Getting students to speak in class is one of the biggest challenges for a teacher, and its also the most essential aspect of the student’s learning process. Through my own experience in language learning, speaking always created the most anxiety, as I was being graded on my responses, or I was given open ended questions that I believed were too difficult for me to answer. More often than not, class time was spent listening to the teacher, and most of the class was spoken in my native language. As you can imagine, results are disastrous in this type of learning enviornment. As a teacher, there are a couple of ways that you can make students feel more comfortable when speaking in class, and in turn, see real progress from your students.
Create the Right Environment
The first thing that you can do is create a class environment that revolves around having students speak in class. There should be plenty of encouragement, and an understanding that language learning is full of making mistakes. In a classroom full of speaking, and not just the occasional question that puts students on the spot, there will be less fear and anxiety placed on the student.
After creating a class that welcomes and encourages speaking, students should also be given lots of guidance when asked to speak so that they do not become confused and discouraged. Before asking your students a question, they should have received all of the proper tools to be able to give an answer. No student likes to be placed on the spot with a question that they aren’t prepared to answer. It helps to warm up the students with easy questions before moving to more difficult ones.
Using OpenLanguage to Speak More in Class
OpenLanguage provides some useful tools that can help teachers get students speaking more in class. The ‘Practice’ tab in the OpenLanguage lesson lays out 35-40 minutes of focused speaking practice that will help students master each lesson by reviewing the target vocabulary and grammar points. The lessons are simple to follow and easy to implement into any type of classroom.
The ‘Practice’ lesson plans give students the opportunity to put to use all of the things that they’ve learned from the lesson, and getting your students to speak out more and interact in the target language will create a more enjoyable class experience. Most importantly, your students will develop more confidence as they are given more opportunities to speak in class.