of oral abilities in a second language, like other skills (e.g. playing
a musical instrument or swimming), needs regular exercise and reinforcement.
"Tell Me More!" offers this practice in using English, providing language-activities
which require students to communicate with each other. Situational, functional,
and structural emphases all have their place in the book in an environment
of interactive learning, in which students are encouraged to develop their
skills and abilities in the transferring of information and opinions between
themselves, using the target language as the medium for this communication.
If we look at the language that we use everyday, we find the same or similar
forms appearing in different guises. Promoting fluency in such repetitive
(and non-prescribed) use of English will therefore greatly help our students.
This can be done not only through the performance of language tasks and
activities, but also through the negotiation of those activities, using
the full range of language functions such as questioning/answering, explaining,
agreeing/ disagreeing, suggesting, and giving opinions, while trying to
solve the communication problem. We might even imagine a role-play in
which students do no more than talk about how to perform a language-learning
Functional and structural aims have been suggested for Chapters, within
the context of providing practice in speaking. A number of these aims
appear more than once. This is intentional, giving students a chance to
review, re-learn, and re-try various communication strategies, in a cyclic
approach to learning.
Comments and suggestions in the "Teacher's Notes" are as short as possible,
concentrating on how to perform the activities. Sequencing and choice
of activities are often left to the teacher's discretion, though there
is a structure to the book and each chapter. Times are given for the activities,
but these are suggestions, and are of course variable according to the
different factors at work in each class.
"Tell Me More!" is
a collection of starting points. Teachers will want to adapt and supplement
these, and much of the lexical input has therefore been left to their
discretion and preferred method of presentation. The "Teachers' Notes
and Resources" are also beginning points. If the book and its contents
can be used as a springboard for the development of conversation skills
in the classroom, along with the promotion of greater self-confidence,
motivation and independence on the part of the students, then it will
have succeeded in its goal.
We wish all participants (teachers and students) an enjoyable and creative
April 2000 (revised
May 28, 2002