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Key things to remember when teaching a speaking lesson

A video about key things to remember when teaching a speaking lesson.
Teaching speaking lessons online? Yes. So again, we’re talking about making sure that you have clear objectives, that you have a good reason for doing it. You’re not just kind of chatting about stuff. Also, that I think the frameworks for a speaking lesson are probably the same. You’re going to have some preparation work. Do a bit of speaking, and then of course, give a bit of feedback afterwards. So those things are the same. But I think there are things that are different. And you wanted to talk a bit about instructions. Yeah, I think, because you know, there is that distance when you’re on an online lesson that you need to be really, really clear with instructions.
So you need to make sure that the instruction you give is graded correctly. You know, you enunciate correctly, all the sort of things you need to do to give good instructions. But you also need to check them. And also give a demonstration where possible, so learners really understand what it is that they’re doing. Because you can’t then, you can’t then monitor and check. And fix it, exactly. And fix it, exactly. So it’s really difficult. Yeah, yeah. You might want to also type instructions into the chat box, just to have a backup for people who haven’t understood, something like that. Yeah. And also there’s this time lag thing that we were talking about before.
Yeah, there is a time like sometimes with the technology, of course. So there’s that horrible thing where you ask a question. And you get silence. There’s silence. And then you panic and you feel that you need to speak, so you ask the question again. But of course, the student just hasn’t had time to answer, because they’ve only just heard you at their end. So they speak, you speak at the same time, you all speak over each other and then it gets really confusing. Yeah. So it’d be good to speak and then one Mississippi, two Mississippi three Mississippi, four Mississippi. Exactly. You need to give a few seconds. Anyway, it’s good practise anyway to leave more wait time. Exactly, exactly.
Just to keep in mind. Yeah. And there’s also a similar sort of problem to the group when who’s to speak and you need to organise who speaks when and put your hand up and that sort of thing when you have a group, so that they don’t talk over each other. Yes, you need to manage that really carefully. Yeah. So all of those things you said are great. You can nominate. Or you could use the audio, the microphone button, so that you can click it that to mute certain students or all of the whole classes, so you just got one person who’s speaking and can be heard by everyone else. Yes.
And problems also, the same sort of problems you have with face to face, where you have a weaker student. Yeah, and with a weaker student, you could obviously, you don’t want to put them on the spot if they’re feeling scared about speaking in front of the other learners. You could actually use the chat box so they can type their answer in the chat box to you. It could be just to you directly, not to the whole group. So then they’re actually participating, they’re doing the tasks. And they’re starting to build that confidence. And you can give them some positive reinforcement. And after a couple of lessons, you can get them. They’ll start speaking. Exactly, yeah.
And of course, the chat box is a major feature for giving feedback. Yeah, definitely. So there are a few different features when you’re giving delayed feedback on speaking. You can use the chat box, as you say. Yeah. And here I think what’s fantastic is, because you can often speak to individual learners directly, you can actually give personalised feedback. You can also use the whiteboard. Yeah. For whole class feedback. Or you could, if you don’t have a whiteboard, you could type into a Word document and then share your screen with a student. So few different ways to give feedback there.

Our next focus is on helping learners to develop their speaking skills in online lessons. You’re going to listen to Lindsay and Marie Therese talking about key things to remember when teaching speaking lessons online.


Watch the video. What do Lindsay and Marie Therese say about these things?

  1. Lesson objectives

  2. Lesson staging/framework

  3. Instructions

  4. Managing time lags

  5. Managing dominant and quiet learners

  6. Feedback

Check your answers.

Reflect and share

What speaking activities do you often include in your face-to-face lessons? Do you think these can be used in an online lesson? How might you need to adapt them? Share your ideas in the comments.

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Teaching English Online

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