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How to teach spoken English?

Spoken English is an area of language learning just as important as written English. Unless students are given sufficient time to orally practise this section of learning English, then teachers will never be able to fully hear all their students speaking. It helps to develop their confidence in speaking English and can be a good way to improve the speaking skills and pronunciation of the students.

Give instructions clearly

When informing your students of what is required of them in each lesson, the teacher should always speak clearly and lay great emphasis on any words that may be new to the students or difficult for them to say. Speak slowly so they can hear and understand each word individually.

Use written instructions

Particularly in the case of younger or less able students, write your instructions on the blackboard or wipe board so that they can read what you are saying. This will help them to gain a greater understanding of each word and assist them in pronunciation.

Reading exercises

During reading exercises, the teacher should always read a passage of text first, then the class can read it back to you as a group before allowing them to read it back to you individually. This method of repetition is a great way for them to remember how to say new words.


Use group discussions to encourage speech, either through open debating or through "question and answer" sessions. By asking them unexpected questions, you as the teacher are helping to develop their thinking skills. Always insist on complete answers in sentences. Make them understand that "Yes", "No" or "Don’t know" are not accepted answers.

Role play or interviews

Use role play through interviews when through working in small groups or pairs. Ask the rest of the class for their input on the mistakes that were made. This type of activity is good for both their listening and speaking development.

Use games to encourage learning

Most students are very competitive. Divide the class into four groups or teams and use games where the answers all have to be spoken to encourage the good use of grammar to improve their English speaking skills through speaking activities of this type. Reward the winning team with some sweets or candy. If there is something to be won, they will be even more competitive the next time.

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