Impediments to Integrating Language Skills in Young Learners’ EFL Classes: Whys and a Way Out via Mini-Sagas (Published)
It is deeply believed that integrating language skills in English as a foreign language classes can contribute a great deal to the success of the teaching-learning process. But, such a pedagogical strategy at times poses a daunting challenge for a high percentage of non-native teachers, namely those teaching primary school sixth graders. In this setting, relying on a questionnaire that was administered to twenty primary school teachers teaching English to grade-six pupils, this paper aims at laying emphasis on exploring the reasons behind the difficulties those teachers encounter in integrating the four language skills in English as a foreign language classes. The results of the questionnaire have shown that there are a number of objective reasons that lie at the root of the issue, in particular the absence of training sessions, the nature of the syllabus, and the fact that English seems to be viewed and taught merely as a school subject of secondary importance. The paper, therefore, puts forward how those teachers can defy the impediments to using the integrated approach to teaching the language. Pedagogically speaking, it gives an insight into how teachers can get round the issue theoretically through mini-sagas and via a practical example lesson including explanatory notes. The study has revealed that sensitizing those teachers to the benefits of the integrative approach to teaching English, and using mini-sagas effectually as a starting point for the use of such an approach can help them get familiar with it through other diverse pedagogical procedures according to the learning activities intended to be performed and the learning objectives planned to be achieved, which can contribute to the success of the teaching-learning process.