Conversation classes, oral classes, presentation and debate classes are very common in both schools and higher education but time and time again you hear 1 of these 2 complaints from the teachers:
- My students won’t talk
- My students won’t stop talking
Let’s look at the first type. Here you need to reflect and work on WHY they don’t speak. Is it because they don’t have the language? They are shy? Or maybe they are just not used to speaking about topics they are unfamiliar in a strange setting with people they don’t know very well.
Thanks to a university initiative, every year we recruit several students in later years of studies to help our new first years succeed on their English degree. It is a valuable opportunity for those recruited to develop new skills, learn about work life and to obtain essential work experience for their CVs. Not to mention receive financial compensation for their efforts.
In this post, I’ll outline some of the courses you can choose from and provide some useful information about each so you can better choose the best options for you.
TEFL training course (not the CELTA)
It contained around 20 students from 3 different departments. It wasn’t levelled so I had some almost complete beginners with bilingual students whose parents were English and Australian. The students were aged between 19 and 30 with varying study and work experience.
The official course aim was to improve their oral English but also to make sure that it was enjoyable, as some of the students were quite shy due to lack of English speaking practice.
This was in the days before Edtech when we frequently used photocopiers and made worksheets by cutting up and sticking bits of paper together, and often our hands. Then when I got my first job, my heavy schedule and a 70% coursebook rule meant my creative worksheet hobby made way for extra coursebook resources like workbooks and test books. Once I’d used the same coursebooks a few times and got to grips with the content, I rediscovered my interest in making worksheets to not just complement the coursebooks but to sometimes replace them and even enhance the content.