Words Worth Blog

Teaching How to Speak in English

Language learning has various objectives, primary of which is the ability to communicate using the said language. With English being the most popular and undoubtedly the most sought after language in the global scenario, learning how to speak in English is obviously the target of most schools, parents, teachers and students alike.

With the atmosphere at most homes being generally not English friendly, the onus of teaching of Spoken English falls on the teachers and the school. It is no secret that language is learnt better when acquired naturally while being soaked in an environment rich in the said language. This English immersion can be provided by an enthusiastic teacher and school through various means like display of relevant charts or flash cards, loud reading activities in class, poetry recitation and the like.

Making the use of English compulsory at the school campus is the most popular means to ensure the use of English language teaching among the students. Yet, the struggle to enforce it cannot be denied. It is seen that, where on one hand the students willingly talk to the teacher in English, on the other hand their conversations with their classmates and their friends, especially when not being watched over takes place in their regional languages. Also, it is clear the biggest chunk of communication is formed by the interaction that a student makes with his peers. Thus, even when the student converses with the teacher(s) in English, the volume of words and sentences generated in English is far less than that of the regional language used with friends and classmates.

It should also be considered that, the English language used with the teacher is more academic in nature, largely bereft of emotions and feelings. It is with their peers and friends that the students share their personal experiences, likes and dislikes or their perceptions of things around them; their interactions being in the language of their heart, a language they are comfortable in- their mother tongue/ the regional language. It can only be possible to replace this language with English if the students start seeing English as a non threatening language, as a language that does not make them conscious and insecure.

Upping their confidence level in the use of the English language and helping the students accept it as their language of daily use is possible only by ensuring that they get a safe and encouraging environment to practise the said language. Semi-controlled classroom sessions that are interactive and participatory in nature can help boost up the confidence of the students. The encouragement got from speaking in such environments can help break the inhibitions and remove the association of fear with respect to the English language.

To achieve this, dedicated time for allowing learning and demonstrating of the learned concepts will have to be allowed at schools. Students will have to be allowed time to express themselves on a given topic, the cues to talk about which will already have been discussed and demonstrated by the teacher.

A good language lab should be able to support this primary need of the students and teachers. Going in tandem with the English curriculum, these sessions should provide opportunities to speak and express themselves in environments sans fear. The objective of communicating in English will readily be achieved, thus.