Our current syllabuses are organised with a strong distinction between the 4 macro skills – listening (and responding), reading (and responding), speaking and writing. Each macro skill currently even has its own UL outcome.
The new syllabuses have a much greater focus on authentic communication and, as such, the macro skills are now integrated in the Communicating strand objectives.
This is a more logical and authentic way of organising skills. If we contemplate how we interact in language and communicate with others, we rarely use one skill in isolation. By combining the macro skills in the Communicating strand objectives, we are taking a more authentic approach to language use. You will notice that all 4 macro skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking would be required in Interacting. In Accessing and responding, we definitely need listening and reading skills and, if the response is in the target language, we will also use speaking and writing skills. For Composing we use our speaking and writing skills.
What does this mean for us when we design learning tasks? When designing learning tasks for students, think about authentic language interactions, then design activities that allow students to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to competently interact in those situations.
There are many examples in the Communicating strands content, providing sample tasks with a real or simulated communicative purpose. The dash points in the syllabus are suggested activities and teachers can use them as is, or use the ideas to guide the creation of their own activities. Teachers might find it valuable to look at the suggested activities in other language syllabuses besides their own for inspiration.
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