How to Teach Speaking

how to teach speaking

You want to know how to teach speaking? You’ve come to the right place if you want a basic overview of a few of the principles you need to remember when teaching speaking. Here are 5 things to keep in mind: Repetition is Key Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your student to practice. Start out with controlled practice, and then move to freer speaking sessions where students can experiment with using the language. Then, follow-up with review in subsequent classes. Another thing to think about is teaching language in “chunks.” If students can get to the point…

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Level Up your Teaching Game: A Resource for Busy Teachers

resources for busy English Teachers

Usually Not My Style… I’m really, really not one to use a lot of other people’s stuff in my classes. I usually just combine the best from the textbook that I’m given and then make the rest of my own materials-surveys, board games, presentation projects, or lesson plans. I usually think that making my own activity or game is way better than searching around for hours on the Internet trying to find something that I can actually use. But, the one thing that I do use in each and every single one of my university classes here in South Korea is The…

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How to Teach Listening to ESL Students

How to teach listening

How and Why to Teach Listening to ESL Students Listening is an extremely important skill if students want to speak fluently in English. No matter how well you speak, if you don’t understand what your conversation partner said, your answer will be a little awkward at best, or totally random at worst. In order to help our students, we need to include some practice with listening into our English classes. Here’s some basic advice on how to teach listening to ESL students, including a lesson plan template and some ESL listening activities. ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template 1. Set the…

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Teaching Mixed Level ESL Classes

conversation class

Mixed Level ESL Classes are a Big Problem! One of the negatives of teaching at a university in Korea is that students are often grouped according to what major they take and not what their level of English is. This results in classes having one or two students who are semi-fluent (having studied overseas perhaps, or private institutes for years) mixed in with a few students who struggle to say their name and how old they are. The instructor is then supposed to make one class fit all. This not only happens in Korea, but in all countries around the…

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ESL Small Group Discussion- One Tip to Make it Awesome

ESL students need thinking time

Discussion Starter Questions in Smart Choice, Level 2 In the ESL textbook, Smart Choice: Level 2, there are some small group discussion starters on it. The 4 questions are: Have you ever met or seen a famous person? Have you ever been in an accident? What’s your most embarrassing moment? Have you ever experienced a natural disaster? (As an aside, the Smart Choice series is a good choice if you’re looking for a simple, 4-skills book for beginner level students. Click on the picture below to buy it now on Amazon). ESL Small Group Discussion: The One Tip You Need…

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How to Teach ESL Speaking

speaking

Over at my new website, My Life! Teaching in a Korean University, there are some posts which you need to check out if you teach conversation or speaking classes. Kind of a “how to teach ESL speaking 101.” Vocabulary Review Game for ESL Students– This is a fun game for kids as well as adults which works best in a smaller class of 12 or less. It’s possible to play with larger groups, but it will be far less student-centered. It requires very little in the way of prep, which is most definitely my style. For even more ESL Speaking…

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How to Teach Speaking: Change Partners Often

change-partners

One aspect of how to teach speaking to ESL or EFL students is to require them to change partners often. This is necessary for a variety of reasons-I explain them in this short video. Even more ideas for how to teach ESL speaking, delivered straight to your inbox each week:

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ESL Speaking Feedback

esl-feedback

ESL Speaking feedback is really important if we want our students to improve their English speaking and writing skills. If you’re learning any new skill, it’s so useful to have a skilled teacher guiding you along and learning a language is no exception. In this short video, I talk about how and when to give useful feedback to our students during English conversation or speaking classes. For even more advice on how to teach ESL speaking, particularly to low-level students, check out: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults.

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Speaking Classes Don’t Always Need to be Fun

clown

When you’re new to teaching, there is the temptation to always be a constant entertainer and make your speaking classes always fun. I call these people edutainers. However, edutainer mode is hard to keep up, week after week, month after month, and year after year. While it’s good to have a laugh and a joke once in a while, learning English is not easy so it is okay to have more serious kinds of speaking activities that do not involve a game of some sort. For example, partner conversation activities or surveys are extremely valuable because that means that every…

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ESL Speaking Evaluation Tips

esl speaking

ESL speaking evaluation can be something that is quite difficult because it happens in real-time. Some ways that you can make it easier on yourself are: To not act as a conversation partner-have the students go with one another and just observe. The best kinds of tests that accurately measure speaking ability are those where students have a random partner and random questions so they can’t just make a script ahead of time. Record the conversations and evaluate them later, especially if you’re acting as a conversation partner. Simplify your speaking evaluation criteria into a few simple categories. I usually…

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How to Teach Public Speaking

teaching public speaking

I love to teach presentation skills to my ESL students because it’s a skill that they can hold on to and take with them for the rest of their lives; it can also be applied to their first language for things like job interviews, work environments or even other classes in university. But how to teach public speaking in an effective way? It can be kind of daunting at first because many teachers are not so confident in their own skills. The best advice I can give you is to get this book: Speaking of Speech: Basic Presentation Skills for…

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ESL Conversation Teaching Tips

role-plays

Get the book free before it’s published by signing up for my email list. Email Address Some of my favorite tips for teaching ESL conversation and speaking. It can be quite a difficult subject to teach because everything happens in real-time and you often need to react instantly to what’s happening around you. But like any skill, teaching ESL speaking can be improved through practice. ESL Conversation Teaching Tips: Provide a Demonstration of the Language or Activity Engaging Apathetic Students ESL Lesson Planning Template Teach your Students how to Ask Questions Graded Language: Use it!

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5 Tips for Engaging Apathetic Students

Engaging Apathetic Students

A reader question from Katrina about how to get her low level middle school students to participate in class when the last thing they want to do is speak English. This is a tough one and I’d appreciate some feedback from the readers (I’ll leave the comments open). But, here are 5 tips for engaging apathetic students that I hope will be helpful. Choose Activities Carefully The best ones are those where it’s almost easier to speak English than it is their first language. Some examples of good ones are ESL board games and surveys for ESL students. The survey…

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TOEIC Speaking Mini-Tests

Here are some TOEIC speaking style tests that I’ve used in my own speaking exam preparation classes in order to do a pre and post evaluation of my students. They can also be used as very simple level tests for your speaking or conversation classes, if you’re required to do them by your school. Sample TOEIC Speaking Test #1: Read the following: Are you a global company needing to deal with many foreign currencies? Do you find your bank’s exchange rates too low, and their service fees too high? Then take your business to Rapid Exchange. We’ll satisfy all your…

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