Effective Techniques for English Conversation Groups

Effective Techniques for English Conversation Groups

Effective Techniques for English Conversation Groups

Effective Techniques for English Conversation Groups

Excerpt

This manual, devoted solely to conversation techniques, is intended for teachers of English as a foreign or second language who want to give their students opportunities to speak English more spontaneously and creatively.

Most books on English teaching methodology concentrate on the manipulative phase of language teaching-the phase in which students learn basic language structure through drills and exercises. Almost no guidance, however, is available to teachers in the communicative phase of language teaching, when they must launch students in creative conversation practice. Particularly disappointing is that students who have endured long hours of study are deprived of the satisfaction of expressing themselves in progressively creative contexts, because their teacher lacks adequate published material on conversation techniques.

While realizing that no one can claim to have all the answers as to how to direct conversation practice successfully, I have gathered in this manual a variety of field-tested techniques for stimulating conversation among students who already have a basic command of English. Many of these are not my original creation-some of the techniques have been around for centuries. Certain of them have been adapted, after I had tried them out with students of different language backgrounds, to increase the effectiveness inherent in their original form.

The book begins with a discussion of what is involved in directed conversation sessions: conversation practice at various proficiency levels, challenges of conversation practice, motivational factors, and other related topics. The next chapter, "The Art of Conversation," contains observations on conversation among native speakers of English, a discussion of style levels in language, and comments on the . . .

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