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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: More than just speaking - developing student speaking skills

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so I'm very pleased to welcome Adrienne

Dollfuss today's presenter co-author of

Cambridge English in power Adrienne has

worked as a teacher and teacher trainer

in Finland in the former Yugoslavia in

Britain Lebanon and Egypt his co-author

of meanings in two words and the

language in new series author of the

teacher training course teach English

series editor of Cambridge skills for

fluency the co-author of listening 1 2

and 4 in the Cambridge skills and

fluency series as well one of the

authors have Cambridge English unlimited

and also as I mentioned Cambridge

English and power is currently living in

Germany and working as a freelance

teacher and teacher trainer and today's

webinar is another chance to hear

Adrienne's talk from earlier on this

year on speaking skills so we're

delighted to have him back

welcome Adrienne over to you ok thank

you very much Alistair and hello

everybody and welcome and thank you for

tuning in to this webinar as you just

heard I'm speaking from Munich in

Germany on what is I have to say a

rather chilly and cloudy afternoon so I

hope the weather's better at least for

some of you where you are the focus of

this seminar is speaking skills and

speaking generally and as teachers we

tend to spend I think quite a lot of

time we attach quite a lot of inputs to

speaking in the classroom often doing

activities such as these discussion role

play games telling stories and anecdotes

getting learners to talk about personal

experiences and activities of these

kinds are an opportunity for learners to

speak they give practice in speaking and

I think to a certain extent we can

develop learners speaking skills simply

by giving them opportunities to speak or

giving them practice in speaking in

other words you can get better at

speaking simply by speaking but in this

webinar I'd like to focus really on the

question of how we can actually improve


rather than simply giving giving

practice in speaking and opportunities

to speak and I think there are two

aspects to this which is to do with what

speaking skills involve on the one hand

is to do with with language and what

language we need in order to speak well

and another aspect is the process of

developing fluency and so how can we

help learners to speak more easily

faster without having to think and pause

and hesitate so fluency in that sense

for most of this webinar we will be

focusing on language but towards the end

I want to look at this some there's

other aspect of of the process of

developing fluency as well just to start

thinking about the language we use when

we speak or language we using

conversation I'd like to look with you

at a simple example a simple situation

where we might commonly want to have a

conversation in English or we're in a

classroom we might want to learners to

practice English and this is the

situation you invite someone to your

home and you explain how to get there

let's just think about this for a bit

think about what language might you need

in order to have this conversation as

the speaker and what about the other

person I'll just pause for a moment here

and by all means give any contributions

you'd like as you think about it

okay well clearly there's some there's

the whole range of language you might

need in order to engage in this

conversation you need grammar of various

kinds various dramatical structures you

need a certain amount of vocabulary

especially though I think you would need

functional expressions for example the

language for making an invitation for

inviting such as would you like would

you like to come round are you free to

come round are you free to visit me and

so on also the language for accepting

and refusing yes I'd love to

no sorry I can't also asking for

information how do I get there what time

should I come is there a bus and so on

and possibly the language of giving

directions as well take the number 15

past grass of the station my house is

near the supermarket turn right turn

left and so on and also probably the

language of arranging to meet so I'll

see you at 6:00 I'll see you later

and so on if we put all this together

then this might lead to a conversation

something like this which I'll just read

you would you like to come around for

lunch thinks I'd love to how do I get to

your house take the number 15 bus to

Park Street my house is just near the

bus stop okay I'll see you at 6:00

yes see you then if we look at this

conversation it's the the speakers they

they get across what they need to say

but if I look at it it doesn't look to

me like a very natural conversation such

as we'd have in real life it looks

actually a bit like a typical coursebook

conversation but not much like the kind

of conversation I would probably have if

I was talking about this so let's just

look at this and consider in what way

is it different from a real-life

conversation or what is missing from the

conversation that might be there in real

life just take a a minute to think about


I think there's a bit of a delay in in

the chat responses because some of the

responses are still coming in from the

the last part of this

so cusco on let's show you what's here

is my version of how this conversation

might be i think in in real life if I

was really having this conversation and

you can see from this that these

functional expressions are still there

they're there in black somebody has just

put lacks natural chatter which i think

is a very good comment and what I put it

in red is some of this natural chatter

and hesitation and arms honors which

mark out but where we have conversations

in real life if you look at the

expressions in red these add into the

conversation what we often refer to as

speaking strategies so just reading

through this age starts off not with

just would you like to come around for

lunch but with a way of introducing

leading into the topic oh by the way yes

I was meaning to ask you to link this to

what was going on before or what the

situation was then be oh are you sure

it's very nice of you responding with

emotion in some way expressing surprise

may be pleased a of course okay great um

hesitating giving yourself time to think

about what your response is well let me


then take the number fifteen Buster Park

Street and then be checks and clarifies

what a says and the correction no not

fifty it's fifteen so what we're adding

in here and what I think would naturally

happen in this conversation

are these speaking strategies and these

are examples of them we had introducing

the topic by the way responding

positively perhaps with surprise giving

yourself time to think and I think very

importantly as well communicating to the

other person that you are thinking about

your answer clarifying and correcting

these are just them some examples of

speaking strategies which would be

included in a conversation like this of

course there might be many other

strategies the speakers might use let's

just look at some other examples of

situations where people use speaking

strategies of this kind here's one

example look I'm not trying to put this

what is it well the company has got to

make cuts

so probably the situation here this is a

boss talking to an employee and the boss

is about to say you're fired you're

being made redundant why does the boss

use these expressions in red what is the

strategy that a is using here do you


right so we've got some responses here

that he's making it somewhere empathetic

he's hesitating he's preparing the other

speaker he's got an unpleasant situation

to talk about his softening the

situation we often call this some

softening language thank you for these

responses this is softening or a careful

lead-in to what he has to say rather

than just going straight into what the

person what the news is that he's got to

contribute how about this situation this

is somebody probably showing some new

technology to somebody maybe on a

computer maybe a machine so you press

this button okay this button here what

strategy is this in red okay I'll see

for clarification Thank You sandy

checking clarification checking

understanding yeah this is an example

that of clarifying language both a is

clarifying that B is understood and B is

also clarifying that some that he or she

has understood to make sure she's got

the message and here's the third

situation well anyway you might imagine

these are two people having a

conversation maybe just chatting maybe

chatting with your neighbor and at some

point in the conversation a says well

anyway what do you think is going on

here it's just change of subject

Kira hesitation is jumping rounding off

a topic giving time to think again

getting back to the point

wrapping up the topic conclusion maybe

I'm Carla yeah maybe ignoring what the

other person is saying this depends

doesn't it on the stage of the

conversation maybe if this is towards

the end of the conversation this will be

a way of finishing off the topic this

person might be saying well anyway I

must go now very nice talking to you it

might be a way of moving on to a new

topic okay well anyway that reminds me

and then going on to some

else and it might also be a way of going

back to the topic they've drifted off

the topic and then a says well anyway as

I was saying so all these all these are

possibilities depending on the situation

and well anyway is clearly a very useful

expression in conversation it seems

clear to me that the strategies and the

expressions of this kind of extremely

important and they're very important as

all levels of learning as well very

often people talk about the importance

of speaking of strategies with regard to

advanced learning for example in

business negotiations or in academic

discussion and of course this is very

important but equally important are

conversational strategies which are used

even a beginner level and here are some

examples of very important ones it seems

to me excuse me

attracting attention maybe interrupting

someone I'm not quite sure giving an

uncertain response to somebody well

which might be used in all kinds of


possibly softening preparing somebody

for what you're going to say again maybe

expressing uncertainty giving yourself

time to think as the nurse just said and

just a minute again this is probably

giving yourself time to think

or perhaps interrupting somebody so

these are important strategies but they

involve extremely basic language of

course also important are strategies

that's a much more advanced level which

will be much more elaborated and so here

are some examples of those well what

we're going to talk about today is a way

of introducing a topic probably in

public speaking giving a presentation

I'm not sure I entirely agree with you a

way of disagreeing carefully disagreeing

politely and look the point I'm trying

to make is reinforcing your point of

view maybe returning to the topic so we

can see here the similar kinds of

speaking strategy operating both as a

very elementary level and also as a much

more advanced level and the reason I

think these are important is because

this kind of language oils the wheels

of conversation it helps us to speak

fluently and perhaps even more important

than that it enables us to have

successful communication with other

people so if these are an important part

of conversation then clearly it's

important to help learners with this to

teach this language or to point this

language out to learners and help them

to use it so I want to move on now to

looking at some ways in which we might

teach speaking strategies and I think

there are three main elements to this or

I suppose you could think of these as

kind of three stages in doing this one

is simply getting learners to notice the

language of conversational strategies

and I think this is important because

very often this language is not central

to what we're saying and so it can

easily be missed or it can seem to

learners to be honest enchiladas

important but learners may not notice

it's there so quite a lot can be done

simply by alerting learners to the fact

that these phrases are being used which

they can then pick up on

I think another very important elements

in this is practice and I think this is

a question mainly of automaticity of

helping learners to use these phrases

and expressions and words automatically

without having to think too much about

them and to make them part of their

repertoire of productive speaking and

the third elements in this is helping

learners to use these expressions when

they speak fluently when they speak more

freely and this is a question I think of

of incorporating of integrating these

expressions into Fria language use I

didn't have a look it's just some quick

examples of each of these stages so if

we look at noticing first

one very this is a fairly easy thing to

do I think one one easy way to do this

is simply to take a dialog such as this

one and either two and students either

underline particular expressions or

their complete gaps in these expressions

and sometimes increasingly I would say

that course books include exercises like

this but if they don't is also something

you can do almost with any dialogue with

any ELT dialogue and this is an example

this is adapted slightly from a course

book dialogue and as you can see from

the blue highlighted expressions the

focus of this Darla wasn't on speaking

strategies the focus was on grammar and

these grammatical structures for making

comparisons using good better and best

so it had a grammar focus but if you

look at the dialogue you can also see

this includes some quite interesting

speaking strategies language just take a

moment to look at this dialogue they're

comparing different TV programs as you

can see what speaking strategies do you

think they're using here apart from the

main language of comparing what else are

they doing okay they're agreeing they're

repeating a bits showing interest

opinions disagreeing yeah I agree I

think probably more than just interest

they're expressing very strong

disagreements on say and they are yes

they're exclamations they're expressing

surprise I think at the other person's

point of view so it's kind of shocked

disagreement here you could imagine in a

class you could very easily focus on

this aspect of the conversation I'm

possibly after you've looked at the

grammar of it you could then simply gap

out the key expressions which he used

for disagreeing and expressing surprise

so maybe you can remember or you can

guess what these expressions were and

see if you can do this yourself


okay this is these Russians so you can

see that by doing this this is quite a

good way to focus on on the language of

of disagreement of strong disagreement

that the learners use very often when we

are using speaking strategies they are

concerned with turn-taking

in conversations and the way we respond

to other people and a slightly different

technique another way of of focusing on

this is to show a conversation line by

line or supplier conversation pausing it

and ask learners to predict what is

going to happen next so I just like to

show you this now here's an example

here's a conversation between two

telephone conversation between two

people it says hello B says Jane its

Peter here what do you think Jane might

say next how are you hi Peter okay this

is indeed exactly what she says what do

you think Peter might say next okay I'm

fine fine thanks no you might say why

he's calling I'd say what about you okay

I want to ask you for a date in fact

this is what he says well I'm a bit

stressed so what do you think Jane might

say next okay why how come

oh dear might be expressed as sympathy

might be asking why might be what's the


in fact she's not so interested as that

she has said really well listen let's

meet up tonight what do you think Peters

gonna say next that okay sure

with pleasure oh I'm too stressed great

not tonight okay so all kinds of things

you could say this is what he actually

says no I can't go out tonight I've got

lots of work okay so I think you can see

how this works obviously this it doesn't

matter what he actually says what is

important here is to to think about what

you might say and you could play around

with with different possibilities

different ways of responding and taking

turns in the conversation focusing on

different kinds of speaking strategies

what we've got here is surprise

we've got sympathy perhaps we've got

some agreements and refusal and so on

let's now add practice these are ideas

then just for for focusing on the

language for getting learners to notices

in doing practice I think it's extremely

important to give a very quick focused

practice which can help learners to to

really get their kind of tongues round

get their heads round if you'd like

particular expressions they're learning

and take ownership of them and make them

their own here's an example this is an

area that you might want to practice of

responding with different degrees of

interest or surprise or sympathy or

pleasure and one way in which you could

do very quick practice of these is by

setting up what I've called mini

conversations or mini situations so for

example a and B could have sentences

could have utterances which they say

which are announcing news and the other

person could respond using this language

just going back to that so for example I

could say they've discovered life on

Mars wow that's great news or really

that's interesting someone's just stolen

my iPhone on

that's awful I've decided to get married

really that's amazing well that's great

news and so on so quick to line

conversations which would give very

intensive practice and somebody has

mentioned in information as importance

here and this would be a very good

chance to focus on the insulation of

showing surprise showing sympathy and so

on I agree thank you for that comment

David so that would be an idea for for

very quick practice which I think is an

important stage in learners being able

to use this language naturally and

without having to think a lot about it

let's look now at how we might actually

use these expressions that we're

teaching learners and get them to use

them when they're having a more extended

conversation in in freer practice or

when they're developing fluency now

let's look at an example of this I'd

like you to imagine now you have been

teaching this language so you've looked

at it you've got students Toulouse's it

you've done a bit of quick practice on

it probably you have had some exercises

on it and the language you're teaching

is the language of polite disagreement a

more advanced level this might be B -

perhaps upper intermediate and these are

the range of expressions that you've

taught and practiced what you now want

to do is to have a freer activity and so

you get your learners to have a

discussion about an issue and you want

them to agree or disagree politely and

express their opinions what do you think

might be a problem with doing this what

do you think might not work out well in

moving into social fluency activity

no it's just as official if there's no

contact right in this example I think

we'd be importance of course in a real


to set up a context I think I agree with

with Sandy here that they might not use

this language correctly and also as Olga

says they might be they might be shy or

they might not have enough to go on I

think one obvious problem is that they

simply might not use this language we've

been practicing at all I think this is

generally a problem with free activities

that on the one hand we want learners to

be engaged and to talk about the topic

and to be interested in content but on

the other hand we want them to practice

the language we've taught them and I

think it often happens that when it

comes in the heat of the moment if they

really get involved in a discussion

which is what we want they they aren't

actually going to think about these

expressions and use them and so here are

some of the some ideas I think which

might be ways of making sure or helping

them to actually incorporate the

language we just looked at the

expressions we looked at into a

conversation one I think is the

principle of less is more in other words

I think if we give learners a very large

number of expressions that we want them

to use freely they are less likely to

use them successfully so perhaps it

might be better rather than trying to

teach people 15 different ways of

agreeing or disagreeing to just teach

people give people maybe just three or

four ways of agreeing or disagreeing

which they can more easily retain and I

think another important principle is to

empower the students in other words to

give them ownership of the expressions

we're teaching and let them choose so if

we just go back to the expressions that

we wanted to use before they have a

discussion they could look at these

expressions and just put a tick or cross

or circle beside just one or two

three that they want to use and I think

this would make it more likely that they

would actually incorporate these

expressions into their conversation

another important principle I think is

to get feedback after the conversation

so allow the learners to speak freely

during the conversation but then

afterwards maybe return to these

expressions as a teacher you would

monitor the conversation but then ask

them what which expressions did you use

which didn't you use which did you find

easy to use and to focus again on the

language and another idea is perhaps to

make this into a kind of game

I know teachers often do this that the

learners have the expressions we wanted

to use in front of them

and they take an expression when they

use it

and so maybe we get them a point every

time they use an expression so it

becomes a kind of game and another idea

is to use an observer so instead of just

having a discussion you could have a

group of learners three of the three of

the learners are having a discussion and

the fourth learner is observing and the

fourth learners job is simply to note

down what expressions came up and then

report back to the teacher so these are

ways of I think allowing fluency

activities to take place but at the same

time helping learners to integrate

conversational strategies into them so

at the beginning of this webinar I

talked about two ways in which we might

help to develop fluency and develop

speaking skills one is by introducing

the language that learners need for the

fluency activity and this is really what

we've been looking at so far and a

second way which almost is to look at

was the actual process of developing

fluency and helping learners to simply

speak more easily and more freely and I

think this is partly a question of

giving preparation time and I want now

to move on to that and have a look at

some examples of how we might help

learners to prepare for speaking

and here's an example well it's prefer

to talk about that and just imagine the

situation here that you want to have a

discussion about privacy and you want

learners to talk about whether they have

a sense of privacy or not where the

privacy is important to them whether

they need personal space whether they

like to spend time a lot of time with

other people I think this is quite an

interesting topic to talk about but I

would be concerned as we saw with the

earlier example that learners might just

dry up but they might feel they might

not have anything to say about it

or some learners might talk about it but

others might not and I think one way in

which we could help with this would be

to introduce a preparation phase so

before they have this conversation to

have a thinking time so you might just

have this question well how importance

is privacy to you how important you need

do you need personal space and just mark

your place on this line okay see some of

you are doing this so if you're 3 & 4

some of to some of five okay so four I

think my place would be about four and a

half from a fairly private person I

don't like to share tables with

strangers in restaurants for example I

like to go for walks on my own so things

like this so I might just think about

this and mark my number and perhaps just

think about why I've put my number just

there and then learners could do that

and then we could ask them then to talk

to another student just to show them

where they put their themselves on the

line let's just say where they put

themselves on the line and see if they

put themselves in the same place and I

think because we've given this thinking

time there's more chance that learners

would be able to talk freely and

fluently about this so the basic

principle here is I think think and then

speak rather than just go straight into

speaking I'd like to show you one more

example of a similar thing this is an

activity actually from Cambridge English

in power which Alistair mentioned at the

beginning and this is again a fluency

based on a picture if you look at this

building we might get our learners to

talk about the building and what it is

why it's there what is used for and so

on again I think this is quite an

interesting thing to talk about but the

risk is that some learners would find it

easy to talk about it other learners

might not quite know what to say about

it or not be able to talk very fluently

about it or perhaps even not have

developed very clear ideas about it and

again I think we can greatly help with

an activity like this by introducing a

preparation time which is simply

thinking time and I'll just like to to

show this to you you don't need to

respond to this particularly but just

look at the picture and just think about

it to yourself like what is this is it a

house or is it some other building where

is it is this a river or sea or lake

what country might it be why do you

think this house is there what do you

think it's used for why was it built

like this does somebody live here or not

we'll use it for something else and then

you just might imagine just going into

this house and imagine what it's like

like other rooms there or is it just one

room and what you see in this is that as

the furniture other things on the walls

is there something on the floor other

perhaps people or objects and finally


atmosphere does it seem to you to have

is it is it a place you'd like to stay

would you like to stay the night here

for example so these are all things okay

a lot of you are responding with your

thoughts about this okay and these are

the kind of thoughts that also might go

through learner's Minds possibly making

a few notes but probably just thinking

about it and then again as in the

previous activity known as could then

form pairs or groups and they could just

see if they had the same idea so once

again it's a suface activity think and

then talk and because of the stinking

time I would expect that learners would

have a much more developed idea and be

much more prepared and probably more

motivated as well to talk about this so

this might also help flu it the process

or fluency so just to pull together the

things we've talked about here really in

a way we've been talking about different

kinds of preparation for fluency

activities we talked in that the

as part of this webinar about about

language preparation really and about

the language you need in order to speak

and we looked we saw this included

functional language which of course is

very important and which is usually very

well covered but also the language of

speaking strategies which is less well

known and so therefore worth focusing on

perhaps a little bit more and then in

the last part of this talk we looked at

what you might call psychological

preparation so giving thinking time

before doing a fluency activity some of

the examples that we looked at

especially the last one come from as I

mentioned Cambridge English empower

which is a new ad or course from

Cambridge at six levels from a 1 so C 1

and in particular the idea of developing

speaking strategies is very important in

part of this course at all levels from

a1 onwards and that brings us to the end

of this this webinar

in fact so thank you very much for for

listening and thank you also for all

your your very good contributions I

apologize the beginning I was looking at

the top rather than the bottom of the

list of contributions so I didn't catch

them at the beginning but I saw them

later on so thank you very much for

joining in those of you who did and for

listening the other people who didn't

sound comments thank you very much

thanks very much Adrienne and we've

already got quite a few questions and

hopefully we'll get a lot more in the

next few minutes but so first question a

few people asking actually about context

and the importance of context into

choosing which which uh turrents which

which particular type of response to

make and how do you teach students to to

judge the context so how do you bring in

context as there's a factor yeah I think

this is a very important very important

question a very important point

generally the examples I was showing

they were pretty much out of context of

course because we were just looking at

the language and considering what the

context might be to some extent but I

think in teaching

conversational strategies contexts is

extremely important in fact especially

with language such as these for example

softening language for leading you know

saying things politely set putting

bringing bad news carefully like this

example we looked at it's extremely

important for learners to know when this

is appropriate and what kinds of

situations this might be appropriate in

this also applies to almost any kind of

conversational strategies so I think it

would be extremely important to provide

a very rich context in fact at the very

least a fairly full and natural dialogue

or conversation which shows very clearly

a situation or it also as a teacher look

at what the situation is and look at who

is speaking what the relationship

between the speakers are what they want

what the other speaker wants how they

feel about things all the elements of

the situation ideally I think context is

actually better shown through video than

through audio because I think there's an

awful lot of information which can be

conveyed by body language and by seeing

what the people are doing and seeing the

situation so yes I mean my answer is yes

context is extremely important and I

don't think you can really use

conversational strategies without

knowing something about the relationship

between the speakers why they're using

formal language or less formal language

thank you question ancient questioner

from David Howe who says should we tell

students which forms we'd like them to

use in their speaking in advance of the

discussion you should we go for truly

free speaking or your can students

really convey meaning if they're

focusing on a form and using particular

forms yeah interesting question I think

I mean just this picks up on what I was

showing you with the discussion where I

showed you these

expressions for careful disagreements

and then suggested a possible discussion

activity I think this is exactly the

issues and I think if we won't learn us

to discuss a topic and I agree again

with what you said some of you that it

would very important to provide a good

context for this and prepare for the

topic if we want learners to engage in

in a free discussion I think it's

important that during the discussion

they're focused on meaning and they're

saying what they want to say and they're

involved in the activity and I think all

of us as teachers think it's well the

ideal is if learners almost forget that

they're in an English class and get so

involved in a discussion that that they

they're forget that it's language

practice so I think it's really

important that fluency should be a

fluency activity and we shouldn't

interrupt it more than necessary by

reminding of the thumb of language but I

think the way of bringing in the

language we want to teach is to do this

before the discussion and after the

discussion because of course this is

important I mean we don't want them just

to be have a fluency activity and simply

ignore the language we've been trying to

teach them you know these questions of

language preparation and then I think

feedback afterwards where you can return

to the language okay thanks question are

from Alona Patrick over who says um can

you recommend any resources with

pictures for developing speaking for

fluency inspiring pictures well I mean

one the risk of them recommending my own

material the Cambridge English in power

which is this book that I've been

involved in writing in fact this is

exactly what we try to do is to have

interesting and inspiring pictures at

the beginning of every unit which lend

themselves to fluency activity such as

the picture that I showed you of the

house but see yeah I think it's

extremely important actually to use

pictures which make people think and ask

questions and wonder about things I

think it very often happens in teaching

materials that

texts are often interesting recordings

are often quite interesting but pictures

are often very bland very often they're

just very typical middle-class families

having dinner together and their

pictures where there's nothing very much

to say about them so I think it's

extremely important to have pictures

which I have a bit more edge to them

which actually make you make you wonder

what's going on and those are the kinds

of pictures I would always try to use

but one resource for that is Cambridge

English in power yes I'll put a link

into in the chat about a competition

we're running using some images from

power market that in a moment

questions from Surya Numa Gadar who asks

what your thoughts are on using

technology in improving speaking skills

I'm not quite sure what kind of

technologies no one obvious kind of

technology I think is links back to what

I was saying before it's using video I

think an audio in order to show a very

clear situation but maybe she had

something else in mind

okay I'll file see if we get another

comment in that in there holding the

chat question from Christine Christine

Sarah hnp who says what about when

students have very little imagination

how do you actually get them then to

work on their fluency and speaking well

this is a very difficult question I

think um class I mean there are classes

where some students are simply you know

they don't have they don't have things

to say and I think my only answer to

this is it comes back to the amount the

ways in which we prepare for the fluency

and I think the more that we can prepare

and the more we can provide contexts and

the more we can provide this kind of

thinking time and preparation time the

more chance we give perhaps for students

to develop their imagination I mean I

hope I showed with this example with the

house that I think if you comes out of

the blue it might just draw a blank for

the student but I think if you ask a

student to kind of actually think about

it for a few minutes

there's more chance that ideas will come

to them of course it's not guaranteed

hey thanks I'm question from Valentina

motoki know who says some how to

encourage shy students to speak in class

well I think again I mean you know the

more we can give preparation the less

students will be threatened by what they

have to say and I think if we go back to

this example I showed with the scale

where you mark your position on it this

is a technique I've used quite often in

class with different personal topics I

think personal topics are are very

interesting to talk about

for example privacy and whether you're

kind of private personal notes it's

interesting it is personal but because

this person that can be threatening as

well so I think this is a typical topic

we're shy students might be reluctant to

say something and I think by giving a

very clear task before the speaking well

you know you have this very physical

line and you actually all you have to do

really is put your position on the line

I think this is perhaps one way of

helping over overcome this kind of well

I don't want to talk about it I don't

want to say anything about it and maybe

you do this then all you really have to

do is show your position on the line

then I compare it with somebody else and

perhaps this is a way in to reducing

shyness especially with more personal

topics would that apply also for

students who get particularly stressed

when speaking in a foreign language do

you have any particular tips on how to

relax them put them at their ease or was

that really covered by what you were

just saying I think partly yes I mean I

think the other thing which I think is

it's fairly obvious I think is in

fluency activities I mean so certainly

to use parent group work so that

conversations are taking place in

private if as a teacher you're

monitoring pair and group work to do it

in a very hands-off way especially

during fluency activities or in maybe

just to cover listen and maybe notice

what people are saying but I think

certainly not to get an interrupt and

certainly not to correct people because

I think this is a very good way of

making shy students absolutely

so I think those will be the ways that I

would suggest so students get used to

the idea that they could they can speak

in private

in pairs and groups without without

anybody correcting them necessarily and

that's not the point I think some

question from David has mentioned to

have positive reinforcement which i

think is thank you David I think that's

a very also a very good point is or in

the opposite of correcting mistakes is

to get positive I mean you know to be

encouraging to say yes that was

fantastic and I think this also helps as

well yeah technically okay a question

now from F rozina

jr. who says higher levels how can we

make students activate and recycle the

advanced vocabulary that they've learnt

in speaking activities sorry could you I

was looking at the comments okay come

here the question again at higher levels

how can we make learners activates and

recycle their at the advance for Kapiti

they've learnt in their speaking

activities how do we get them to to use

in this their speaking activities

advance to the temporary I think it's a

very difficult question to answer it's

caused it because it's quite a broad

question I mean I suppose by by giving

learners several different kinds of

activity which would use the same

vocabulary I think what I noticed

sometimes in in teaching materials and

lesson plans is that you know to

introduce vocabulary and then you maybe

do an exercise on it and then you just

have something free some free activity

and I think probably that doesn't quite

hack it that's probably not quite enough

and I think the problem is whether

learners really transfer and integrate

what they've learned into the speaking

out of it so I think probably more you

know more different kinds of practice

more different kinds of activation are

necessary to get learners to really

start using live account the vocabulary

okay thanks a question now from

Christian cetera Chandler who asks how

you'd go about teaching nuance

particularly and I guess

you know the different nuances around

some of the vocabulary that you would

and items you were talking about earlier

yeah I'm not sure I know how to teaches

exactly I think my approach to teaching

it would be so just to talk about it to

elicit it for example when I showed this

example of predicting what's happening

what's going to happen next in a

conversation I think this is an

extremely good way to focus on nuanced

thinking of a conversational context of

course you know what's the difference

between saying sort of oh great are

amazing oh really

or oh dear or and so on this you know

that there's a kind of they're very

there are subtle shades of difference

between different kinds of responses and

I think the way to focus on it is some

it's simply to talk about it so what are

students to have to try to develop a

sense of it so I'm not sure as I receive

is teaching it more as perhaps looking

at it and talking about it if that

answers the question great thanks Ann

question from Michaela butter Silva who

asks whether you think it's worth

students recording themselves when

they're they're practicing their

speaking so they can listen back and I

think it's an excellent idea as long as

there is time to do it because it's it

may take time and as long as it doesn't

put students off I think this links back

to some of these questions about some

about shyness and inhibition and

learner's being reluctant to speak I

think if you if you'd have developed a

kind of sort of confidence in the class

where learners are very very happy to

have a go and distance themselves I

think it's the extremely powerful

technique and very very good indeed but

I would I would treat it with caution

because of that a lot of people don't

like hearing themselves oh yes

absolutely yes I always hate when I when

I listen to the recordings of these

webinars and hear myself introducing

people get deeply painful anyway

question now about

to find topics to engage learners to

speak you mentioned earlier I think

about yes you're finding out what's

actually your learners were interested

in and sort of working from that but do

you have any other suggestions of topics

that we can get them to speak or where

to find these topics yes yes I think

this is I mean this is a very difficult

question I'm answering this in a way as

a as a materials moisture is a course

book writer and of course this is

something that some engages ask

continually is you know what topics are

going to be interesting and I think in

this respect course books are often as

an enormous disadvantage because they

they tend to go for topics we think are

going to be interesting to a very wide

range of people I would I think you know

this is important to use topics like

that but I think it's also important to

add to that topics which are which are

topical which are which are which are

relevant to students everyday Louis and

which are things that you know which

especially these days which you can find

on the internet on on YouTube things

would shop with you in a way off

temporary interest so I think that's

that's one that's one source that I

would find I also think that very often

there is no such thing as an interesting

topic and a not interesting topic I

think to a lot to a large degree it's a

question of what how you deal with that

topic and what kind of what kind of

tasks what kind of activities you

introduce as well so I'm not sure that I

necessarily think well there are certain

topics that nobody will ever want to

talk about because I think they're

always we can make make them interesting

by um by getting students to guess

things by using pictures by by leading

learners into the topic that's easier to

certain to do I know look thanks i'm

question from Daniel Levy who says do

you see accuracy feeding into fluency or

the other way around


yes I see it I think I don't think it's

a process of just going kind of

presentation and then practice and

accuracy and then automatically learners

will then use that language in fluency I

think this is this is an idea which is

really no longer considered to be

founded I think I would see it as going

around in circles perhaps so I think

certainly accuracy does feed into

fluency I think if we give if we give

this kind of very intensive practice of

the expressions I was talking about for

example this quick question and answer I

think this helps to make language

automatic so it helps with automaticity

and I think this then feeds into fluency

I've noticed as myself as a language

learner of German that if I when I start

using new expressions the more I use

them the more automatic they become and

then I find no problem with using them

when I'm when I'm speaking fluently so I

see that is one process but I think I

see but complementing that process I

think it goes the other way around as

well so I think it's it's very useful

are very important so allow learners to

use language fluently and then

afterwards to look at the language they

learned so do your feedback after it's

question now from maria de lake Lithia


it says how good or bad is it to ask

students to speak about something before

you've presented the language to them I

would think it's um not at all bad and

actually very good for various reasons

and I think for one thing it can tell

you as a teacher what they know and what

they don't know if I understand the

question correctly so for example I

might be interested in introducing a

grammar point it seems to me it might be

quite useful to get learners to to speak

to give a fluency activity where

learners may or may not use the language

I'm going to teach and to see from that

what they know and what they don't know

would give me quite valuable

motion I can't think of any reason not

to do this except perhaps for absolute

beginners where of course be very

difficult for them to do that but beyond

that very beginner level I think it's a

good idea

okay think it's a question from David

we've talked a lot about conversations

do you have any particular thoughts on

more formal presentations in class David

says he's found that the feedback from

those can be quite challenging because

other students get very crit well I

think from the point of view of speaking

strategies which we were looking at yes

a lot of what we were looking at was

some was in two-way conversations but of

course equally important and especially

at higher levels is what you might call

more monologue strategies you know such

as staging a presentation indicating you

know you're starting off or finishing

making presentations coherent and so on

on the question of feedback I'm not sure

I'd quite clear what is in what's behind

the question learners are too critical

in their feedback yes I think possibly

that you learn as the rest of the

learners a-looking perhaps particularly

for errors when it's you know they're

just focuses the young person yeah I

mean I think I don't know if this

answers the question but I think in

general when learners are speaking

publicly which might be reporting back

on the next embassy for example or might

be giving some kind of presentation it

would be very important for the

listeners the learners listening to be

directed towards the content of what the

person is saying not to be looking not

to be listening out for language you

know because you know this is what

community I mean you know if the person

is communicating then that's the

important thing so I don't know if this

is what's behind the question is

possibly asking learners to kind of spot

spots as long you know whether the

language is good or not I think this is

the signal

it's something I mean it's a bit like

recording your voice

it's something that would be quite

useful given an atmosphere of you know

uninhibited atmosphere now sort of trust

maybe but I think it's something to be

very cautious of if it might put the

students off thanks question from Abdus

Salam Qureshi who wonders how any of

this might apply to teaching in a

flipped classroom model today if you've

got any thoughts on that I'm sorry I

would just have wondered whether you had

any particular thoughts on taking these

approaches the pressure you've been

suggesting in a in a flipped classroom

model I'm afraid I don't quite

understand so we're both both flips

classroom with we're thinking

particularly of we're sort of the the

traditionally be the the homework gets

done in in class and the receive

activity so I guess that would mean that

you do the the grammar elements for

instance and the the material we oughta

know tional elearning in in preparation

for the class and then you'd focus the

classroom activity primarily on

conversation yes I see okay yeah I think

probably on I mean yeah because the oh

god no I'm not entirely familiar with

the idea of this I think probably it

would be unwise for me to my sponsor

socially okay no problem and question

from Christine sufficiently who asks um

what do you do when the teachers don't

when as a teacher you can't really

understand what the student said

obviously you don't want to sleep in and

it's if you're trying not to leap in and

correct because you'll inhibit students

then having to explain you didn't

understand them could be equally

problematic yes I assume this is talking

about so reporting back on like tivity


feedback after an activity yeah yeah I

think it's very difficult I miss a

situation I've often found myself in I

think after a point I mean the only way

to deal with this is the same way as you

deal with us in real life if you don't

understand someone probably you apply a

mixture of trying to get trying to get

the general idea without us having to

keep our seniors repeat or if it's

necessary arsons to say it again

but in a in the nicest way possible

answers to the question but I can't I

can't think of any other option in a way

it's clearly very important not to make

learners want to shut up because they're

not being understood absolutely thank

you very much wait that's all we've got

time for today but before we go I'd just

like to tell everyone about next week's

webinar on Tuesday June 30th Kay Bentley

will be joining us to explore two key

questions what is content teaching and

why is content teaching important for

young learners

she'll be providing examples of

effective content and language teaching

particularly in primary alt contexts as

well as ideas for delivering stimulating

content input and we'll be sharing a

link for you to sign up for that session

in the chat in the next minute or so and

don't forget that your certificates of

attendance will be sent automatically

later this week so you don't need to

email me to ask about that so thank you

very much everyone for attending but

thank you in particular to you agent for

another absolutely fascinating session

is really helpful thank you thanks

everybody and see you next week

The Description of More than just speaking - developing student speaking skills