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Teaching of Speaking Guidelines
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IIntroduction

 

  As teachers and students both know so well, we learn by 

  doing.  In order to develop conversation ability, students must

  practice talking about something.  One good, general strategy

  for doing this is:

 

(1)          Students are introduced to a new conversation

             context through:

(a)    the teacher acting out the situation;

(b)    having them figure out what is going to be

       and by explaining in the simplest terms they

       can understand;

(c)   listening and reading through the conversation together, with new vocabulary introduced through video, pictures, actions, examples, and explanations, with meaning or definition figured out as much as possible by the students themselves;

(d)   having them ask and answer questions about the presented conversation; and

(e)   having them ask and answer similar questions about their own personal lives.

 

(2)          Students practice (in small groups) dialogue

              scripts which are as natural, authentic,

              and interesting as possible;

(3)         Students perform / produce the conversation before the class as a whole; allowing them to read as needed,

(4)         Students practice and perform (in small groups) dialogue scripts from memory (they can peek as needed);

(5)        Students to substitute words / ideas according

             to the topic / situation;

(6)       Students develop and act out their own original

            dialogues.

(7)        Students ask and answer questions about

             these dialogues.

 

While students are practicing conversations in groups, the teacher moves among the groups, so that he / she can help them complete their conversation as well as possible.  While monitoring each group, the teacher can help students by:

(1)        providing corrections in vocabulary or

             pronunciation for students,

(2)       tell and confirm for students when they are

            being successful,

(3)          suggesting possible expressions or ideas when

             students hesitate during the

              conversation,

(4)         making written or mental notes that evaluate

            which students are progressing best or least.

           Teachers should give more help to the students

           progressing the slowest, and choose the better

           students as the first students to model

           conversations before the class as a whole. 

(5)    practice these fluency skills: speaking faster,

          speaking louder, speaking in complete   

          sentences, speaking with extended answers,

          speaking with follow up questions,

speaking with good intonation.

 

Some further useful conversation formats are:

(1)     free talking,

(2)     answering questions about what you read,

(3)     answering questions about a conversation you hear,

(4)     asking and answering questions in a domino sequence 

        with the whole class,

(5)     students repeat and say target language in a domino

        sequence with the whole class,

(6)     information gap pairs,

(7)     students interview and survey all of the class and then

        report on the answers,

(8)     students discuss and debate an issue after an

        introduction to the topic,

(9)     students perform speaking tasks according to different

        workstations located around the room, and

(10)  students select target questions and answers from a list,

        study these 1 by 1, and repetitively  perform them in front

        of the teacher for evaluation.