Hi, guys!

The point is I'm currently working as an English teacher. I'm teaching English as a second language. I've got a slew of problems with my students, because they can write, read, however, they can't speak coherently. Indeed, they can't speak at all. I've been working at this school for five months already. Though, I don't see any results at the moment.

The curriculum and the books, we are using, are very boring. However, we should strictly stick to the curriculum. You know, it is extremely difficult to work with such a curriculum and with students, who don't know the basics.

And I've got no ideas how to find the way out of this troublesome situation. Can anybody give me any advice?
1 2
In my opinion, it is imperative that you stray from the curriculum as it is set down. Otherwise you'll never accomplish your goal. You may have to do this by introducing your own very short lessons at first. With the level of student you seem to be describing I believe you will have to start with very basic repetition drills. You know the sort of thing I'm sure: "Repeat after me: Good morning. How are you? Fine. ......." If you are able to incorporate some or all of the vocabulary of the lessons in their regular curriculum, so much the better. The next step is to have the students perform dialogs which they have memorized. You'll have to start with very short dialogs at first, of course.
On the other hand, if you're willing to do this (I don't know how many students you have), you might schedule a regular meeting time with each student as often as possible and just speak English with them individually. Ask them (in the first stages of this technique) to come prepared to say a sentence or two on some topic of personal interest to them.
Another possibility is to take at least one sentence from each day's work and drill it from the point of view of pronunciation. Your daily goal then is to get every student to pronounce the target sentence as accurately as possible. The reverse process is also possible. You say the sentence and they write it. This will get their ears sensitized to the sounds of English and has the advantage that they can use their (apparently) stronger skill of writing, so they won't be entirely at sea.
Whatever you do, you'll have to take the role of coach, not teacher. When it comes to fluency in speaking, it's a matter of waiting for all the skills to come together, so you need an incredible amount of patience. I don't believe you can actually teach it; you can only coach the students through the rough spots in their stumblings until they somehow finally discover their own way of achieving the goal of fluent speech.

That said, there are a few things you might point out about the relationships between the written and the spoken forms that may help to a degree. If you are teaching American English, for example, you can point out that intervocalic t's after a stressed syllable are pronounced as d's -- that sort of thing.

Maybe others will post further suggestions.

Learning English


Being a beginner student of English is hard. There are many obstacles like personal and learning problems that make a student to take a lot of time in learning a new language.

As a student of an English school, I would like to tell you a little bit about my experience in learning this nice language. In this experience, I found some problems like pronunciation, words order, grammar and more. Also I found some solutions such as learning songs, playing games, reading books and more that helped me to improve my English.

Ecuador, a country in South America where almost every body speaks the same language, is where I born. Three years ago I decided to come to NY. When I arrived here, I was surprised to find many costumes of people from different countries. As the time passed, I started missing my own costumes like carnivals. It made me to get depressed and it affected my performance in the school. It is difficult to learn new things when people get depressed.

When I started my English class, I didn’t know about pronunciation. It was difficult to talk to the teacher about my problems in grammar. I had to talk to my partner who knew the same language like me, and this way to get a little explain of some grammar.

At the beginning of my English classes was difficult to speak English because I had to keep in mind the words order like white house that in Spanish order is house white (Casa Blanca).

Some times the English grammar got me confused. I needed time to understand it. When I was trying to speak, there was a lot of grammar to remember if I wanted to express a clear idea to my teacher or some English speaker.

Trough the time, I have learned some ways to improve my English. I learn many words by listening some songs (I like Bryan Adam’s songs) and narrations of the books that comes in CDs like the Alchemist. Also, I learn the way of pronunciation by this way. I think is good idea to try to sing a popular or interesting song in class. It makes the class more interesting.

Playing games is a good idea in class. I have learned to speak a little bit more by playing like an actor. When I was in class, the teacher organized small groups to perform situations of daily life. It was fun for me.

The English class is more interesting when the teacher brings an interesting book. Some time ago my teacher brought to the class many books about the Alchemist. When I started reading, I was tempting to read more and more. This way I increased my vocabulary. I can say every body enjoyed the book.

If the teacher speaks to the class about topics that are interesting to the students, the class becomes less cold. The students feel more comfortable and start speaking more and more. It is like to speak to a friend without any fear.

In the end, I have finished writing a little bit of my experience in learning a new language. Learning a new language takes a lot of time. Today I am still learning new words, pronunciations, grammar.

I hope this little essay is good. If anyone sees some problems in my grammar, please correct them. Thank you.Emotion: smile
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
well i would suggest that you would go to a store and get some games that can teach them to speak english!!!!! but not in a bad way or you can get them flash cards your truly a secret student that had the same troubles Emotion: smile

i hope my advice helps
Hey, bub! I think I know what you mean. I was teaching at a school and facing this same problem. The classtime does not allow you to do any extras, so you got save it for the curriculum. One thing that helped me was that I killed some steps of the book for some livelier extras, speaking extras. In the beginning I made them really easy activities for I wanted my students to feel a little more secure. And then, as my students started feeling confident, I increased the difficulty of the activities to the point that they'd be nor too difficult neither too easy: challenging!
You could take some comics to your classroom. Students love those! You could dowmload them and put them on a transparency sheet, and have your students doing some kind of exploring the comics strips activity. After this first activity with the comics, you could ask them to write, and re-tell, the situation on the comics strip to the rest of the class. And just to motivate them, you could sort of grade this activity.
I hope I've been some help.

I have been teaching English to adults in Asian countries and I understand your problem. The best advice that I can give is the same that was given to me and which words well.
1. Tell your students "You learn to speak English with you ears, not your eyes." and keep reinforcing it. Teach them to understand that English is not a phonetic language. They should try to see each word as model for a combination of sounds.
2. Do not always write on the board. Encourage them to listen carefully to what you are saying.
3. Get them to speak. I know that there are often cultural barriers hindering this so that you need to lead them into some of the practice games slowly and carefully. Particularly when they are speaking to each other.
4. Start a session where they are free to make mistakes and simply express themselves. Don't over correct of worry too much about grammar. They will be shy at first and not want to show themself off or appear superiour. You must overcome this problem.

Best of luck,

Chris Curtis
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
I am shocked at the poor English used by several of the 'so-called' English tutors on this site!

For students to learn good English, surely they need a good model to follow?

The main obstacle to learning to speak and write English would appear to be that too many English tutors cannot actually speak or write English correctly themselves.

Thanks for the comment. I hope that you will be able to find the time to help improve the level of English around here.

Best wishes,

You should follow the curriculum. Beside that, you can do various things to inspire your student
to speak English. Actually if we don't try to speak English, we will never learn to speak English.
Motivate your students.
/* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1107304683 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {mso-style-priority:99; color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; color:purple; mso-themecolor:followedhyperlink; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more