• Best Subject for an ESL Integrated-Skills Class (Part 2 of 4: Reading aspect)

Cover Part 2 Reading Shot

(This posting includes a handout which you are welcome to use with your students.)

For an extended discussion of this topic with links to some YouTube videos and downloadable exercises, see Four Part Series: Why, How And When to Teach ESL Integrated- and Discrete-Skills Courses. 

Why do Asians often seem so shy in social situations compared to westerners?

To illustrate how the subject of cultural differences is the best subject, I’ll include a reading passage about this followed by discussion and writing activities related to this.

This “shyness” topic is an effective one for demonstrating the important aspects of this “best” subject:

  • The students are coming with a schema. Most students are aware of this “shyness” perception, so it’s not necessary to spend a lot of time on background information. They can get to the “meat” of the situation quickly, which is basically, why is there this perception?
  • The topic is relevant. Most Asian students have experienced social situations with westerners in which they felt hesitant to engage in a conversation. And many western students have observed this.
  • The reason for this phenomenon is counter-intuitive. In the attached reading passage, the common assumptions about this are shown to be inaccurate.
  • Students are highly motivated to discuss and write about this topic. They are interested in sharing their experiences and hearing others’ experiences with it. And they are inspired to explore the topic more in writing.

Reading Aspect of this Integrated-Skills Unit

To give you an idea of how this topic can be used to successful integrate skills, I’m including a link here to the READING-skills aspect. This link contains a shorten version of the complete unit, but it should give you a clear idea of why it’s a good topic and how it can be used to successfully integrate reading, writing, and speaking. Here is the link:   Shyness in Cultural Differences Kehe . You’ll notice that  there are four activities:

  • Preview Questions, in which students are asked a question related to their experience with the topic.
  • Reading Passage.
  • Study Guide Questions
  • Preparation for Discussion, in which students think about how they would respond to some question during the discussion part of the lesson.

This sample comes from  Cultural Differences which is now available in digital and print version for students to rent or buy.  More specifically, it’s an excerpt from a unit titled “Forming in-groups.”   If you are interested in reading the rest of that unit and seeing the complete study guide, please use the “contact” function to let me know.

For more discussion about this best subject for integrating three skills, see …

Part 1  Best Subject for an ESL Integrated-Skills Class (Part 1 Overview)  I gave an overview of using this topic.

Part 3 & 4. In this part, I’ll share discussion activities about this “shyness” topic for both small group and whole class and Writing activities. Best Subject for an ESL Integrated-Skills Class (Parts 3 & 4: Discussion and Writing aspects)

David Kehe

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