One of the factors that indicate success in ESL classrooms is the proficiency of students in oral communication. Regardless of if the ESL class is for basic, intermediate or advanced learners, the ability of students to articulate simple to complex ideas in English may be verified, assessed, and improved using various ESL techniques. Once students become comfortable using the fundamental approaches of communicating meaning in English, they can start participating in English conversations, whether through orchestrated scenarios or in real life encounters.
In almost any linguistic context, the process of conversation involves listening, the mental formulation of meaning and speaking. Each participant in a conversation has to perform all three tasks so that you can remain an active and relevant player within the encounter. As these tasks are by no means easy to perform for most non-native speakers, the knowledge of successfully involved in a complete session provides much pleasure, excitement and satisfaction among ESL/EFL students. Commonly, there is some sort of eureka moment when an idea expressed in English is correctly apprehended through the student and whenever a specific idea students are trying to convey in language is articulated correctly and clearly understood by a native English speaker. Likewise, teachers of English as a second or language whose students have developed conversational skills are adequately affirmed with regard to their profession as well as the learning strategies and methods that they adopt.
Hindrances that prevent full involvement in conversations
Getting learners to develop conversational skills in English is riddled with challenges, however. The very fact is, the different forms of oral discourses–light conversation, role-plays, debates, topic discussions and recitations–are seen with dread and apprehension by many students. This results to a substantial timidity or hesitation among students to proactively articulate their thoughts in English. A number of factors have been identified to cause or reinforce learners’ reluctance to talk in English. These include–
The topic is irrelevant or totally foreign to the learner.
The learner will not have an opinion or anything to articulate about the subject.
The learner doesn’t know-how to correctly articulate an idea and is fearful of making mistakes and ridiculed through the class or perhaps the conversation partner.
The learner is intimidated by the higher level of proficiency exhibited by other learners. The possibility of being when compared with more articulate learners results to a nagging reluctance to participate even when the learner has valid ideas about the topic.
The learner is conscious about and ashamed of the peculiar accent he or she exhibits when speaking in English.
Getting these common hindrances out of the way is the first major step a competent ESL/EFL educator should take. For learners to create acceptable proficiencies in oral English communication, any roadblock that prevents an active, meaningful participation in oral discourses needs to be addressed. Here are some logical, common sense approaches in doing so:
ESL/EFL educators needs to be aware of the socio-cultural contexts they can be teaching in. Aligning lesson plans that make use of highly relevant and familiar topics (common Thai dish ingredients or street foods, Korean television series, and unique Bornean wildlife, for examples) will help learners to effortlessly form ideas and opinions that they have to express in English.
To facilitate a greater learning environment, English teachers should make it a point to get to learn their students individually around possible. In smaller classes, getting to learn students’ hobbies or interests can help yield valuable conversation topics. This might not be possible in much bigger classes, however. One of the ways to circumvent cases wherein students are not able to form meaningful ideas or opinions about a topic is usually to assign them fixed, pre-fabricated roles or opinions. This way, learners can concentrate on language production skills rather than forming viewpoints or drawing from their very own personal experiences.
Creating an open, tolerant, and socially constructive classroom is critical in fostering collaborative learning. At the beginning of the course, the ESL/EFL educator should already have established that mistakes will inevitably occur and that there is no reason to be ashamed of them. The teacher can also choose to give due credit to risk takers even when they commit mistakes. This is an opportunity to correct mistakes and encourage other learners to participate.
In some learning scenarios, levels of competition are a robust motivation for success. In others, on the other hand, collaborative techniques that wholly benefit the group are better utilized.
Exhibiting accents is a normal manifestation in second or foreign language articulation. Educators and linguists differ on how they regard this phenomenon, however. On one hand, the spread of English across the world has transformed it in to a global language such that no single ethno-linguistic group can now really claim it as its own. The British and the Aussies have their respective accents. Why would accents that indicate a Japanese or Filipino speaker be viewed as incorrect when the meaning conveyed is apprehensible to any English speaker? After all, linguists believe that language is organic and continually evolving, with different groups assimilating a particular language and imbuing it with their very own characteristic nuances and accents. On the contrary, there are educators who maintain that encouraging the utilization of a neutral English accent is the best course to take within the long term, especially in global communication. Because some English variants and pidgin forms are difficult to comprehend quickly, neutral accents are preferable when significantly distinct socio-linguistic groups are communicating in English. Hence, educators should constructively teach the globally acceptable way of speaking in English without marginalizing the specific English variant characteristic of the locale they can be teaching in.
Speaking and listening exercises are still, by far, the best approach of improving conversational skills. Read more in-depth articles about フィリピン留学おすすめ on this website. However, any hindrance that prevents learners from fully engaged in these exercises should immediately be addressed through the ESL/EFL teacher as explained previously. Using conversation cue cards that are utilized in role playing sessions might also help learners become less apprehensive about participating.
Transitional exercises that teach learners on how to listen and speak about relevant everyday encounters should be an important part of the course on conversational English. Speaking about the weather, buying groceries, meeting a whole new acquaintance, a job interview and offering to rent a place will be just several of the scenarios wherein potentially useful English conversation exercises may be initiated.
As these scenarios are familiar, students will more likely participate in communicating their thoughts. Once educators have familiarized and made learners comfortable with speaking and listening exercises, the class may proceed to more complex activities. Examples include formal debates on different relevant subject areas. When conducting debates, remember that it’s more important for students to concentrate on how exactly to articulate than to concentrate on how they really feel about a subject.
To help learners develop a neutral English accent, teachers should advise them to 1) observe and imitate the mouth movements of competent English speakers; 2) use the dictionary to learn correct pronunciations; 3) listen to audio books in English; 4) read English books or magazines aloud; and 5) record their English conversations and oral readings to identify common mistakes as well as have these rectified.