Communication Modes in Teaching a Foreign Language

Interpretive– students take in new foreign language input by a variety of means (read, listened to, watched movie)

Interpersonal– communicate with other people about interpreted information (in a class- this could be through group discussion; in other social context- discussing a movie over coffee after seeing it)

Presentational– (more unique to classroom)- summarize and share the information with the class, lectures are also presentational, students should have the opportunity to present learned info and go from interpersonal to presentational

These communication modes can be applied to in and out of classroom situations and a variety of subjects. The goal is to have a variety of all three. If, in a foreign language, the student is only dealing with the interpretive mode of learning and communicating, they are less likely to enjoy the language and find it relevant to their everyday life.

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