How can we get our teenage students to communicate in English? Is there any way in which we can motivate them to speak?
This week I will be presenting a talk for our Pearson Events for English teachers called “Secondary Students can communicate in English” which aims to present practical examples, including ICT and other traditional interactive tasks that teachers will be able to put into practice right away. Based on Next Move 3rd Edition for secondary education, a course ready for the 21st century students, I will look into different ways of exploiting speaking exercises in a fun and creative way.
Speaking and Secondary Students
Secondary education might be struggling if we are dealing with a group who’s unwilling to speak in English. Our task is to present motivating, empowering and meaningful activities that can get learners to actively participate in the classroom. And we all know that trying to get at least a few words in English out of our teenager students’ mouths is not always that easy because:
- They feel bored
- They don’t have the structures
- They feel embarrassed
- They don’t see the connection between real life and classroom activities.
Thus, they show apathy and reluctance to talk in the L2.
Therefore, as teachers, we need to find creative ways of using the textbook activities. It is obvious our students have been born in the digital area, that is, they do not know a world without computers, tablets, smartphones… and that leads to their eagerness to be connected all the time. The use of ICT in the classroom might not be of help to us all the time and we fear the students will get easily distracted. However, as Aristotle once said, virtue is a means so successful speaking activities will include a balance between 21st technological tools and other types of traditional face-to-face interaction.