Visual Observation In Language Learning

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Language learning and teaching is nowadays often defined in terms of the four language skills: listening, reading (receptive skills), writing and speaking (productive skills). The four skills are not mutually exclusive but often interconnected, for example in spoken interaction, speaking requires listening and in written interaction, writing requires reading.
This paper will discuss the position of an eventual fifth language skill “visual observation” through experiences made during Swahili language lessons at the French Ministry of Foreign affairs and pedagogical implications of this skill. Swahili is a vehicular Bantu language spoken in East Africa by more than 100 million speakers. Whereas Swahili is taught as a foreign language at many Universities in Europe and America, its pedagogical resources are few and not really suitable for using with modern teaching methods because they are not based on authentic data. Therefore the use of authentic videos is particularly relevant in the teaching of this language. This paper will also look at how visual observation through authentic videos is part of the language learning process and related with the intercultural competence, a concept that has completely changed the vision of foreign language learning. Indeed the goal in this area of research is no longer related with communicative competence. It is now connected with intercultural competence which is “the ability of a person to behave adequately in a

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