Enhancing Intensive English Program Reading and Writing Courses through Integrated-Skill Activities
In an increasingly competitive global Intensive English Programs (IEPs) environment (Benshoff, 2018), developing courses that efficiently meet student needs and equip students with skills essential for university success is paramount. Many IEPs develop reading and writing (RW) courses around one textbook for reading and another for writing, essentially separating RW skills from listening and speaking skills (Oxford, 2001). However, our university foundation-year program has started to integrate listening and speaking skills with instruction and assessment into RW courses. Instructors have observed what appear to be increased gains in learning when students pre-read, read, discuss, listen to related lectures, present, and then write about academic topics. Students’ writing reveals greater voice as they seem to understand topics more deeply and have developed greater fluency with ideas and terminology and an increased ability to paraphrase, summarize, and synthesize, aligning with findings in related literature (e.g., Horowitz, 1986). This integrated-skill approach also more closely resembles university tasks than the segregated-skill approach does. This article explains the integrated-skill approach, examines its impact on revitalizing IEP RW instruction, and showcases some sample activities.
reading and writing (RW), extensive reading, integrated-skill approach (ISA), student success, Intensive English Programs (IEPs)