Published 11th June 2018
This blogs gives tips on ways to help your students improve their speaking. Usually the number one goal of our students is to be able to speak in English. This is why they learn lists of vocabulary words, figure out tricky grammar rules and struggle with pronunciation. Speaking in English can be stressful, though. and we need to find ways to improve their speaking. To speak in front of people in your own language can be tough. Yet we expect our students to speak English in front of a class full of peers at the drop of a hat. It’s no wonder our students might struggle with their confidence when it comes to speaking. As teachers it is our duty to help our students improve their speaking and this blog provides some ideas.
Though of course we cannot force our students to speak, we can only support them as best we can.
Ideas to help your students improve their speaking.
Give them time to improve speaking
Especially for lower level students, don’t add on the pressure of speaking on the spot. Don’t forget that in order to speak in English they first need to decide what they want to say and then how to say it. In other words, they have to go through quite a few steps before they reach the stage of speaking. When you give a speaking task, give time to consider the topic, think of ideas and write down some key language.
Let them collaborate
Working in pairs allows students to come up with and discuss new ideas. In this way, the students will be able to come up with a few ideas before they are required to speak about them. This will give them content to speak about as well as the confidence to convey their ideas.
Let them focus on one thing
Obviously the key is to improve their speaking. This won’t be done just be incorporating speaking activities into your lessons. Your students need to identify their weaknesses and work on those in the speaking exercises. However, they cannot tackle everything at the same time. For each speaking activity, decide on one aspect of language they need to focus on. For example, if they need to work on their accuracy, they must think carefully about their language production and not worry about fluency.
Speech exercises are the perfect time to include revision of recently learnt language. When speaking on a certain topic, highlight specific language you would like your students to use in their speaking. This could be a vocabulary set or a grammar point. It might seem a little forced, but if your students don’t focus on using language they will never remember it.
Speech is one of the more difficult skills when speaking a foreign language. Don’t make it harder than it has to be for your students. Follow these steps and you be helping your students improve their speaking.