Speaking skills in an EFL Class
At Notting Hill College, we try to help our Level 6 TESOL Diploma students to prepare engaging activities. We have developed skill-based articles to inspire our students.
There are many activities in a teacher’s arsenal to use in the classroom to encourage students to develop their command of the individual skills mentioned. Common ones for speaking include activities such as role playing, improved by using realia.
For example, the students role-play buying a ticket and asking the times for a train. If students do well, then it is possible to expand a role play into a simulation and involve several people at once. As part of the Level 6 TESOL Diploma, we train you to deliver interesting and engaging speaking activities.
A common activity is to get the students involved with a discussion in the classroom. This is something that is easier to do with higher level students, but it can be highly structured if there is a need, and if the discussion is going well, a teacher can allow it to expand freely.
A development of this for better students would be to encourage a debate. This can easily be turned into an activity that spans more than one lesson, with the students engaging in researching, discussing and developing their arguments and ideas, before actually engaging in the debate itself. Again, the teacher is in a good position to guide the debate and either keep it tightly controlled, or allow it to expand and develop freely, depending on the students and their enthusiasm.
There are plenty of activities which a teacher can use in the classroom to encourage further discussions, and not just as a main activity either. Discussion can be encouraged right from the start of the class with ice breaking activities such as hangman, where the teacher gets the students to guess the spelling of a word one letter at a time. If the teacher sets the class up in groups, then each group can discuss, in English, what their guess is going to be.
Another would be the truth and lie challenge, where students have to think of one truth and one lie about themselves, and then the rest of the group have to discuss which they believe.
An alternative possible warm up is known as Chinese Whispers. The teacher begins by whispering a sentence to the first person in the circle, who whispers to the second and so it goes round. Much hilarity ensues when the final student reports the sentence and it turns out to be nothing like the one originally started!
Another activity is giving groups a list of objects and inform them that they can only take five with them to desert island. It can lead to a very lively discussion. This game can be amended to ask groups which person or celebrity may be good to take with them. For example, should they take Bear Grylls or Elton John?
One more activity that can prove interesting for students is to attach them the name of a celebrity to their back. They can ask their fellow students a series of questions to find out who the celebrity is, to which the students can only answer “yes” or “no.” From the answers, they have to try and guess who they are.
This can be modified by giving the students a wider choice. Rather than limiting the students to a celebrity, they could be an object, such as a potato.
We at Notting Hill College have developed resources to help you deliver interesting EFL lessons, as well as resources to make your learning journey for Level 6 TESOL Diploma a smooth and interesting one.