Non-trivial Ways of Teaching Speaking and Writing
Many language learners will have the difficulty of creating something new in the targeted language. Reading something written out loud is not as challenging or rewarding as reading your own work. When a language learner starts creating her own work, then she can start feeling productive and confident in the targeted language. There are many different ways of teaching productive skills such as speaking or writing.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Nalan F. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
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First of all, the skills of speaking and writing are more authentic than teaching any grammar subject or reading. It requires motivation more than anything else because it is real. A teacher can find the motivation for the student as long as the student realizes the sole purpose of speaking a language which is communicating with others. If the student is planning to move to or work abroad, it comes naturally. The teacher can use various everyday topics to talk about such as shopping or using transportation. The language with this purpose and concept can be taught by using chunks such as “Have a nice day” or “Can you help me?”.
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Higher level of interest
Also, there are many reasons and motives for the student to learn writing. When the topic is given clearly, writing can be a useful way for the student to practice the use of English because, in writing, many parts are used in everyday or academic language.
Types of writing
There are two types of writing, writing for academic purposes and writing for fun. Nonetheless, when teaching is considered, the approach for both is the same. The student first needs to know how to start writing. If she takes the pen and paper and begins writing right away after seeing the question or topic, the passage or the essay will collapse in the middle of the practice because the student might realize that it is not easy to write about that specific topic or the writing is off-topic. On the other hand, if the plan and the organization are ready, the only thing left for the writer is to take the pen and begin writing which, in comparison with the prior, is an easy step to take.
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The learning can start with simple sentences in writing. The student might write only one sentence about a topic in the beginning. Then, in time, she can try to put the sentence into a paragraph, and the paragraph into an essay if the writing is academic. By doing so, the amateur writer does not feel the pressure or fear of writing a long essay but develop it gradually.
If the writing is not an academic one but one for pleasure, the student can begin the process with an easy type of task such as writing what they did on a specific day. The first time might be difficult, thus, the student can choose a day that has many known words or phrases or even, can decide to write only a morning of a specific day. By improving the writing in this way day by day, she can choose more difficult topics in the following days, for example, writing a letter to her future or past self.
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What is speaking
Speaking, nevertheless, is quite different in nature. It happens instantly, at the moment of the conversation. There is no time to get prepared at the beginning similar to taking the time to prepare for the organization or the vocabulary building when doing the writing. The speaker needs to have prepared herself before the conversation. She is required to have the vocabulary and organizational skills ready. So, it takes a while and the teacher needs to encourage the speaker much more than writing practice. Making mistakes is expected of the student, especially when speaking. On the contrary, the student feels shy and unwilling to take the risk and begin speaking.
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Both of the productive skills require practice and vocabulary building. With the help of the teacher, the student not only gets more confident but also feels at ease when doing the skills.
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