WorkLife English Skills Book: Life Skills, Introduction: Names & Letters
Who It’s For: American-English (Teachers & Helpers of) Novices About to Embark on a Course of Oral-Language-Skills Building
Why It’s Useful: Learners new to the concept of instruction in Oral Language Skills need to realize that listening begins with auditory discrimination—the ability to discern (and perhaps count) the sounds of an utterance, noting their similarities and differences. Conversely, neophyte speakers want to be able to produce all the sounds of English (not necessary in isolation but comprehensibly in meaningful words + larger units). The most universal content of an introductory lesson with these aims might involve Names—those of  participants in the linguistic training and  the 26 Letters of the Alphabet. Because these words are likely to contain nearly all of the (over) 40 distinct sounds of the language (plus many of their Spellings), they’ll constitute a workable Intro to the goal of “Listening & Speaking with Understanding.”
What You’ll Do:
 Look over the Introduction Opener: Names & Letters. If you like, participants can read aloud the names of the 26 upper- & lower-case letters of the alphabet displayed with sample word illustrations at the top of the page. In commenting on the photo and/or the Competencies listings, you / your students can begin noticing the sounds involved in your exchanges—and perhaps also their spellings.
 On page 2, go over the info in the explanatory box on “Names,” in the sample speech for Exercise A: Have Conversations, and in the initial presentation of “The Letters of the Alphabet.” As newcomers print the missing letters in Exercise B, pronouncing their names, teachers and advancing students might wish to recognize which of 16 vowel sounds and 24 consonant sounds / b p d t g k v f D T z s Z S dZ tS m n N r l w y h / have already “come into play.”
 On pages 3-5 of WorkLife English Skills Book 1—and while using the paired “Pronunciation Worksheets” excerpted from the corresponding Teachers’ Annotated Edition, continue to integrate attention to sound discrimination and production with Getting Acquainted activities that are to serve as “Lead-ins” for effective improvement of Listening/Speaking skills.