You answered one of my questions before and were very helpful.
Now I need your advice again…
My new class is very reticent to speak English aloud - either to themselves, to partners or to the class. How can I change this? In fact, they hardly like to speak at all - in any lesson…
8 students aged 17-20, completing an apprenticeship in technical work.
First year (of 3) covering English, total of 40 hours a year.
No exam, but students are expected to become competent in listening, speaking and reading (less so writing) to deal with English customers, colleagues, business trips, e-mails, technical instructions and the like.
All students have had between 4 and 7 years of English at school.
Next week they will have their second lesson with me.
Trinity qualified (1 month course) June '07
Freelance in Germany from Sept '07 - Sept '08 (Technical college)
Full time employee at FE Vocational college since Sept '08
Modern language department of 1 (me)
2nd year of teaching Business English
What happens in class (English and, according to my colleagues, other subjects as well):
Absolute minimal talking or noise. In my first lesson I nearly always use a game to get my students back into using English. The game involves asking and answering questions in groups of 3. The game was completed, but the loudest sound was the dice falling on the table top… Everyone was very quiet, and clammed up immediately if I got closer. I tried to monitor from a distance, but even when I pretended to be busy, I couldn't hear them!
Direct questions were never answered, whether in front of the group or one-on-one.
Since I'd very much like to improve their speaking skills, what tips do you have to promote their speaking confidence/speaking in class?
What works and what doesn't? Pre-printed dialogues? Narration?
I'm open to all ideas - likewise, if other readers wish to share their tips, please PM me.
I hope this message is clear enough to understand my dilemma. If not, please ask!
p.s. I have the students again in a week's time - prompt answers preferred!