TEACHING SPEAKING In out teaching speaking theoretical lessons, we discussed speaking strategies in order to have our students speak

such as creating reasons, motivating and helping them, communicative competence, what makes a speaking lesson good and types of speaking activities, why most of the students are afraid of speaking in front of their friends in the class and to handle the situation in which they don’t speak and what to do have them speak and lastly what we and our students need to speak in English in the classroom. We have tried to find solutions for these questions in order to have an atmosphere in which our students are motivated to speak with the help of language phrases by giving them a purpose to speak. Firstly, speaking English requires our students to have confidence and courage in a less threatened and comfortable environment in which they need to have an idea about the subject, and to know some grammar structures, vocabulary and pronunciation and when and how to use all of them. To be able to that, our students need a real purpose to speak in the classroom at first. As teachers, our aim should be to give them a real communicative purpose. So as to be able to have them get a purpose we should guide them through right questions so that they can know what about and why they are going to talk. Secondly, the other topic talked about is what is needed to create and improve for a better speaking environment. On this, the most important role belongs to the teacher who should create and give a purpose for students’ speaking English in order to get a meaningful context. S/he should insist on students speaking English to be a good example and have them exposed to English more and sometimes should accept wrong answers without offending the students so as to motivate them to speak. Secondly, the learners should have a good attitude towards each other in order not to offend and make each other feel shy and embarrassed. After that, we should have an atmosphere in which students feel relaxed, motivated and encouraged to speak. By means of this we can have a situation in which students want to participate. Then,

we should correct mistakes gently in order not to lose them and their attention/interest. Of course each activity purpose has a type of correction, but it shouldn’t offend them. Sometimes in order to have them feel more comfortable by being corrected we can choose peer or selfcorrection. And of course we should be aware of the fact that every single mistake doesn’t need to be corrected. As teachers we should know the difference between these types of mistakes. Lastly, activities should be various to draw the attention and have them participate in more willingly. Such as first one is information gap activity which aims to discover a piece of information. In this activity we try to find answer which gives something new, isn’t known before. By means of this activity we can learn our students’ different information and they try to get information by asking questions which gives them more motivation with the help of the feeling that they learn by discovering. The other one is opinion gap activity which aims to help the students get to know each other in detail about what they think and how they feel. The other speaking activities are drills, role-play, simulations, debates, games, discussions, answering teachers’ questions, oral presentations, problem solving tasks, guided role-plays, surveys, interviews, and comparing tasks. The other point is what we should take into consideration at the beginning a speaking class, how we should set the stage for all steps of speaking and how we should fulfill the activities in terms of instructions, rules of the activities, conducting them smoothly and trying to help them in both structures and having fun. For pre-speaking activities we can use eliciting ideas, listening to a dialogue, using key words and photographs which aim to introduce the students to the topic, to draw their attention to the topic, to increase curiosity about the topic, to have them work cooperatively. Lastly, we have covered some problems and possible solutions to them. Some of these problems are about why students don’t like English or don’t want to speak English. All we agreed on the fact that majority of them are afraid of speaking English because of scaring of making mistakes with the fear of making fun of him/her. We should care these cases and

show that making mistakes is something acceptable. This risk is also about one of our topics called new interlanguage which is a third language with its own grammar and lexicon and whose rules aren’t found in mother tongue of a learner and in the target language, because it shows they are trying to do something at least and we should encourage and praise even when they make mistakes in order to motivate them to speak. And to help them to take this risk, we should help them with useful language phrases which help them while expressing their opinion, beginning to speak about something or going on talking. And of course we should be a good model for them in terms of grammar, pronunciation and so on while having them exposed to more proper English. Duygu ALDEMİR

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