Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 3

Receptive and productive language

Ensure a balance between receptive and productive language such as joint construction of text or Say It!

What to consider:

  • What speaking (as well as listening) did my students have to do? What writing (as well as reading) did my students have to do?
Learning task 3
Teaching and learning activities Principles

Joint construction of text

Modelling how to write a paragraph


Using the information from your tables and sentences to construct a short paragraph stating which chemicals can be classified as acids.

Show the students the Model paragraph (Word 23KB) . Highlight the definition (Bases are solutions that can neutralise acids) that begins the paragraph.

Subject General classification Specific classification
 Bases  are solutions  that can neutralise acids.
 Or - a base  is a solution  that can neutralise acids

Point out how the second sentence is constructed - "toothpaste is a base because it ...". (Discuss the use of the conjunction (because) and the use of the pronoun referent 'it' that exemplifies other ways of tying the parts of a sentence together.)

Together with the students construct a similar paragraph on the whiteboard on indicators - discuss the students' suggestions with reference to the model paragraph. Be explicit about how language is used in science. Research has found that it is not the technical words that cause the most difficulty but the use of common English words in a scientific context.

The students work in pairs or threes writing their own paragraphs on acids, using the model paragraph and the Joint Construction Checklist (Word 19KB) .

The students work with 2-3 other students in a group discussing paragraphs against the checklist.
More on the features of text forms: explanations.

Principle 6

Say It!


This activity provides motivation for all students to try new structures and vocabulary within a small group setting where levels of anxiety are lower. It is often used as an end of topic activity for practising orally the language that has been learned during a topic.

  • Write the grid (Word 55KB) on the board.
  • Practise the Say It! with confident students in the whole class setting.
  • Put the students into groups of about six and choose one student to begin the Say It! in each group. Allocate grid coordinates to that student. The first student then carries out the short role play and then chooses someone from the group to go second and allocates a new set of coordinates to that student.
Principle 6

Published on: 19 Feb 2018