprehension: Listening and speaking are a must in a successful communication. Students must know how to discriminate phonemes from new language, to distinguish meaning from homophonic words with context keys, use of inflection, clear pronunciation, accent and speech melody according to context and speaker; they also have to use new vocabulary and idioms from the new language properly. Developing oral skills will allow students to have a conversation or to give a speech, to exchange more and more complex information about many topics. This learning includes knowledge and use of sayings, proverbs, idioms, greetings and other popular language uses.
- Written Expression and Comprehension: Reading is a complex process to understand and interpret not only words and sentences but signs, icons, pictures and other graphic resources that may appear in a written text. Writing allows students the opportunity to share ideas, information and feelings through the use of tools and processes previously learned. Since reading and writing are processes that students already learned in their own language, they are supposed to transfer cognitive and metacognitive strategies for reading and writing in a new language. Anyhow, English teachers will also work to facilitate reading comprehension. It is very important to take into consideration that English is a second or third language for students and they, probably, already speak one or two Guatemalan languages. Reading comprehension involves active and passive voices usage; that is why it is treated in a separate component. Needless to say that writing is the more complex learning level in a second or third language; so, English teacher will also help students to improve their skill. This component also includes intellectual and communicative tasks related to the knowledge of grammar and syntactic structures.
- Vocabulary Development: Having a wide vocabulary and idioms from new language will allow learners to obtain more knowledge and better ways to interact with other people. Vocabulary mastering is a good learning level indicator. The more accurate, wide and strong vocabulary the student acquires, the more possibilities to communicate his needs or feelings as well as to process and interpret the information he receives. It could take many years to go from one level to another. In a very low level, the learner could easily exchange simple information with a basic vocabulary to understand and to be understood in predictable daily situations and conversations in which he could be producer but mostly recipient of his interlocutor messages. For an advanced level, students could easily and clearly say ideas and opinions about a wide range of topics. They could also understand and exchange information reliably; to proficiently communicate with other people about situations other than academic, commercial, technical, literary and conceptual topics. The readings for vocabulary development should include topics of Biological Sciences.
- Culture and Society: Oral and written comprehension plus wide vocabulary and idioms, in the new language, should help students to obtain good knowledge about the involved culture as well as to compare and value their own language. It is well known that language categories rely on uses that native speakers give to them, becoming a kind of window to grasp another view of reality and life. From greetings, the common gateways to other communities, to sophisticated metaphors, students should recognize that they are in contact with other traditions, references and meanings linked to Anglo-American cultures
Assesment criteria are intended to guide teachers to aspects that they have to take into account to determine level and kind of learning the students reached in every teaching process moments according to competences settled in the curriculum. From this sight, they function as regulator of learning-assessment-teaching strategies.
The following assessment criteria are suggested for this curricular subarea.
- Use English knowledge to exchange information about different topics:
- Spontaneously talking about interesting topics with a clear and rich vocabulary.
- Answering in a proper way to questions or commands.
- Sharing with native speakers or language learners at clubs in any opportunity.
- Conversating with native or non-native speakers.
- Using new words, idioms, sayings and proverbs when needed.
- Joining to cultural activities such holiday celebrations or others.
- Telling and hearing stories or anecdotes among others.
- Produces oral or written texts based in previous readings:
- Reading Anglo-American books as reliable sources to obtain information and inspiration from.
- Avoiding literal translation when reading or writing.
- Writing with accurate syntax and spelling.
- Taking care of proper tense or mood when using regular and irregular verbs.
- Applying new vocabulary in written texts.
- Value different cultural practices:
- Aplying observed social interactions when conversing with native or non-native speakers.
- Judging the different situational approaches to everyday, commercial and advertising activities.
- Being aware of the usage and meaning of idioms, sayings, and words in his community.
- Grasping relation between language and culture through behavior and communication patterns.
- Playing roles about a character of History or tradition.
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