Teaching Speaking - Unit 1: Introductions

Unit 1 is an introduction to the content of the whole Teaching Speaking series and contains clips from the other 8 programmes in the series.

One of the aims of this session is to help you or your trainees see the differences between accuracy and fluency and to understand why each is important. You or your trainees are asked to think about some of the key problems that students face in your context. Are they mainly problems with accuracy or fluency – or both?

This unit contains the following elements:

  • A short video.
  • A downloadable series of reflection tasks and activities.
  • An answer key and further opportunities for reflection.
  • If you are a teacher trainer and are planning to use the material in a face-to-face context, there is a set of trainer notes for each topic.

The videos in this series express the view that “English language teaching has the same challenges the world over”, but that the solutions to these problems depend very much on the local context, and for this reason the approach taken focuses on tasks that enable the participants to relate the video to their own specific practice and experience.

If this video is not available for viewing in your location, please click here





Submitted by Sue_Hals on Sat, 09/05/2015 - 00:39


The comment about doing our job properly means taking the back seat was interesting to me. Sometimes, as a teacher, I might worry about the silent gaps. But I need to remember the learners are processing from one language to another before producing an answer or communicating. So patience and confidence play a big role.

Submitted by Eban0009 on Fri, 01/29/2016 - 19:01


It is important implement a way to teach accord the region or country

Submitted by Zuleyner on Sat, 03/05/2016 - 21:27


This video about how can we get our students improve your English skill was really interesting, since we as teachers must apply differents strategies which involve students and encourage them to participe more in English class. These tips explaned on the video will be useful and effective to get students can talk English language well.

Submitted by Madhumita on Thu, 03/24/2016 - 12:15


In India , English is taught as a subject in schools and not as a language. Teachers are more focuses on grammar and vocabulary than speaking and communication per say. I being an accent trainer and English language teacher in a secondary school, focus on interaction and communication between my students and then introduce vocabulary through phrases..

Submitted by Sikandar Khaliqyar on Tue, 03/29/2016 - 15:34


I teach Afghan Refugee in Tajikistan using material from this site helped me a lot. I have to say thanks to all who has given effort to built this site for us.

Submitted by Ully Em on Thu, 04/14/2016 - 09:13


I agree with Madhumita "English is a language and not a subject". I think that the main objective in teaching a language such as Enlgish Language is to enable students or learners to speak.

Submitted by jemmyc on Wed, 05/25/2016 - 04:05


When teaching English one should always remember to teach all the four keys. These are listening, reading, speaking and writing. We focus on grammar and forget the rest. Speaking is the most forgotten that is why I would like to learn more about speaking skills.

Submitted by Tariq Mahmood elt on Wed, 08/24/2016 - 19:35


It's noticed in majority of the Pakistani schools that English in not taught as a language. They only take this as a subject and teach grammar rules, comprehensions and compositions in a boring and woefully inadequate manners. Teachers are given such a lengthy and specific content that they are not able to conduct any kind of learning activities in the classroom. There is no concept of examining the speaking and listening abilities at any stage of academic year.These are the some reasons that students have least interest towards the English language. I don't know when it'll be realized that proficiency in English language can only be acquired through all the four language learning skills.

Submitted by annaanna on Fri, 09/30/2016 - 17:25


Very nice. I am sure to have a look at all the episodes.Thank you.

Submitted by RAD WIN on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 15:30


Indeed, this macro skill is often neglected. as a result, learners lack oral communication skills. They are not able to verbalise their thoughts since they are afraid to commit mistakes. Also, they lack the facility on the use of the English Language especially that here in the Philippines, such is not the mother tongue of most Filipino learners.

Submitted by Fouadhawareen on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 15:49


Amazing! Since we, as teachers, have to step back and grant our students the real opportunity to express themselves independently.

Submitted by DebraAnna on Tue, 03/07/2017 - 07:13


HELP I want to use this material in China and unfortunately access to the internet is not reliable in class. Is there anyway to download the DVD? Thank you very much.

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Tue, 03/07/2017 - 14:34

In reply to by DebraAnna


Hi DebraAnna Unfortunately our videos are not available for download, only for streaming in class. Sorry about that. Cath TE Team

Submitted by jvl narasimha rao on Sun, 03/26/2017 - 01:15


There are many ways of teaching speaking. I feel that it is possible to make children speak English even in a remote corner of a village in India. Most of my students are speaking English spontaneously. I am working in a Secondary school in a village. I think a teacher can make the children speak English without any latest teaching aids. A black board, a piece of chalk and a competent and confident English teacher are enough.

Submitted by Putu Supadma on Wed, 04/05/2017 - 03:49


This video teaches we who to be good teacher to students. I feeling how learn English is funny. But there some prolem getting started. so how are we now for commitment and konsistent in lean English.

Thanks for your comment. If you are interested in learning English, then I would recommend our LearnEnglish site - http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/ You can find many resources for learning English there, Hope that helps, Cath TE Team

Submitted by Krister on Mon, 05/22/2017 - 09:09


In the Philippines, where I do live, most teachers are focusing on book. I hate focusing on book. I love speaking. Only few teachers conduct a debate forum. Speaking must be mastered because it is highly needed for public speaking, and the clever you become in it, the confident person you become.

Submitted by niazkheshgi on Thu, 10/05/2017 - 09:47


As above my companion said that speaking is very important. Being a teacher I am giving more importance to speaking instead of writing or else i always give some sample sentences to my student and they make more sentences like those. In one month i have observed that in fact its working

Submitted by wasimkamran on Thu, 11/30/2017 - 20:34


speaking and listening is the key to get success in communication and interaction

Submitted by TEFLING on Fri, 12/29/2017 - 07:47


Great advice comes from experience. Teaching is a gift. Some have a natural ability to teach non-native speakers. It does help to show them the end result of what they will be able to accomplish before the start of each lesson. I love it when I stand back and let the class perform conversational activities. It is a pleasure to see the children speaking out loud and waving hello or goodbye and putting directly into practice everything I taught them to learn how to say in class, The results of listening to them speaking out naturally to me is a job well done. Using the classroom to communicate freely with each lesson plan as if they were all on their own while i observe is the best form of natural conversation! GB

Submitted by Mohanta on Fri, 03/30/2018 - 09:22


The tips are quite effective. I invariably encourage my learners whatever effort they make for learning the English language. Thanks.

Submitted by Angelocheck on Wed, 07/18/2018 - 11:53


Watch the video below, the note recommends. But NO video on the page. What a pity!

Submitted by Cath McLellan on Wed, 07/18/2018 - 14:07

In reply to by Angelocheck


Hi Angelocheck Sorry you are having problems with the video. You should be able to click directly on it. If the image (with the play icon) isn't appearing, then please try using a different web browser (Chrome, Firefox etc.) on your computer. The video is working fine here so it may be a problem with your browser. Hope that helps, Cath TE Team

Submitted by kaycee4reel on Fri, 10/12/2018 - 16:10


How can I download videos on rhythm stress and intonation? I want to train my teachers

Hello, Unfortunately, our videos are only available to watch online, and cannot be downloaded. You are welcome to use them in the classroom or training room though. Hope that helps, Cath TE Team

I like this phrase. If we avoid completing our students´s sentences and/or answering questions for them we would be taking a back seat, and we would be giving them opportunities to speak, so our TTT would be reduced. Let´s make an effort and do it.

Submitted by cgonzalesc on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 22:15


Even though I always tried to have a near-native accent as a student, I don´t worry much about that as a teacher now because I know that the goal of learning a foreign language is to be able to communicate ideas; no matter how native or non-native you could sound. Consequently, As long as our students are intelligible and are able to transmit their ideas, we can say we are meeting our objectives.

Submitted by cgonzalesc on Mon, 11/19/2018 - 22:25


One way of taking a back seat is allowing students to take some time to think and elaborate on their responses.

Submitted by Solange19 on Mon, 02/25/2019 - 19:41


I am really happy to be able to be here and to develop my skills. Thank you so much.

Hi Mir

You should be able to click play on the image above to start the video playing. If you are having problems, you could try using a different web browser to see if that helps. The video is working fine for me.

I hope that helps,


TE Team

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