The whole point of learning a language is to enable you speak, read and write. When you learn how to speak a language, the other two forms follow. When language first came on the scene, people spoke it before they came with the symbols to write. For adult learners knowing how to spell and form sentences is good, but isn’t very helpful if the individual can’t speak English well. For an ESL teacher then, the purpose of teaching should be to help students speak English better.
Let students talk about themselves
There are few people who will pass up the chance to talk about themselves. To help learners get comfortable speaking in English, ask them to share what they do in life. The chance to practice their language skills in normal conversations helps the students get better.
Discuss an interesting topic
Whether it’s a current affairs issue or a news item, it would serve the students well to engage in a debate. The stimulating nature of debates gets them out of their comfort zones and forces them to speak their mind. It’s good to keep hot-button issues out of the discussion, as it might defeat the purpose of getting students to engage.
Taking on different roles allows the students to be creative in speaking and learn how to approach different situations. The practical language used during role play helps students to learn the kind of language to use in different settings.
Ramona Maharaj City of Hamilton is an ESL teacher currently working in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She graduated took English as a major in college. After graduating, she taught English in various countries in Asia and South America.