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Episode 5 of the ELTtime podcast from Garnet Education

Integrated skills in the ELT classroom

In this episode Rachel Finnie and Chris Graham sit down to discuss why integrated skills are beneficial in the classroom. They discuss how the real-life application of language is not separated into the four skills, why there is a reluctance from educational institutions to change and how integrated skills provides a way to exploit materials and engage students.

Let us know if you enjoyed the episode! Get in touch with any suggestions or questions – you can find us at @garneteducation everywhere!

This episode features:

Rachel Finnie

Rachel has worked in ELT for over 20 years. Her roles have included author, editor, project manager, development editor, commissioning editor and publisher.

Chris Graham

Christopher Graham has been in ELT for over 35 years as a teacher, director of studies, teacher educator and writer. He has worked in 30 countries largely in the Middle East, North Africa and the Former Soviet Union. Christopher is endlessly fascinated by why and how people learn languages. He is an enthusiastic photographer and voracious reader.

0:20 – Intro
0:52 – What are integrated skills?
1:33 – Are integrated skills a good thing for ELT?
2:54 – Do integrated skills reflect how we use language in real life?
4:22 – Teaching skills in isolation; focusing on specific skills
6:01 – Skills are already integrated: learning to write by speaking
7:28 – Teaching ‘speaking’ by using texts, pictures or audio
8:33 – Going from receptive to productive skills
9:36 – Focusing on the function of language
10:12 – Is there evidence that integrated skills are more effective?
11:51 – Learning strategies and ‘learning to learn’ skills
13:31 – Formative assessments and switching skills in daily life
15:52 – Integrated skills can flag up specific skills that need working on
17:11 – Reluctance to change: educational, institutional and exam culture
19:33 – Logistical change: institutional infrastructure and scheduling
21:27 – Exploiting materials and engaging students
22:13 – Technology has forced us to integrate skills
22:52 – Final thoughts


Please note that the views, information, or opinions expressed during these podcasts are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Garnet Education. Any contributors to the podcasts who are themselves employees of Garnet Education express their views and opinions in a personal capacity and not as representatives of the company.

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