eslHQ Home
User Name Password
Lost Password? | Join eslHQ.com, it's FREE!
View today's posts
Search Extras Help   

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 8th, 2011, 10:01 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Mar 8th, 2011
Posts: 5
KateHoca is on a distinguished road
Default Motivating Adults to Speak

I'm an ESL teacher in Turkey and I'm having a difficult time motivating the adult students in one of my classes to speak.

They are great at parroting or piecing together basic sentences, but when it comes to creating an all new sentences they stumble.

My students have fabulous grammar considering they are beginners; seeing as grammar is a big deal for Turkish people. However, they just aren't pulling their weight when comes to speaking.

They have the grammar, they know the vocabulary, and I've tried giving them an assortment of topics and I've played countless games with them to facilitate speech. But it just isn't happening!

I have three classes and this class is the only one that is having issues. I've begun to wonder if the class dynamics are messed up or if the students themselves are just not very chatty by nature.

What do you think?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 9th, 2011, 07:07 pm
eslHQ superstar!
 
Join Date: Mar 27th, 2005
Location: Japan
Posts: 1,693
mesmark is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

It could be their personalities or the class make up (men to women ratio, all men, all women.) it may be they just don't feel confident or they just have nothing to say on the subject.

You could try some speaking strategy tasks. Responding, asking follow up questions, summarizing and checking understanding, clarification questions, etc. That might get them to understand the dynamics of keeping a conversation alive.

For beginners, having a conversation is difficult. They can't keep it up for long and having the same conversation with the same information over and over can get boring. I like to use the Big Town character cards and have the students practice over and over as new personalities. They're also good for talking about people in the third person. The cards have a lot of information so there's less need for students to come up with answers. Instead, they can focus on the English.

In general, don't give up. It could just be a hump you need to get over with this group. In time, it could very well turn around.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 9th, 2011, 11:06 pm
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Jul 27th, 2009
Posts: 80
alawton is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

I think that sometimes the dynamics of a class is just not conducive to people wanting to volunteer spontaneous responses. The best you can do is try your best to get everyone comfortable. Let them know that mistakes are OK. Find a topic that is neutral, or entertaining, and see if they will go with that. Talking about sports or movies usually gets my shyest classes talking. I know it is tough when they are beginners. Just keep the atmosphere light and they will open up. Language learners amaze even themselves, with their language skills, when they are relaxed. It is no secret why, when people drink, they find themselves spouting off sentences in the language they usually have trouble with. Good luck.
__________________
Andrew Lawton
http://drewseslfluencylessons.com
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 10th, 2011, 06:32 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Mar 8th, 2011
Posts: 5
KateHoca is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

Thanks for all the advice - I appreciate it.

I think group dynamics has a lot to do with it. They are three men who are all middle-aged and all three of them have some bizarre complexes and personal issues that come out in class.

I actually had quite a breakthrough with them the other day. We are watching "My Neighbor Totoro" piece by piece and talking about different issues that come up in the film. They opened up a lot about their childhood and what they believed in as children. We also talked about chores, family dynamics, and superstitions. At first they thought the film was childish but after a few minutes they were getting into it and they wanted to talk about the film and themselves. It was quite a surprise. One of the students was even singing the theme song as he left the classroom (!!!)

Anyway, thanks again, I will keep experimenting and see what else makes these guys excited about talking.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 10th, 2011, 06:34 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Nov 16th, 2010
Location: Japan
Age: 59
Posts: 25
Supperman is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

Oh, I think so, too.
I used to hesitate to speak, but when I drank alcohol, I could speak very smoothly.
So if it is allowed, having a party may solve the problem.

I just wonder if you are allowed to drink, religiously?
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 10th, 2011, 06:52 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Mar 8th, 2011
Posts: 5
KateHoca is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

They aren't supposed to drink, but I know two of my students who have no issues with alcohol. The third one is a little old-fashioned and would never drink.

All that aside, it would look very bad for the school (and for me!) to give alcohol to my students at school.

I am teaching in Eastern Turkey and women and alcohol don't mix - It is very dangerous for foreign women to openly admit to drinking or to drink publicly here.

It is true though - Alcohol does loosen people's tongues in strange ways.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 10th, 2011, 06:03 pm
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Nov 16th, 2010
Location: Japan
Age: 59
Posts: 25
Supperman is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

Of course!
I don't think it is good thing to drink at every your lesson in school, either.
After school. Only once.

If a person has enough knowledge of grammar and vocabulary, yet he/she can't speak well, he/she might be too cautious, thinking too much, and some kind of self-restriction might exist.
Thinking "not to make any grammatical errors", "not to speak in bad pronunciation" etc.

When such a person has some alcohol, he/she will find him/herself that he/she will be able to speak fluently without restriction.
Because he/she gets drunk and can not think too much.

Once experienced, he/she will get his/her self-confidence, he/she will learn how to speak, he/she will learn that it isn't necessary to think too much.

This was MY experience, so I thought it might be your help.

Anyway, I hope your lesson to become a happy one,
and have a nice day!
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 10th, 2011, 06:24 pm
eslHQ Zealot
 
Join Date: Aug 24th, 2006
Posts: 203
bread_baker is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

I think you should find out about how men and women do and don't interact in their culture. Maybe there are some practices or customs that are influencing the students.
Do you have any pairs of husbands and wives? If so, maybe some people don't want to speak if their spouses are there.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 12th, 2011, 09:50 am
eslHQ Member
 
Join Date: Mar 8th, 2011
Posts: 5
KateHoca is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

Supperman - Your advice was great actually; I really wish I could get them to loosen up a little and speak freely.

bread baker - Men and women lead very different lives here. I suppose that having a female teacher and three male students isn't the best dynamic one could hope for, especially in this region. The biggest issue is that these are three male students, all of which have enormous egos, and so they tend to avoid sharing too many personal details.

If there had been another female student in the class there would be no problems whatsoever. I had a private student who visited our class several times and my male students 'cleaned up their act' as soon as she arrived. They spoke more often and more politely.

At least there is a happy ending to this story: Next week we will combine two classes to create our new upper-beginner class. I am sure that with a few female students around and higher performing students to look to as role models these students will quickly change their behavior.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Mar 13th, 2011, 01:22 am
SimplyESL
 
Join Date: Jul 13th, 2006
Posts: 250
simplyesl is on a distinguished road
Default Re: Motivating Adults to Speak

I like the big town character cards.. may have to use that one when i head back overseas!
__________________
Simply ESL - Save time preparing your lessons by using our lesson plans and activities.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads Replies
First lesson & level testing for adults! 1
Teaching adults of various levels 6
looking for books/stuff for esl for adults 1
Choosing to Speak English Opens Doors 0

Find the Best TEFL, TESL, TESOL & CELTA Certification Courses - User Submitted Ratings & Reviews for Online, Distance & Abroad TEFL Courses. Over 3,500 reviews of 100+ TEFL schools!

Teach English in Thailand - Onsite and Combined TEFL certification courses in Phuket, Thailand.


Free ESL Flashcards


Similar Threads Replies
First lesson & level testing for adults! 1
Teaching adults of various levels 6
looking for books/stuff for esl for adults 1
Choosing to Speak English Opens Doors 0


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:18 pm.

All materials from this website are for classroom-use only. Digital redistribution of materials, in part or in whole, is strictly forbidden!

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2