Do you know what is speaking? Speaking consists of producing systematic verbal utterances to convey meaning. Speaking is an interactive process of constructing meaning that involve producing and receiving and processing information. It’s often spontaneous, open-end and evolving, but not completely predictable. So how to teach speaking for young children?
After this lesson, i knew that teaching speaking for young learner is different from older learners. It’s because young learners are usually less self-conscious, and if engaged in an interesting and motivating activity, they will often communicate enthusiastically. Therefore, teachers need to apply ground rules to ensure that the activity is productive, relevant to the children, and will build the children’s confidence in spoken communication. Besides, the activities need to try to draw on the children’s background knowledge and experience. I could also understand the benefit of speaking activities in classrooms. They are a great environment for children to practice speaking in English. They also contain a lot of fun, provide English language learning, and can help to build confidence too.
And there are three important elements that make speaking activities be effective: Structure( organization), repetition and purpose. As you know, the structure of an effective speaking learning activity depends on how well it is planned and set up. In order to establish a clear structure to your activity, you need to ask yourself some questions bellow:
1. What materials do i need? you can think about book, story, picture and so on
2. How do i introduce the activity and generate interest? Ask st to predict what do they have to do, explain the task to make it simple to understand and follow, …
3. What is the target language that i want the students to practise ? ( about grammar structure and lexical)
4. Do i need to teach any other language to help the students do the activity?(yes/no)
5. What preparation do students need to before practising? they need a short time to read and understand the material which you give them.
6. How will we practice the target language before doing the activity? By eliciting the target language/ By drilling(training) the target language/By writing the target language on the board and checking potential error.
7. How will i make sure that the children know what to do during the activity? I can model the activity several times using gestures as well as clear, concise instructions, or writing the target language on the board.
8. How will i direct error correction during the activity? Ask sts to pay attention to any errors made during the speaking activity while instructing class.
9. How will i conduct feedback after the activity is finished? have some sts do the task as a sample in class and i will give them good mark if they do well, however, if they do incorrect, i’ll give them praise.
Next, the repetition, this is an essential point in speaking activities. It helps students to be familiar with the sounds of English, to remember the structure and also lesson deeply. We have to know exactly what vocabulary and/or phrases are student repeating in our activity.
Purpose in speaking activity is very important because if they do not understand what will they have to do, why they have to do the activity, they won’t do enthusiastically. For me, if my teacher ask me to do something, however, don’t tell me the purpose of the activity i have to do, i will have no motivation to do that, and of course, the result is not good. One thing i want to mention is the activity should draw on students’ background knowledge and experience. It had better relate the activity to their own interest.
In short, to make a good speaking activity, we have to think about the structure, the repetition and the purpose of the activity. Besides, we have to prepare carefully, and practice as much as possible to do well.!