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10 easy tips to get students talking in English lessons - Part 2 of 2

A free professional blog to support English teachers

Public speaking

Last week's blog post got a great response! We love that you tried some of our teaching techniques and that the responses were so positive. That makes us really happy!

 

Even more exciting are the next 5 tips for how to get your students speaking English in your classroom.

 

1. Detailed instructions

This might sound dull but have you ever been given a task that was so vague that you have no idea where to start? How long did it take? Did you try your best? My guess would be that you didn’t give it your best and it took far longer than it should.

Avoid this problem in the classroom by giving your students detailed instructions so they know what is expected of them, how to do it and the support available when they need help. Students will grow in confidence if they can complete the task with a little support, rather than not starting at all. 

 

2. Warm-up tasks

Have you ever been required to speak your second or third language after not speaking it for a long time? Were you a little rusty to begin with? Me too!

That’s how our students feel when the language is still new. Rather than asking them to jump straight in with a presentation in front of 30 waiting students, do some warm-up exercises as a class so students can practice without the pressure. 

 

3. Prepare for homework

Some students take longer to process tasks than others. There is nothing wrong with giving students a little heads up about what you will be discussing in the next lesson so they can prepare at home first.

Students who need the extra time appreciate the opportunity to practice alone, look up vocabulary, or prepare mentally for speaking in class - something they might consider stressful. It’s no extra work for you but it might make all the difference for your students. 

 

4. Personalise the activity

Language is personal and no two people are the same. Give students a chance to personalise the English they practice with themes that the students choose themselves. Not only will this increase engagement and make learning relevant but it also allows students to differentiate the task according to their own abilities, naturally.

 

5. Build confidence

Confidence is key to getting students to speak in class. And more speaking exercises will build confidence. Catch 22. But there are other ways to build confidence too.

You can offer differentiated tasks so all students achieve something every lesson, praise students often and encourage them to praise each other. Even asking students to identify something that they are proud of will go really far in building their self-confidence both for speaking English and for so much more. 

 

We would love to know how you get on with these simple additions to your lessons so try them out and then keep us updated via social media or email :)

 

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Written by Jennifer Gardner

Owner of The English Classroom

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