Speaking is the primary form of communication for most people, and in the majority of cases, one of the fundamental reasons why students study a second language. Students need to develop the skills, and the accompanying confidence to be able to speak aloud in any circumstances and to not just follow the lead of others who may be more self-assured then themselves. For students to merely mumble along, or wisper under their breath is not good enough, and falls far short of the expectations of a person who has invested the time, money and effort that it takes to learn a second language.
Today the teaching of languages has digressed from that of a mere educational necessity, to a multi-billion dollar international industry based around teaching the chosen language as fast as humanly possible, a mentality which has had obvious negative consequences on the communicative skills of many students. This necessity for everything to be done expediently has mandated the necessity for almost everything in life to be done in a manner that is time efficient. Effective communication skills take time to develop, they take extensive practice, and unlike reading or listening skills, has a psychological element to it that can, in many cases, affect a students level of presentational confidence.
Today, skills such as speaking and writing are, in many cases, delegated by book publishers to rudimentary activities that require the simple development of mere sentences or paragraphs, or speaking activities that are barely minutes long rather than the comprehensive activities that are required to develop a high level of fluency. When this fact is combined with the over crowded, and generally rushed schedules that languages are taught under in schools and institutes, then communicative skills are negatively affected.
Whilst there are innumerable activities for practicing speaking in the classroom, below I would like to share some stratagies that have worked well for me when it comes to improving an adult students overall speaking skills.