5 ways to teach spoken English to your students

5 ways to improve your students' oral language

English is a global language that everyone wants to speak. But one cannot learn to speak by just following the grammatical rules of the English language. As learning of any language is a skill, that comes from rigorous practice.

Teaching English as a Second Language to students is challenging for the teachers of English in many vernacular medium schools.

This article will try to address some of the challenges being faced by the teachers of English who are teaching English to ESL Learners. This article suggests some of the activities to improve your students' oral language skills.

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Let the students listen more

Listening is the foremost important aspect in learning any language. If you listen to French, you will learn the French language in 3-6 months! So as a teacher give your students ample opportunities to listen to the English language.

You must use simple classroom English while interacting with your students. Encourage your students to respond in English after so many listening practices, don't pressurize the students to speak in English without providing them ample opportunities to listen to English dialogues. Do not worry about the mistakes of the students while responding to you. Let them make mistakes in the beginning. 

Listening to some audio files help them internalize the different sounds of English. So play some audio files in the classroom every day without missing for at least 15 minutes. Make it a habit of every day listening to some dialogues of audios.

Encourage conversations

Every interaction gives a new opportunity for the students to practice English. Encourage your students to talk to each other in English during leisure - while playing in the ground, having lunch, casual talks in the classroom, etc. Let them use their home language in between, but encourage them to use simple day-to-day English dialogues, ask questions each other, etc.


Roleplays are a great way to practice the language. Roleplays help the learners to listen and practice English dialogues. In your classroom, create a social situation or pick a conversation activity from any lesson of their textbook. Guide them to practice dialogues of their roles according to the situation they have got. Then ask the students to perform the roleplay activity before the whole class. Make sure that all the students get this roleplay opportunity. Let the students use their own set of vocabulary while delivering dialogues during roleplays.  Do not pressurize them to stick on some particular words to be used. Give them freehand!

A question a day

Every day when you start your class, ask a question in English to encourage talk. You can even write your question on board every day, students can think of the question and answer it later. You can create a 'question board' in your classroom exclusively for this activity. Help the students answer your questions in complete sentences.

Maintain eye contact and body language

You must engage in eye contact proper body language with students during interactions and encourage your students to do the same. Maintaining eye contact helps the learners to gauge their audience's attention and adjust their language, their volume, or the organization of their speech. This will help them be better under­stood, communicate more clearly, and successfully interpret nonverbal cues about their clarity.

The last talk

There are lots of ideas to improve oral language. The activities suggested in this article are effective for beginners. Try adding your own flavor to the activities suggested above. Or if you have other ideas/activities to improve the oral language of beginners, you are free to comment in the comment box below.

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