A today’s language Course should mainly deal with language and methodology components offered to the trainees. Contents of the course may include the basic development of the four communicative skills and linguistic competence, including vocabulary and pronunciation, through an eclectic methodology through which students will be able to learns from different teaching strategies and techniques by blending the principles suggested by distinct methods according to their own needs and goals, (Larsen-Freeman, 2000). The following are the core elements that will make the basis of the training course program:
· Developing Speaking Skill:
Developing speaking skills may be seen as one of the most important aspects language teachers must work on within the EFL classroom. As Bailey, & Savage (1994) state speaking is an essential element determining whether student`s English skills have reached a success, particularly in the college (p: 3). Hence, providing students with speaking activities should be a priority for all teachers when in the classroom. In other words, speaking instruction is important because it helps students acquire language oral skills so that they can converse spontaneously and naturally with native or foreign speakers. Moreover, if the right speaking activities are taught in the classroom, speaking can raise general learners’ motivation and make the English language classroom a fun and dynamic place to be. (Nunan, 1999 & Celce-Murcia, 2001, cited in Torky, (2006, p: 14).
· Developing Listening Skill:
Between the two oral skills (speaking and listening) it seems that most attention has been given to speaking. However, the development of listening skills has become more relevant in the last decades; As stated by Nunan (2002) from 1960s listening has been assuming greater importance into the language classroom. In this same vein, Jou (2010) argues that listening ability is one of the important skills in foreign language learning. According to this author, among the four language skills, researches show that listening skill is employed most frequently.
Hence, strategies for listening and the ability to use them effectively are particularly significant in language learning as nowadays it is one of the language components used most frequently. It has been estimated that most people spend listening almost half their communication time.
· Developing Writing Skill:
According to Suleiman (2000), the skill of writing is also a fundamental aspect within a language teaching program. For him, children in contemporary classrooms must be given ample opportunities to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through oral and written discourse. Thus, any language curriculum must reflect the multidimensional nature of writing in instructional practices and evaluation procedures. Language teachers and educators should not overlook the importance and benefits that the development of writing skills have for the child’s future live.
· Developing Reading Skill:
Introducing the reading habit to a child from an early stage of life may significantly contribute for them to have a better learning experience in the future. Reading is a complex process in which the reader interacts dynamically with the text as he/she tries to elicit the text meaning. According to Alyousef (2006), it is also a process in which two important types of knowledge are used: linguistic or systemic knowledge (through bottom-up processing) and schematic knowledge (through top-down processing).
In this similar juncture, Grabe (2004) states that the importance of reading fluency has taken on much greater prominence in the past few years, particularly in L1 settings. The development of this skill together with the others (speaking, listening and writing) should be seen as an indispensable factor within a language teaching and learning program in the trends of today’s education.
· Enhancing Pronunciation:
Pronunciation has always been considered as one of the most outstanding aspects in the EFL classrooms. Good or bad pronunciation is the first impression we give when speaking a foreign language with a native speaker (even a non-native speaker). Morley (1991), affirms that in the 1940s, 1950s, and into the 1960s, pronunciation was viewed as an important component of English language teaching curricula in both the audio-lingual methodology developed in the U.S. and the British system of situational language teaching. In fact, along with correct grammar, accuracy of pronunciation was a high-priority goal in both systems (p: 4).
According to Willing (1988), pronunciation is a key element of the learning of oral skills in a second language. In fact, most students often state that pronunciation is a priority for them within language learning programs. However, the role it plays in English language programs for adults varies, and the amount of time and effort devoted to it seems to depend, to a large degree, on the individual teacher (cited in Macdonald, 2002, p: 1).
The importance and significance of vocabulary knowledge has been slowly increasing during these last years so that many authors and researchers have approached it recently. This is for example, the case of Mehring (2015) who states that within the last few years, vocabulary has become viewed as an important aspect in second language learning, in fact, many believe just as important as the main skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking (p:1). For Coady & Huckin (1997) vocabulary is central to language and of critical importance to the typical language learner (p: 5). Linse (2006) cited by Tunchalearnpanih (2012) also agrees to say that vocabulary knowledge plays an important role in language learning. Language ability of learners will be improved overall by vocabulary improvement (p: 2). According to Ferreira (2007 p: 12) a large amount of vocabulary knowledge is essential to the development of language comprehension skills,
According to Subasini & Kokilavani (2013), grammar is important because it is the language that makes it possible for us to talk about the language; namely, it is the structural foundation of our ability to express ourselves. Without grammar structures it may seem difficult for adult people to communicate significantly in a particular language. Grammar can be viewed as the central part of a language system.
As Zhang (2009) states the value of grammar teaching is important in the English language teaching field. Grammar is the base of English language. It is not only acquired naturally, it needs to be instructed. Grammar operates at the sentence level and governs the syntax or word orders that are permissible in the language (p: 4). The preceding affirmations makes it clear that grammar instruction is necessary in a foreign language classroom, especially when working with adult learners.
· Integrating ICT resources in the language classroom:
ICT for education and in education is probably one of the aspects related to technologies which have received more attention during these last few years. It is an undeniable fact that ICT can improve the quality of the teaching-learning processes in schools and so help raise and maximize the educational standards (Livingstone, 2012).
Furthermore, and according to Bingimlas (2009), the use of ICT in the classroom is very important for providing opportunities to students to learn to operate in an information age. In other words, integrating technological devices and resources in today’s education is extremely significant for all (teachers, students, school administration), since they help to optimize the teaching-learning activities by facilitating tasks and functions in schools. Agreeing with the previous ideas, Bhaumik (2012) says ICT makes it possible to initiate and develop new pedagogical tools in the classroom (p: 1).
· Evaluation and assessment in the EFL classroom:
According to Thomas & Cross (1993), assessment focuses on learning, teaching and outcomes. It provides information for improving learning and teaching. Evaluation focuses on grades and may reflect classroom components other than course content and mastery level. These could include discussion, cooperation, attendance, and verbal ability. For Crooks (1988) evaluation should be:
Based on activities that students undertake as an integral part of the educational programs in which they are enrolled. These activities may involve time spent both inside and outside the classroom. This definition includes tasks such as formal teacher-made tests, curriculum-embedded tests (including adjunct questions and other exercises intended to be an integral part of learning materials), oral questions asked to students, and a wide variety of other performance activities (cognitive and psychomotor). (Evaluation) also includes assessment of motivational and attitudinal variables and of learning skills (p: 3).
As Cheng, Rogers & Hu (2004) coincide to argue assessment plays a central and important role in teaching and learning (p: 1). Assessment and evaluation are paramount elements in the educational field. So acquiring solid knowledge of assessment and evaluation techniques should be a must for any teacher due to the varied-decision types that he/she needs to make concerning how to measure their students’ progress in their learning process.
· Promoting autonomous learning within the language classroom:
According to Balcikanli (2010), promoting learner autonomy through focusing on learner reflection and taking responsibility for one’s own learning processes has become a central concern in the recent history of language teaching. Hence, language teachers must be trained so that they can understand the increasing importance of fostering autonomous learning process with their students. Furthermore, Nguyen (2012) indicates that learner autonomy is an increasingly important aspect of higher education because it meets the needs of developing life-long, autonomous learners (p: 1). In other words, autonomy is a crucial ingredient for effective language teaching and self-motivated learning in today’s educational system.