Friday, May 15, 2015

15 tricks to get adult learners talking

  1. Distribute Questions
    This is a very simple method. After a reading exercise, one will generally ask students about the text at hand. Sometimes it can be tempting to ask everyone generally, but a great way to get specific people to speak (particularly those who are quite shy) is to single them out and ask the question. This might seem simple, but it is something many teachers forget.

  2. Role Plays
    It cannot be stated enough how important a role play is within the world of language teaching. Practical language use is practised within these exercises, and therefore it will allow the students to use what they know in a more creative manner. These can generally be quite a lot of fun.

  3. Find An Interesting Topic
    Getting a topic which is somewhat controversial might do well to stimulate debate in the classroom. An example would be if one were speaking about, say, immigration, some people might be interested in speaking their mind about this particular topic. Be careful, however, as sometimes one might touch on a sore or sensitive point to monitor what kind of materials are used in class.

  4. Ask Them About Themselves
    Everybody enjoys speaking about themselves. If one is teaching a business class, then this will undoubtedly be a great opportunity to inquire as to what job everybody does. Maybe you could go around the room and question everybody in turn about their role and responsibilities. Since people enjoy speaking about themselves in general, you will get a lot more conversation from them this way.

  5. Encourage Them to Ask Questions
    Try and encourage students to ask questions about various topics themselves. For example, one might say, “And why do you think Sonia did this..?” Usually directing it at a person will help. Ask them why they think a particular verb form is correct, and instil in the students that asking questions will lead to better proficiency within the language.

  6. Teaching Pronunciation
    Sometimes, depending on where you are teaching, students may not be pronouncing certain words in a correct manner. Different languages have different phonetics, therefore one needs to be sure that the students can speak in a way that is as close as possible to that of a native speaker. Pronunciation classes can also be a lot of fun.

  7. Debates
    Holding a debate in class is a great way of getting the students to talk a bit more. Sometimes the topics can become somewhat heated, and this will encourage them to use their newly acquired skills more creatively.

  8. News Story
    Similar in the way to a debate, discussion over a particular topic of current news will allow students to express their views. This may not work for all students, of course, so it is important to ask them.

  9. Turn to Your Neighbour
    Probably one of the oldest methods. Students who split up into pairs find that they are obliged to talk. In order to ensure this, keep walking around the class until the end of the exercise and make sure that everyone is speaking.

  10. Take a Class Poll
    Ask a question about a particular topic and take a poll. An example could be, “Should the government fund student tuition?” Students can then air their views and discuss them.

  11. Eye Contact
    If a student is particularly stubborn, a good idea would be to keep eye contact until they say something. This usually makes them feel uncomfortable and that they are obliged to speak. It works wonders for most students.

  12. Name Saying
    When asking questions, for example about a text, be sure to say the name of a particular student. This way they will know that you are addressing them and will have to reply accordingly. Do this on students who happen to be shy and don’t speak much in class. It will give them an opportunity to speak which they can’t refuse.

  13. What Do You Think..?
    Similar to the previous one, every now and then stop when reading an article if an important issue is raised and ask the students’ opinions on it.

  14. Explain to Me…
    Trying to get the student to explain a particular topic you have just explained will set the wheels in their head in motion. Of course, one can help them along, but it is important to make sure that the student does most of the talk.

  15. Summarise.
    Finally, a really good way is to get the students to summarise a particular topic in their own words. This may be a challenge for beginners, but overall is can help in their practise of speaking.

1 comment:

  1. Genuinely a great piece of detail shared by you. I loved reading this tremendous article published by you and found it interesting and gainful. Keep sharing such informative articles.
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