SOME CONSIDERATIONS FOR TEACHERS WHEN PUPILS SPEAK AND WRITE
- Allow for errors as in writing. It is perfectly normal for our pupils to make mistakes. For example, to pronounce birday instead of birthday or to confuse words, Tuesday and Thursday. As teachers we must be gentle and patient when correcting any mistakes rather than strict about correction. “The Communicative Approach, according to Harmer (in the Practice of ELT) focuses on content rather than form “. Therefore, when our pupils express dislike with: “I no like hip-hop very much”, or miss-spell carrot when writing a recipe, we, as teachers, should praise their fluency rather than be preoccupied with accuracy.
- Significance. It is the teachers’ job to provide communicative opportunities for our pupils to practice speaking in a familiar context. For instance, saying “Good morning” to our pupils when they arrive in class. Singing “Happy Birthday” to one of our students or saying “Bye, bye” or “See you” when they are leaving the classroom, will all provoke a natural response. Writing a poem on Valentine’s Day is a perfectly natural thing to do.
- Children can combine oral and written skills by carrying out questionnaires, asking and giving personal information such as, “Do you have any pets?” and their partner answering, “Yes, I’ve got a dog and a fish”, and write up a report, complete with drawings of class pets.
- Speaking must be encouraged and not an obligation. In the arly stages children are generally “chatterboxes”, that is to say, they love speaking and they always have something to say. However, this is not always the case in the L2 class. They may feel shy, they may not understand what they have to do or usually they prefer to say it in their L1. Therefore, the teacher must be patient and allow pupils to speak naturally in their own time. Forcing pupils to speak when they may not be interested in the context, etcetera, will only kill their enthusiasm for speaking English. With writing it is important that pupils see it as important and they are encouraged to write as freely as possible. For shy pupils, writing is a welcome rest from having to speak in a F.L.
School year 2008/2009
School year 2009/2010
School year 2010/2011