I would be grateful for any hints or ideas on the following:
Given: a group of students trying to master speaking skills to pass CPE/IELTS (at least 7,5).
In general, the classroom activities are of two types: doing either exam tasks with strict timing or freer thematic discussion with long-run talks. Surprisingly enough (or, probably not surprisingly at all) Vocabulary appears to be the main stumbling block. While their passive knowledge is extensive and in 90% they easily pick up new words, the language they use in the final tasks does not seem to be improving that fast. Most of them complain that while speaking they cannot remember anything at all, as if spontaneously they could not use the new language at will. Even if that is only partly true, it is still very frustrating. Assuming, it takes a quite while to acquire a natural command of the language, what else can be done? Any particular types of activities/ course books/ whatever would be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.