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  1. #1
    anthonyk is offline Newbie
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    Default Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    Hello,

    I am starting to teach a few students who simply want to improve their spoken English and listening. I will not be teaching them writing at all.

    The students are in their twenties and are, I would say, coming up to advanced level in English.

    I would like to ask for some ideas on how to improve their spoken English. Should I simply converse with them on chosen topics for 2 hours? It sounds a bit boring to me.

    Sorry if this is a silly thing to ask but I am a beginner teacher and need help!

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyk View Post
    Hello,

    I am starting to teach a few students who simply want to improve their spoken English and listening. I will not be teaching them writing at all.

    The students are in their twenties and are, I would say, coming up to advanced level in English.

    I would like to ask for some ideas on how to improve their spoken English. Should I simply converse with them on chosen topics for 2 hours? It sounds a bit boring to me.

    Sorry if this is a silly thing to ask but I am a beginner teacher and need help!

    Any advice is appreciated.

    Thanks.
    In my opinion you should converse with them during about 50 % of the time.
    Since you are teaching ESL (that means your students are currently living in an English speaking country), things are easier.
    I advice you to rely strongly on excerpts from movies, TV commercials, documentaries, news from radio/TV. Play the situations on a DVD and have a discussion with them. Repeat some key scenes over and over and check their understanding. Also have them work hole play games/situations, record their speechs while they act and prepare some classes based on it.

    I recommend you to read this recent thread too:
    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/te...-speaking.html

  3. #3
    anthonyk is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I will use your advice.

    Anthony.

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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    What has worked well for me has been to agree on a topic beforehand, ideally, something the student is interested in.

    Both should have the same written supporting materials available for the session.

    Using a combination of role playing, hearing the coach read paragraphs, (how it should sound), having the student read the same passage... allows the student to pick out words and expressions needing explanation or clarification while the coach can note areas for remedial attention.

    The role playing aspect works well if the topic simulates a real life situation such as a business meeting, sales pitch, news cast or some other interactive situation based loosely on the topic. Having the student form and express opinion is good practice.

    Hope this helps a little.

    D.

  5. #5
    Earthlark is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    Since you are teaching ESL (that means your students are currently living in an English speaking country), things are easier.
    Depending on the number of students and your location/situation, you can also plan some real-life activities (perhaps after a simulation in class), where you can take advantage of living in an English-speaking country. A simple example is going to a restaurant and ordering food. Your students can then practice what they have learned and you can listen to them and give pointers about what they have done well and could change. (You could also record the conversation depending on who is involved.) Perhaps they are well past simply ordering food properly, so you can adjust the experience according to their level, e.g., talking with a museum curator about a particular piece of art.

  6. #6
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    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    I alternate between two or more methodologies: a laboratory in which they repeat, anticipate and apply specific advanced phrases, methodically, at a fairly rapid clip, for 25 minutes.... this improves fluency and recall;

    And then, an open conversation, dynamics, in which free expression is allowed and no corrections are given, unless absolutely necessary.

    And structured debates, in which students are assigned purposes, points of view to defend, and so on, in which they compete in teams to present ideas coherently.

    These 3 should be enough; change every half hour.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    Giving them 2 whole hours of speaking is not a good idea.

    Perhaps the first hour should focus more on pronouncing words that would be used in a short dialog later. Students will then act this situational dialog. Eventually, as they get better, you could even hold a drama competition. It would be a great motivation for them, trust me :)

    You could also take them out of school to Starbucks or McDonalds and get them to practise what they've learnt. This would be fun too.

    Try them and give me your feedback :)

    Regards
    Kev

  8. #8
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    the creative is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    hello,
    thank you for your request

    did you know?
    I had same proplem , that I can't speak english properly, but I use many advices that I know from my friends, the most important one is trying and training by listening and speaking...

    any serving, and I am ready....

    BEST WISHES

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    What works well for my students (on line).

    1) We have the same reference material in front of us.

    2) We are familiar with the content.

    3) The content is of interest to the student.

    4) I read a passage, paragraph or sentence.

    5) I ask if any words or phrases need explanation.

    6) The student reads the same passage I did.

    7) I ask that certain words be underlined (for later focus).

    8) I read a few words of the passage again.

    9) The student repeats the few words and we continue.

    10) The student reads the entire passage again. They repeat the underlined words three times when they get to them.

  10. #10
    Emma Roads is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Teaching spoken English...HELP!

    I teach Spoken English to a group of Spanish ladies through my church affiliation. We read a book every month especially ones that have historical value so that these women get to appreciate American history as well. I’ve found many of the study questions and Teacher Resources on Shmoop very helpful in creating a conversation piece for discussion. Shmoop also gives my students an opportunity to interact and express their thoughts with others online.

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