Millions of people around the world are eager to learn new languages. ESL teachers have a responsibility to guide their students through the process and offer them the best tutoring. Many learners think that speaking skills are crucial but they don’t understand that other elements such as writing can help them in this regard.
That’s why ESL teachers need to find the way to put all these elements into practice and improve the knowledge of their pupils. In this article, we will explain how to boost your students’ speaking skills through writing.
5 Tips to Improve Your Students’ Speaking through Writing Practice
Language learning relies on four crucial methods: speaking, reading, listening, and writing. All of these methods have a huge impact on the overall process. In this article, we will show you how to use writing as the means to upgrade your students’ conversation proficiency.
● Let students write about what they already know
It’s hard for anyone to write about unknown topics and to come up with meaningful sentences in this case. This is especially difficult for pupils who are struggling with the new language. To prevent this type of problem, you ought to assign them with topics that are well-known and familiar. Pay attention to it while creating topic proposals.
Brenda Clark, who works as a writing tutor for BestDissertation.com, recently noted: “When students know a lot about their subjects, it will be easier for them to write better assignments. They can focus only on sentence structure and specific phrases to express thoughts clearly. Additionally, this approach will allow them to perfect the topic-related vocabulary and help them talk about it comfortably.” Therefore, ESL teachers should bear in mind that this writing method is the cornerstone of the successful language learning.
● Interesting topics
It’s not only about assigning students with familiar topics. You also need to make interesting suggestions and keep them engaged in writing activities. If you don’t do it like this, there is a good chance that students won’t dedicate enough time to the writing projects and their results will suffer accordingly.
You should think about them as your target group: who they are, what they are thinking about, and what they do for fun. This way, you will soon figure out the most interesting topics for your students and find the best essay titles to make them more interested. It doesn’t take too much time and efforts – just brainstorm for a while and you’ll know what to do.
Teamwork is very inspiring for the vast majority of students. Not only that it makes the learning process much easier and amusing but it also stimulates collaboration and improves communication among group members. That’s exactly what makes team projects such an efficient language learning tool. ESL teachers know this quite well and use the method to improve their courses.
When you give an assignment to the group of students, they will have to brainstorm, plan, collaborate, and contribute individually in order to complete the work. In such circumstances, they will also make discussions and use many new words to express their ideas more precisely.
At the same time, better students will understand what their less advanced peers don’t know and they will help them understand new concepts. All this improves conversation skills and helps you run the language course more smoothly.
● Make them write dialogues
People want to upgrade speaking skills because they want to talk to other people. This is the reason why writing tasks should include as many dialogues and groups conversations as possible. It will force students to start thinking about everyday situations and the ways people behave in such environment. They can write dialogues about all sorts of common activities.
From grocery stores and theaters, to family gatherings – there are thousands of situations in which students need to address other people and communicate. Writing about this type of situations can help them prepare for real life experiences with the new language. They will establish certain conversation patterns, which will allow them to answer everyday questions and inquiries quickly and more confidently.
● Revision of written works
Nobody’s perfect and your students will definitely make a lot of mistakes while writing their assignments. However, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t study enough or didn’t pay attention to their duties. On the contrary, they probably did work hard but new languages are simply too difficult to learn instantly. ESL teachers need to give them time to reconsider their assignments and make revisions.
You should point out common omissions and then give them a day or two more to think about what went wrong. Ask them to rewrite their papers but tell them that they need to do it carefully this time. Once the revisions are made, students will already have sufficient knowledge about their tasks and they will be ready not only to write but also to speak about it.
ConclusionSpeaking and writing constitute a pair of active language skills. They complement and support each other. But it is much easier to use writing assignments to upgrade conversation skills. In this article, we explained 5 models through which ESL teachers can improve the speaking skills of their students. Make sure to try them out and let us know in comments if you have more valuable suggestions.
Steven Wesley is an ESL teacher, ed tech enthusiast and education blogger. He is interested in educational, technological and political issues and believes in the mighty power of the pen to change the modern world. Follow him on Twitter.