On a CELTA you will hear about language lessons and skills lessons. This might seem strange – isn’t everything about language? Well yes, but on the CELTA we sometimes make this distinction to be clearer on the main lesson focus.
Language lessons or aims, are those whose main focus is on students using a particular structure, function or vocabulary set better (although they may include some work on skills too).
Grammar – structures such as tenses, conditionals, modal verbs etc.
Functions – chunks of language that have the same use, for example giving advice, agreeing and disagreeing, making suggestions etc.
Vocabulary – nouns, verbs, adjectives, phrases – usually around a particular topic.
There are four main skills in language learning; reading, listening, speaking and writing. We can organise them into two broad types of skill.
Receptive skills: Reading and Listening – When you read or listen, you are taking in, or receiving information.
Productive skills: Speaking and Writing – when you speak or write, you are outputting information, you are producing. Therefore these are productive skills.