How can I improve my speaking skills?

Updated: Jun 5, 2018

Different students have been complaining that they can’t seem to remember the words they need when they speak English. I’m not sure there are really secrets to learning vocabulary, but I do think that each learner needs to discover what study practices work best for him or her. Perhaps the key is to guide them by explaining what kind of practices they need to develop.

Here are some ideas to share with learners:

1*Combine speaking and writing:

Writing prompts reflection. I have tried through my conversation class tolead my students to an effective process of speaking that starts mainly with writing.

while writing on a piece of paper their generated ideas, they tend to attain an easier way unto the subject in question.

yet writing down the ideas during this exact class means Only a draft with the main ideas or the key words that they believe it fits their opinions, no paragraphs are needed here and so, the words that are written and chosen might be easier to be used.

I offer corrections and suggested wording, so they can draw from my feedback when they write their notes. In the process, their confidence with vocabulary and grammar generally increases.

2*Study the context.

It’s helpful to recall the context in which you heard a new word. Not only will this help you piece together the meaning, but you’ll also be able to feel when and where the word should be used.

A playback of a film clip or a flashback to a page in a novel can be mentally attached to a word. It’s like a multimedia vocabulary notebook stored in your mind.

Visualize the word and its spelling. Replay the original example in your head. Pay attention to pronunciation and grammar. How was the word used?

3*Create your own Vocabulary Bank:

Having a real vocabulary notebook is a great idea, whether it’s kept on paper or in some digital form. You can’t store too much new information in your head. If you have key points written down, such as the word, its definition, and an example, you can review more easily. Eventually, it will stick.

when you forget a word during a conversation, be sure to look it up later in your notebook. Go through the conversation again and restate your ideas using the words you want. Refer to your notebook as needed.

How Can I help my students face their problem of speaking?

This demands good preparation of materials and implementation must be progressive and systematic .

few tips for teachers in general:

*reduce your Teacher Talking Time in the classroom, by giving simple and clear instructions, asking one or two students to show (by means of speaking) that they understood the task instructions, and also by asking other students to answer and explain themselves.

* Increase Student Talking Time,by asking other students to answer a student's question, by showing pictures related to the topic of the class eliciting students' participation...

*Avoid yes/no questions: Use the form of questions that makes students speak in order to make themselves clear.

* Pay Attention to your way of correcting students. Sometimes, even when your intention is simply to help a certain student, you may make things even worse to them. instead of saying "Oh! this is not correct, ..." or "You made a mistake, ..." or "Oops! don't say this or that,..." try soft ways of correcting: "Maybe you should change this or that ..." or "Why don't you use ...", or "Well, it may be even better if you do/say ..." or "Very good try, but you'd better say/do ..."

* When your students are having fluency practice ( free conversation,topic discussion...) which is totally different from pronunciation or grammar practice, never correct them, unless something seriously happen. Let them talk! Let them feel that they can communicate in spite of their mistakes in pronunciation, grammar etc. Praise them for speaking!!! Show satisfaction!

* Encourage them to watch movies. Give them tips on what and how to select what really matters, based on what they are interested in.

* Activities such as group discussion/debate (topics must be of students' interest), description of places/things/people in pairs for guessing, etc tend to help students speak.

Hope this helps!

There aren’t really any secrets to learning and retaining vocabulary, it only depends on your own way of understanding and memorizing,you need to discover your abilities and dig your own way implementing helpful practices. As a teacher, trying to enhance students' confidence might not be enough sometimes,Avoid being a "mistake hunter" so that you ll leave enough interacting space for your learners to feel encouraged to share their practices with one another which will facilitate the discoveries of their personal ways of learning.

Hope it Helps!