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  1. #1
    faryan's Avatar
    faryan is offline Senior Member
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    Question sophisticated teachers, help!

    Greetings to you all dear teachers!

    I'm searching to know more about a more efficient way for reinforcing conversational skills of intermediate EFL students. Is it possible to consider discussion itself as a productive and less time-consuming way of teaching -or boosting- such skills?

    Have you done that before? How have you found it?

    Your kind answers or even comments would be real of help...

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Getting intermediate students to converse confidently and happily in English is a useful thing, so I would say that discussion itself can be very productive.

  3. #3
    faryan's Avatar
    faryan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Thanks! I wish more teachers could share their findings and their divergent experience here! May be the topic that I chose was not a brilliant one!

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    They will.

    One risk with overusing discussion is that people think they're not being taught anything, though.

  5. #5
    Linda White is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Yes I think real conversations are a useful too. Not only am I an ESL teacher but am learning Spanish and nothing reinforces the language better than real conversations. Good luck

  6. #6
    Linda White is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Hi, not only am I an ESL teacher, but I am also studying Spanish and find that reinforcing what I have learned in class and books, through the use of real conversations is highly beneficial. Good luck.

  7. #7
    I'm With Stupid's Avatar
    I'm With Stupid is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    I do think that real discussion is one of the most effective ways to improve English conversation abilities. It's particularly useful if you can incorporate some of the language from the lesson into the discussion, because vocab tends to be remembered through usage.

    However, it's not without its challenges. One of the biggest issues is simply finding a topic that everyone finds engaging, and everyone is able to talk about. Someone might be great at English, but if they don't know any of the arguments for and against Fair Trade crops, for example, they can hardly be expected to have a discussion about it. Even as a native speaker, it usually takes me a while to figure out what I think about something, before I can articulate it to a group of people. And then the other issue is that everyone simply agrees, and the discussion goes nowhere. That one can be solved by simply switching to role play instead of real discussion. It's a bit contrived, but it can help keep the conversation going, and increase the frequency of usage of the language you're trying to get them to practice.

    But in principle, I think if your students are spending most of the lesson discussing something in English, you're probably doing a good job.

  8. #8
    faryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda White View Post
    Hi, not only am I an ESL teacher, but I am also studying Spanish and find that reinforcing what I have learned in class and books, through the use of real conversations is highly beneficial. Good luck.
    Thanks dear Linda!
    Let me know whatever you feel is substantial to create an outstanding one!

  9. #9
    faryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    Quote Originally Posted by I'm With Stupid View Post
    I do think that real discussion is one of the most effective ways to improve English conversation abilities. It's particularly useful if you can incorporate some of the language from the lesson into the discussion, because vocab tends to be remembered through usage.

    However, it's not without its challenges. One of the biggest issues is simply finding a topic that everyone finds engaging, and everyone is able to talk about. Someone might be great at English, but if they don't know any of the arguments for and against Fair Trade crops, for example, they can hardly be expected to have a discussion about it. Even as a native speaker, it usually takes me a while to figure out what I think about something, before I can articulate it to a group of people. And then the other issue is that everyone simply agrees, and the discussion goes nowhere. That one can be solved by simply switching to role play instead of real discussion. It's a bit contrived, but it can help keep the conversation going, and increase the frequency of usage of the language you're trying to get them to practice.

    But in principle, I think if your students are spending most of the lesson discussing something in English, you're probably doing a good job.


    That's really of the utmost importance. Actually I do know what you mean.

    A sheet of paper including some questions for a brainstorm, some mumbo jumbo phrases and their meanings plus some other questions for them to do -as the means of learning reinforcement- would be prepared and is going to be presented a session in advance, then students will have enough time to search, get ready for the discussion and participate more actively.

  10. #10
    waflob is offline Member
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    Default Re: sophisticated teachers, help!

    The whole point of language is as a tool for communication and speaking is almost certainly the most common form of communication. As a teacher, you will have to keep your ears open and take note of mistakes. Stopping the conversation for every mistake is probably not a good idea, as a conversation should flow. I make notes on the mistakes and present these to the class at the end, for group correction.

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