For English language learners, the ability to speak English confidently is a must. It's the desired output of all students have learned and the information they have acquired in the classroom. Still, many language learners find it difficult to utter a word or produce meaningful sentences. Is is because they are afraid of the unknown or they fear making mistakes and being criticized?
Actually this problem may result because teachers do not incorporate activities and lessons on speaking confidently while teaching the key language skills. Many teachers often focus on reading and writing, but leave out listening and speaking skills.
Focusing on just one or two key areas in ESL instruction can keep students from developing confidence in their ability to speak English. In order to build that confidence, teachers can employ a variety of strategies.
Vary the Methods Used
Vary the methods used in teaching to help dissolve boredom and tension in the classroom. Try to use activities that incorporate reading, writing, listening, and speaking at the same time rather than just focusing on a single skill. For example, you can read a passage, and then conduct a role play or you can give students a problem to read and solve, having them discuss with one another and write their responses.
During these activities, you give students the opportunity to practice building their skills. As they practice, encourage students to accept constructive criticism and never become discouraged or unmotivated by other types of criticism. Students should not be afraid of making mistakes, but rather recognize that teveryone makes mistakes and they're a natural part of learning a language.
Offer Permanent Speaking Practice
The more you can incorporate speaking practice into the classroom, the better. Use a variety of activities to get students talking. For example, you could have students describe a picture, compare two shapes or photos, or make a presentation on a particular topic. To help students, allow them to prepare for speaking activities as homework. If they practice what they're going to say, they may be more confident in class.
Help Students Improve Key Speaking Skills
Help students recognize the traits of good speaking and communication skills, such as making eye contact, paying attention to their hands, and using their body language appropriately. You will also want to focus on skills such as respecting other people's points of view, responding politely, and apologizing if something goes wrong. As students practice speaking, take time to model, and then stop and gently correct these issues.
When it comes to promoting good speaking skills, teachers can use a variety of techniques and take time to correct students' mistakes. Students should not be afraid to receive correction or make mistakes. It's through these tasks that students can build confidence in their speaking skills. As a teacher, you don't have to call students out or put them in the spotlight, but you can quietly correct and model proper behaviors to help reinforce speaking skills.
P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking one of those sharing buttons below. And if you are interested in more, you should follow our Facebook page where we share more about creative, non-boring ways to teach English.