Aug 14th, 2007, 04:48 pm
mind like a sieve
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Join Date: Nov 15th, 2006
| | Re: How can I Make my ESL Students Speak Louder?
Welcome to ESLHQ.
Eric's idea is a good one. I've taped students giving presentations, performing role plays and skits, and the like before. It works well, but has to be set up as a large project. Although very effective, and fun, it isn't so practical to use in class every day.
If you want an every day activity, use dialogues more often. A lot of teachers have the students read the dialogues once or twice, maybe memorize certain key phrases, and then move on to the next activity. This is fine if you just want to introduce the target language in context. But you can do more.
For something very, very simple, sit students back to back, like a telephone conversation. This will force them to speak more loudly and clearly to one another, because there isn't the benefit of visual clues.
For something a little more challenging:
Step 1: Students pair up and read the dialogue once, normally.
Step 2: Change partners (or not) for a second reading. Student A holds an imaginary microphone, as though conducting an interview. Switch and repeat. This helps build eye contact.
Step 3: Change partners again (or not) for a third reading. Student A places his/her hand on the shoulder of student B, and conducts the reading. Switch and repeat. This builds a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Step 4: Change partners again (or not) for a fourth reading. Students try to incorporate body language into the reading, creating a more natural feel to the conversation. Because they have read the dialogue so many times, albeit with different objectives, they should be mostly familiar with large chunks. They should be able to think about how to react to the conversation with body language instead of focusing all their attention on the script.
Step 5: Optional. In a small class, students perform the dialogue in front of the class.
Each step has a different objective, so students don't get bored. They also begin to use the language naturally with gestures, eye contact, even improved intonation. Lastly, they get familiar with the material, and so confidence increases... which leads to improved volume, pitch, intonation, accent, etc.