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Articles on speaking

Look at specific speaking skills, or broader issues such as motivation in our articles below.

Getting down to business

Meetings 1: Getting down to business

The beginning of a meeting presents a major dilemma: is it better to get straight down to business, or is it important to allow or even encourage small talk? The texts in this lesson present arguments from opposing viewpoints, which may help students to question their own assumptions. The lesson goes on to introduce useful language for both small talk and getting down to business, with practice in the form of role-plays.

Flashcards

How do you use flashcards in your class? Watch Vikki, and then let us know how you use them by leaving a comment below. Remember to check out our flashcard maker too!

My Wikipedia

This is an activity 'about' the internet, but it doesn't start online. In fact it has to start offline: the idea is that students try and predict the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for their town, region or country.

Getting teenagers talking

Getting teenagers to use English in class can provide a considerable challenge to most teachers. This article examines some of the reasons why it can be so difficult and makes some suggestions for overcoming these problems.

Rhythm, rhyme, repetition, reasoning and response in oral storytelling

Live storytelling is a spontaneous creative process which fires the imagination. The listener experiences and participates in the story creatively. If the storyteller allows, the listener can have a direct influence on the story as it unfolds.

Video recorders in the classroom - speaking article - guest writers

Video recorders in the classroom

I have just become an uncle! My new nephew Tomás is three weeks old today. 

Video for the English classroom - speaking article - guest writers

Video for the English classroom

Exactly five years ago this month, the video-sharing site YouTube was officially launched to the public. Since then, the site and others like it have been affecting the world in diverse and unpredictable ways.

Core activities for using the chart to integrate pronunciation - speaking article - guest writers

Core activities for using the chart to integrate pronunciation

I often see the Sound Foundations chart (you can see it below) in classrooms, and teachers using it to bring pronunciation into the central arena of language work. But sometimes teachers say they have not been introduced to a basic method for using it and they end up treating it like an ordinary wall chart. 

Interview with Keith Kelly

Keith Kelly is very well known to many people in the world of CLIL for running the www.factworld.info website and factworld@yahoogroups.com discussion list, as well as speaking at conferences around the world on the subject. But who is he and what insights into CLIL can he offer the hardworking teacher?

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

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Evaluating speaking - the IELTS speaking test - speaking article

Evaluating speaking - the IELTS speaking test

This is the third in a series of articles looking at evaluating speaking, focusing on the IELTS speaking test. 

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

Personalised speaking

People spend a huge chunk of their everyday conversation time talking about themselves and the people they know, so the most natural thing in the world is for us to invite our students to do the same.

Evaluating speaking - Part 2 - speaking article

Evaluating speaking - Part 2

This article is in three parts. The first part has already looked at what a speaker needs to be able to do to use spoken English as an effective form of communication. This second part now looks at whether these different elements can be evaluated formally, and what ways there are to do this.

Speaking aids - speaking article

Speaking aids

How would your Christmas feel without a Christmas tree or your birthday without a cake? How romantic would your romantic dinner be without candles?

Core activities for using the chart to integrate pronunciation - speaking article - guest writers

Core activities for using the chart to integrate pronunciation

I often see the Sound Foundations chart (you can see it below) in classrooms, and teachers using it to bring pronunciation into the central arena of language work. But sometimes teachers say they have not been introduced to a basic method for using it and they end up treating it like an ordinary wall chart. 

a house

Choosing a house

I use this activity with higher-Elementary level students, primarily to practise vocabulary and collocations related to house and home, but also as an early confidence builder for speaking skills.

Teaching speaking skills 2 - overcoming classroom problems - speaking article

Teaching speaking skills 2 - overcoming classroom problems

This article is written for teachers with large classes of students who have encountered some of the following or similar problems during speaking activities in their classroom.

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An introduction to using visualisation - methodology article

An introduction to using visualisation

Visualisation has been widely used in sports psychology over the last 30 years to enhance all aspects of performance. In this article I will be looking at some of the ways that it can be applied to language learning.

ARM exercises - speaking activity to wake up a sleepy class

This is a great way to start a lesson with a free-speaking activity. I call it ‘ARM exercises’ which is simply short for Accept, Reject or Modify statements.

Audio exchange project - speaking article

Audio exchange project

I was teaching a monolingual group of 12 teenagers (15-17) at upper-intermediate level who were following a course book. The students were motivated but they needed a 'real' communication task, the opportunity to communicate with students who didn't speak Russian or Ukrainian. I decided to record them and send the tape to students in a non-Russian speaking country. 

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

a house

Choosing a house

I use this activity with higher-Elementary level students, primarily to practise vocabulary and collocations related to house and home, but also as an early confidence builder for speaking skills.

Christmas Games

Here are some games which we associate with parties and Christmas celebrations in UK schools. These games can be adapted for language learners of all ages and levels.

Controversies in Business English - speaking article - guest writers

Controversies in Business English

I began teaching business English in 1980 and have observed over the years huge differences in the way we teach.

Controversies in using technology in language teaching - speaking article - guest writers

Controversies in using technology in language teaching

In his first article for TeachingEnglish, Pete Sharma considers some of the controversies surrounding the use of technology in and out the classroom.

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