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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > Speak English in the classroom    

Speak English in the classroom


Speak English in the classroom
Hi everybody! I am here again to ask for your help or ideas about the next case. 
One of my students doesn �t want to speak English and always do it in her first language (Spanish one in this case). I don �t know the way to encourage her because she is so pig-headed. Moreover, due to this problem her pronunciation is so bad and the rest of the class is much better (then, she is embarrassed and doesn �t speak aloud in class).

Any idea?

Thanks in advance. 



13 Jan 2014      


Some years ago I had the same problem with a girl and I used to have a nice cloth pin. Each time someone in the class used L1 (even me) had to wear the pin. The last one who had it, had to do some extra homewor (something easy like a word soup, painting by number,....) It was useful, fun and the girl didn �t feel I was only focussing on her but in all the class.
Good Luck!

13 Jan 2014     


Grrrreat idea, thanks Mallerenga! Thumbs Up
I �ll certainly try that.

13 Jan 2014     

United States

There was a former user (ladyb) who posted some forfeits last year. Someone speaking their own language would pull a forfeit out of a bag or hat and have to do what the card said. The forfeit would be something silly or easy like "Put your hands on your head for 10 seconds" or "Say the letters of the English alphabet." I �ve done this with my adult class, and it really has cut down on the chit-chat in other languages. I don �t impose a forfeit if one student is helping another in their language, but for idle conversation in their language. (I honestly don �t mind idle conversation in English much!)
If anyone wants them, send a PM with your email address and I �ll send the files. I actually looked for them again yesterday hoping she �d made another set, but the user was gone.

13 Jan 2014     


I have the same problem in my classes and I think that the pin idea is great! I was looking for something like this and I �m going to try very soon. I �m also interested in the forfeits. Moody Moody, may you send them to me? My email address is [email protected]. Thanks a lot for your precious advice, I �m a new teacher and I �m always looking for new strategies or nice ideas.

13 Jan 2014     


I too have the same problem in some of my classes. I think doing forfeits is a brilliant idea!! I �d love to get some ideas for different types of forfeit. Can you please email them to me too? [email protected] Thanks very much.

13 Jan 2014     

Lovely Lana

The pin idea and the forfeits seem to be a great idea. MoodyMoodythanks a lot for offering the files. I �ve sent you my email address in a PM.
anuska8, you could also try pair work. It might be a real challenge for a learner to speak in front of the whole class, especially for a shy one but when they are put in pairs, the feel less stressed.

There are some articles that you might find useful:


Good luck!Smile

14 Jan 2014     


Thanks so much! The pin idea is so good and the forfeits could be a solution. I �ll send to MoodyMoody my e-mail in a PM to get them. 
On the other hand, I �m also a new teacher like franciuzzz and I �m so lost in many situations. By the way, I �m learning so much in this page ;)



14 Jan 2014     


I find that letting them do plays helps them overcome the reluctancy to speak.
I like �theater from a bag � where every small group gets a bag with random items, (say a pan, a camera, an alarm clock, a black wig and measuring tape) and they need to make up a play that somehow uses all items. My students love it and even the most shy ones say a line or two at least.
For the really shy ones, I find that a puppet theater works miracles. By hiding behind the theater and using a different voice, they feel more free to speak, they can even play the foreign tourist whose English isn �t that great....)
If a puppet theater is to much of a hassle, a hand puppet can also be used as a class management tool (and without drawing attention to it, to encourage speaking in English).
Only those who hold the puppet have the right to speak, (and they can do funny voices if they please). It reduces the shouting out and speaking out of line because it makes it very clear who has the right to speak at every given moment, and it allows the shy students to hide behind a silly voice �of the puppet � and give speaking English a chance...

14 Jan 2014