29 May 2008

Teaching Spoken English

Hello All,
One of the reasons why I've created this blog is that I get to put things in perspective. When I first started teaching Spoken English I had no clue about the differences between written and oral skills. I learnt on the job and now I will attempt to tell you more about it.

Essentially there are Four Language Skills that one needs to master to learn a language. These may be categorised as listening, speaking, reading and writing. That's the way a newborn baby learns his first language. In India more often than not the baby is bombarded with at least two different languages at home. The regional language or mother tongue and Hindi. In urban areas there may be a smattering of babies who learn English at home as well.

However the majority of Indian's are more fluent with their Mother Tongue and Hindi and English is learnt in school. When you teach English in school you use the following Language Skills come into play; writing, reading, listening and speaking. The teachers are more interested in perfecting the written word for the exams and after the priliminary classes when orals are no longer part of the exams one hardly gets to prqactice the language at all.

This leads to a large population having learnt English with grammar and all in schools but with little confidence to speak the language. That's where Spoken English classes such as I teach come in. What I do is make them speak as much as they can in English. This is done using various techniques such as impromptu discussions, prepared speeches and presentations, dialogues between people, etc. This improves their confidence levels and Spoken English.

Keep a look out for my next post with more details on the same topic.

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