Towards fluency: helping our
students become better speakers
Bruna Caltabiano
Disal – São Paulo, Brazil
February 7, 2014.
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
The importance...
Speaking seems intuitively to be the most important
skill
(Ur, 1996)
Speaking provides rehearsal opportu...
Discuss

Recall a successful activity in the classroom that you
have either organized or participated in as student.
What ...
Characterists of a successful speaking
activity
Learners talk a lot
Participation is even
Motivation is high
Language is o...
Discuss

Think back to your experiences as either a learner or a
teacher. What are some of the problems in getting
learner...
Common problems
Inhibition
Nothing to say
Low or uneven participation
Mother-tongue use
(Ur, 1996)
How to overcome these problems
Use group work
Base the activity on easy language
Make a careful choice of topic and task t...
Fluency and Confidence
Put learners in ‘safe’ situations in class where they are
inspired and encouraged to try using lang...
Activities that lead to fluency and
confidence
If the lesson aim is: ‘Learners will become more fluent –
speaking more con...
Fluency or Accuracy?

(Scrivener, 2005)
Criteria for speaking tasks

Productivity
Purposefulness
Interactivity
Challenge
Safety
Authenticity
(Thornbury, 2005)
1. Telling Stories - Pictures
3. Telling stories - words
It was a beautiful morning. My brother and I...
Climb
Spider
Run
Fall
Cell phone
Hospital
Night
4. Discussion Bingo
(Thornbury, 2005)
Examples of topics
taste – learning English – good food – city life –
personality – ...
Dialogues
Information Gap Activity
Jigsaw Activity
Address
Name

Marital
Status
Pets
Movies

Free time

223

225

227

229

231
Jigsaw Activity – Clues
(Examples)
Miss Johnson owns a dog.
The pet at 225 Bourbon Street is a dog.
The dog owner likes to...
Guessing Games
Job
- Do you work indoors or outdoors?
- Do you work with your hands?
- Do you wear a uniform?
* Who am I?
...
Role Cards
Role Card 1
Your company has designed a range
of revolutionary new products,
completely different from your
usu...
Surveys
Crime is increasing because of violence on television.
The police should be more heavily armed.
Everybody is a pot...
Example - Facebook

‘Over the last decade, the service has become nearly
synonymous with what it means to be part of onlin...
A Look Back
Group Work

Do you use Facebook? If you don’t use, why not?
How has Facebook changed your life?
Have you made friends thro...
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Harmer, Jeremy. How to teach English. Essex: Pearson Education
Limited, 2007.
Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of...
BIBLIOGRAPHY

WEBSITES

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com
www.eflsensei.com
http://www.theguardian.com
caltabiano.idiomas
@caltabianoidio1
bruna@caltabianoidiomas.com.br
www.caltabianoidiomas.com.br
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Towards fluency helping our students become better speakers 07_02_2014

  1. 1. Towards fluency: helping our students become better speakers Bruna Caltabiano Disal – São Paulo, Brazil February 7, 2014.
  2. 2. Picture 1
  3. 3. Picture 2
  4. 4. Picture 3
  5. 5. Picture 4
  6. 6. The importance... Speaking seems intuitively to be the most important skill (Ur, 1996) Speaking provides rehearsal opportunities Important source of feedback for both teachers and students Opportunity to activate the various sources of elements they have stored in their brains (Harmer, 2007)
  7. 7. Discuss Recall a successful activity in the classroom that you have either organized or participated in as student. What are the characteristics of this activity that make you judge it ‘successful’?
  8. 8. Characterists of a successful speaking activity Learners talk a lot Participation is even Motivation is high Language is of an acceptable level (Ur, 1996)
  9. 9. Discuss Think back to your experiences as either a learner or a teacher. What are some of the problems in getting learners to talk in the classroom?
  10. 10. Common problems Inhibition Nothing to say Low or uneven participation Mother-tongue use (Ur, 1996)
  11. 11. How to overcome these problems Use group work Base the activity on easy language Make a careful choice of topic and task to stimulate interest Give some instruction or training in discussion skill Keep students speaking the target language (Ur, 1996)
  12. 12. Fluency and Confidence Put learners in ‘safe’ situations in class where they are inspired and encouraged to try using language they already know (Scrivener, 2005)
  13. 13. Activities that lead to fluency and confidence If the lesson aim is: ‘Learners will become more fluent – speaking more confidently with less hesitation’. Which of these activities might help fulfil this aim? 1. Learners repeat a sentence you say. 2. Learners chat with you about their weekend plans. 3. Learners work in pairs and agree on their list of the best five films of all times 4. Learners prepare a monologue about their hobbies and give a 5-minute speech to the whole class. (Scrivener, 2005)
  14. 14. Fluency or Accuracy? (Scrivener, 2005)
  15. 15. Criteria for speaking tasks Productivity Purposefulness Interactivity Challenge Safety Authenticity (Thornbury, 2005)
  16. 16. 1. Telling Stories - Pictures
  17. 17. 3. Telling stories - words It was a beautiful morning. My brother and I... Climb Spider Run Fall Cell phone Hospital Night
  18. 18. 4. Discussion Bingo (Thornbury, 2005) Examples of topics taste – learning English – good food – city life – personality – identity – art – luck – the 21st century CARD 1 CARD 2 CARD 3 Talking of... Frankly... Actually... It seems that... Gone are the times... It’s not known whether... When I was younger, I’d often... I really wish... If only... Not necessarily, because... There is no doubt that... You must bear in mind... I really regret... People will always... I tend to... Oh, come on... Only when... On the whole...
  19. 19. Dialogues
  20. 20. Information Gap Activity
  21. 21. Jigsaw Activity Address Name Marital Status Pets Movies Free time 223 225 227 229 231
  22. 22. Jigsaw Activity – Clues (Examples) Miss Johnson owns a dog. The pet at 225 Bourbon Street is a dog. The dog owner likes to go jogging. The widowed man and the single woman like to go jogging. There are five pets: a cat, a dog, a hamster, a fish, and a bird. The married woman likes to do yoga. The man who likes to snowboard does not own a pet. Mrs. Smith is married.
  23. 23. Guessing Games Job - Do you work indoors or outdoors? - Do you work with your hands? - Do you wear a uniform? * Who am I? - Are you alive? - Are you a man or a woman? (Thornbury, 2005) * (The Akinator)
  24. 24. Role Cards Role Card 1 Your company has designed a range of revolutionary new products, completely different from your usual ones. You are having a meeting with one of your best customers. Describe the new products to him/her. (Scrivener, 2004) Role Card 2 You are having a meeting to hear about some amazing new products from an important supplier. Ask lots of questions and find out as much as you can about the products.
  25. 25. Surveys Crime is increasing because of violence on television. The police should be more heavily armed. Everybody is a potential murderer. Prisions are ‘schools of crime’ Example: Which of these statements do you agree with? The main cause of crime is: ( ) violence on TV ( ) poverty ( ) lack of discipline (Thornbury, 2005)
  26. 26. Example - Facebook ‘Over the last decade, the service has become nearly synonymous with what it means to be part of online social networks. It has entered more than a billion lives, changing the way people around the globe interact, do business, communicate and connect. (The NY Times Blog)’
  27. 27. A Look Back
  28. 28. Group Work Do you use Facebook? If you don’t use, why not? How has Facebook changed your life? Have you made friends through the site? Has it lead to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to lose real friends? Was there one event that made you realize this was something you could/couldn’t live without?
  29. 29. BIBLIOGRAPHY Harmer, Jeremy. How to teach English. Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2007. Harmer, Jeremy. The Practice of English Language Teaching. Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2007. Scrivener, Jim. Learning Teaching. Oxford: Macmillan Education, 2005. Thornbury, Scott. How to Teach Speaking. Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 2005. Ur, Penny. A Course in Language Teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  30. 30. BIBLIOGRAPHY WEBSITES http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com www.eflsensei.com http://www.theguardian.com
  31. 31. caltabiano.idiomas @caltabianoidio1 bruna@caltabianoidiomas.com.br www.caltabianoidiomas.com.br

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