Monthly Archives: December 2013

#EFLproblems – Learning English Beyond the Exams

Learning English Beyond the Exams

Oxford University Press

Disappointing exam resultsWe’re helping to solve your EFL teaching problems by answering your questions every two weeks. This week’s blog is in response to Raef Sobh Azab’s blog comment regarding the challenge of motivating students who are in an exam-focussed environment. Stacey Hughes from the Professional Development Team discusses how to take English beyond the focus of exams.

One major problem is that the educational system in my country is mainly exam-based. Most teachers, students, and even parents do not care at all about the quality of learning. They are mainly concerned with passing the exams. L1 is all the time used in class, real life English is not stressed, language skills are not practised at all, learning aims are not achieved, and private lessons given to students at home or in private centers are the norm. This is really frustrating for some teachers who are keen on improving their teaching skills…

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Free Voluntary Reading

images The studies have shown that EFL students who read a lot seem to acquire English better than those who do not. They “do not only improve in their reading abilities, but also improve in using and increasing their English abilities and knowledge. Without getting much exposure to reading materials in class, EFL students are unlikely to make much progress (Nation, 1997, p.7). Realizing the importance of reading for EFL students, it is then very crucial for EFL students to have good reading proficiency. Therefore, as well as the reading that is done in class, the kind of reading that is done outside of the class is of paramount significance. Extensive reading which is a kind of reading for pleasure is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to the target language. Free Voluntary Reading is the source of reading ability, learning new words, spelling and grammar structure. When you give students interesting things to read, they will definitely read them enthusiastically. I would like to share one of Stephen Krashen’s great seminers. This one is on The Power of Reading. I wish you could exploit the ideas as much as you can.

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