Education - Languages
By: - at April 20, 2013

Boosting ESL Studentsí Confidence in Speaking

Speaking englishTeachers often look for ways to boost their ESL studentsí confidence in speaking. Students of English as a Second Language (ESL) are known to possess impeccable skills in grammar and sentence structures, even when compared to native speakers. A majority of these students also have exposure to other macro skills of the language like reading, writing and listening focused primarily on vocabulary. Often times, however, ESL students donít have the chance to talk with native speakers. What was learned sometimes remains to be just part of the variety of subjects they memorized. With this, the opportunity to put into practice what was learned in the classroom is slim. When they are confronted with having to talk with the native speakers of English, ESL studentsí confidence in speaking is often shaken. Confidence in speaking the target language has a big impact on programs designed for teaching.

Teaching One-on-One
Student FeedbackCommonly mentioned in discussions but actually practiced with rarity, this is a setting by which a student is given the opportunity to work closely with a tutor. This is known to boost ESL studentsí confidence in speaking as it gives the chance to converse more comfortably and freely than it would be in front of maybe 10 or more students. Here, the teacher designs and adjusts the materials and the teaching strategy to make it a unique environment fitted for a certain learner.

The ESL student having the full, undivided attention of the teacher is engaged in a kind of communication tailored for understanding and addressing their individual needs. It also gives opportunities for prompt feedback. Another advantage of this is the convenience on the part of the student learning at a personalized speed with customized materials. Because it follows no structure, the class is more flexible and thus addresses fully the objectives of an ESL learner. Both the teacher and the student can even decide on using materials they mutually found helpful. The teacher, serving as the sole role model, has to be proficient enough to provide an environment that boosts ESL studentsí confidence in speaking.

Free Talking Sessions
Kid reading a bookAnother way to boost ESL studentsí confidence in speaking is the utilization of free talking sessions. Many students lose the chance to discover and explore their linguistic potential because there is too much emphasis on the perfection of grammar and sentence structure. By just speaking what comes to mind and forgetting about being entirely grammatically correct, students get the feeling of satisfaction and are able to speak their mind without being criticized on technicalities.

In most cases, this can be done by listing words or phrases on a piece of paper and letting the students pick one at random. They can be given time for preparations and are required of length for non-stop talking on the subject picked. The teacher, making sure that the rule is understood, does not only give students the practice in thinking quickly but also exposes students to situations when they have to speak impromptu when required. The students, aware that they wonít be graded based on grammar, will most likely speak with confidence.

A Day to Interview the Teacher
Getting away from the usual direction of questioning, another way to help boost ESL studentsí confidence in speaking is the use of ďA Day to Interview the TeacherĒ technique. Here, students are given the assignment to prepare questions for their teacher. They are encouraged to ask questions that interest them and through this exercise are motivated to ask the correct ones.

After the student has asked the teacher, educators will then redirect the question to the learner. Perhaps, it can be assumed that the student is prepared with questions they understand. Doing so will also model asking follow-up or secondary questions. When dealing with a beginner, the teacher may even take note of the questions so they can be used for practice the next day or session. This provides students with hands-on experience as far as initiating conversations and asking follow-up questions in English.

Small Group Presentations
Students on ComputersESL teachers may also employ small group presentations to help foster speaking skills. Students may be given some time to prepare for a small talk whether it be about their favorite book, authors, or even things about their country. This gives students the chance to plan and speak in English in the classroom. Other class members may be given the chance to ask some questions which will pave the way to fulfilling a much higher goal of language learning.

This strategy also gives students the chance to organize, discuss, compare and interpret information with other class members. This does not only enhance knowledge but opens an opportunity to understand the assigned subject thoroughly. Because an ESL student does not need to talk alone in front of the class, it will help shape determination to increase oneís oral skills and boost confidence in speaking.

Wrapping Up
Teachers can employ a variety of conversational practices to help students develop confidence in their speaking. Often times, the teacher can devise activities matched with their studentsí attitude, level of proficiency and purpose for studying. With the variety of ESL students, there is no single strategy proven to boost the skill across the board. With an encouraging teacher who continuously seeks activities to draw studentsí attention, learners will surely feel more assured that they are being prepared and can ultimately communicate with native speakers in due time.





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