Speaking is one of the most crucial abilities for ESL students to gain, but it may also be one of the most challenging aspects of the language to master for your class. Because many students are afraid of making mistakes or lacking confidence, they are hesitant to talk. Fortunately, with the correct TEFL speaking activities, you can encourage your students to speak up in class while having fun!
Learning a new language is one of the hardest things to do and speaking in front of the class is a daunting experience, for even the most confident of learners. Speaking is one of the most crucial abilities for ESL students to gain, but it may also be one of the most challenging aspects of the language to master for your class. Because many students are afraid of making mistakes or lacking confidence, they are hesitant to talk. Fortunately, with the correct TEFL speaking activities, you can encourage your students to speak up in class while having fun!
If you’re new to teaching, a TEFL certificate will provide you with the necessary training and certification. To get started, have a look at our online TEFL courses.
How do you motivate your students to speak English in class?
Here are a few general TEFL speaking tips to keep in mind before we get into some fun TEFL speaking activities:
- Create an environment in the classroom where making mistakes is acceptable. Making sure kids understand it’s normal to make errors. And that it’s the only way they’ll learn is the best method to make them more comfortable speaking English. This can be accomplished by setting class rules to ensure that students are respectful.
- Encourage the students to speak up and engage by giving them lots of praise when they do. Students should be commended for their speaking efforts, whether they are young learners or adults. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t fix their pronunciation or grammatical errors; rather, you should focus on trying rather than speaking flawlessly.
- Make your classroom a fun place! You’ll engage learners and take the emphasis off of the actual speaking by including TEFL speaking activities and relevant, intriguing TEFL discussion questions. In other words, pupils are less likely to feel self-conscious and focused on speaking if they are more focused on a game or intriguing topic.
Let’s have a look at some terrific TEFL speaking activities you can implement in your virtual or physical classroom to help your students improve this essential skill.
Use speaking warm-up games or activities to help learners prepare to think in English. It could be as easy as playing “Two Truths and a Lie” or a fun word guessing game, or it could be a thorough yet enjoyable review of the previous class’ topic, such as playing “20 Questions” or finishing incomplete phrases.
Because you only act as the facilitator or judge throughout the exercise, holding debates is a terrific opportunity for kids to speak up in class. The debate topic might be announced in advance or on the spot, and students can be divided into “pros” and “cons” or “for” and “against” teams.
Make certain that the themes and terminology utilised in the debate are appropriate for your students’ English levels. Also, avoid bringing up sensitive subjects like religion or politics unless you know your students will be open to discussing them.
Class poll activity
Start class discussions by asking about your students’ thoughts on a series of matters that they can relate to. Learners will definitely have a lot to say about reoccurring themes such as culture, food, or lifestyle topics – the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can discuss! You may also use a news story to start a class discussion and survey. You may, for example, interview students about how they stay healthy during a pandemic or how their country is dealing with climate change. Beginners and very young learners can concentrate on topics such as favourite colours, family members, or pets.
In the meantime, rather than asking the survey questions. Why not have your students create the questionnaires and lead the discussions? In a group class, you may make it even more enjoyable by using “Discover Someone Who” as an icebreaker. In which students must find someone in the class who meets a specific description or can answer a question they have devised.
Customised lesson fillers
While your English course may have a curriculum or syllabus to follow, you can occasionally vary from it by crafting a unique, engaging lesson based on your students’ interests after you’ve taught or known them for a while. You may, for example, show a video about European tourist places to your student who enjoys travelling or tell a story about a pop-culture hero who your student admires. This should generate a lot of discussion!
An oral presentation assignment is a fantastic TEFL speaking activity which can be offered at the end of a lesson or as a course project. It is an excellent for building confidence in your pupils. Particularly in public speaking. You can assign topics to individual students or have them work on a single presentation as a group if you’re teaching a group class.
You can find a variety of podcasts on iTunes, Spotify, and other podcast providers. Whether they’re about famous singers or shopping abroad recommendations. You can listen to a podcast in class and then have a discussion about it. Or give your students a podcast as homework and have them report back in the next session on what they learned from it.
Finish the sentence
On a piece of paper, have each student write half of a sentence. “Walking to school today…”, “Guacamole makes me…”, or “If I could have any superpower…”, for example. Collect all of the sentences in a bag or a bowl and mix them together. Bring one student to the front of the class and ask them to draw a slip of paper. (this activity could be modified by splitting the class into groups if you have a large class). Allow the student a few seconds to prepare what they will say. Then have them read the phrase out, complete it, and speak for one minute on the issue.
This ESL speaking activity is appropriate for any class of learners. Give your EFL students a prompt and maybe a few minutes to think about it. The prompt should enable enough time for four minutes of speech. Put the kids in pairs and have them share their four-minute stories one at a time whenever they’re ready. Mix up the pairings and have them take turns telling the same narrative, but only for three minutes this time. Remix the groups once more once both partners have retold their stories. They have barely two minutes to speak now.
Reducing the amount of time they have to talk puts pressure on them to speak rapidly, but repetition should allow for faster access to the language, resulting in increased fluency.
Listen to me
English students choose a topic to speak about and then design and write a headline for their tale in this TEFL speaking assignment. The teacher divides the class in two, with one side holding up their newspaper headlines. The other half goes over the headlines and chooses the story they want to hear about. After the chosen student has finished sharing their story, have the other half of the class hold up their headlines and let the other students choose which story they want to hear. Make as many rounds as you can in the time you have. This is a simple project to do in both an online and a real classroom!
Let’s be honest. It’s not always easy to teach English. Students can be frequently uninterested in conversing in English with one another or with you! Use these fun ESL games to keep things exciting!
Looking for more classroom inspiration? Visit our blog here