View Poll Results: Do you find that your students don't get to do much speaking?

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Thread: Students Speaking

  1. #1
    az
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    Default Students Speaking

    In my Oral communication classes, sadly the students do not do much speaking. My JTE constantly talks and translates and never leaves much time for speaking.

    Now this is in complete contradiction to the lastest methods of commnicative teaching which I studied at Teachers' College.

    The basic rule is
    Less TTT (teacher talking time) and
    More STT (student talking time)

    Is anyone else finding the same thing??

  2. #2
    az
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    Do you think if their education was in a proper communicative atmosphere, that would change??

  3. #3
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    What Paul said; it's not so straightforward!
    "If you've got [a penis], or access to one, take a good look at it this evening and ask yourself: how can this possibly be the work of a sane God?"

  4. #4
    az
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    Paul,

    Everything you said is good- but obvious.

    What I'm trying to address here is the nature and structure of English education in general- not what you do, I'm sure you're great. But...

    Do you find that the JTEs spend a lot of time talking in class?

    Do you find that there is not enough opportunity for speaking practice, irrelevant of whether they want to speak or not, is that time made the biggest priority as it should be in a communicative class?

  5. #5
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    I agree with you, az; there is virtually no communicative teaching outside of a few ALT classes. However, you have to remember a couple of points:

    1. Teachers here are not, as far as I know, trained in how to teach a communicative lesson. That seems to be changing here in Hiroshima, but who knows what effect it will have. When new teachers come to my school, they seem to have no idea what they're doing!

    2. In a SHS, at least, the main goal seems to be to prepare the students for various tests, which will eventually lead to the university entrance exams. In that kind of system, which is by no means uncommon, time spent on communicative lessons is wasted! Schools are not necessarily here to teach English. Any change in the system, I think, would have to be top-down, i.e. start with the university entrance exams.
    "If you've got [a penis], or access to one, take a good look at it this evening and ask yourself: how can this possibly be the work of a sane God?"

  6. #6
    Now with 25% less sugar! Auburn's Avatar
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    Can anyone here give a brief break down on how to conduct a communicative lesson?

    I'm a little unsure of what you all mean... but would like to learn new skills for teaching.

  7. #7
    az
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristybruce
    Can anyone here give a brief break down on how to conduct a communicative lesson?

    I'm a little unsure of what you all mean... but would like to learn new skills for teaching.
    Sure, it is a break away from Grammar Translation.

    Basically, the emphasis is on Communication. Of course grammar is taught but not stressed. The idea is that students focus on communicating their ideas fluidly, rather than worrying about having perfect grammar. Mistakes are OK!!! As long as the idea is communicated. And mistakes can be corrected over time.

    When native speakers talk we don't used correct grammar anyway, we omit subjects, use incorrect forms and tenses all the time.

    Classes should not consist of translating English into Japanese but rather using English for functions, (asking, commands, appologising, etc etc) and situations using functions (going shopping, ordering a meal) as these are what are required in the "real" world.

    All classes should have a speaking component (at least a third of the total class time) the other two thirds can be listening, reading or writing or whatever.

    When teaching a grammar point, Present the point (simply), then get the students to Practice it, then Produce it by speaking preferably. PPP easy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by az
    Quote Originally Posted by kristybruce
    Can anyone here give a brief break down on how to conduct a communicative lesson?

    I'm a little unsure of what you all mean... but would like to learn new skills for teaching.
    Sure, it is a break away from Grammar Translation.

    Basically, the emphasis is on Communication. Of course grammar is taught but not stressed. The idea is that students focus on communicating their ideas fluidly, rather than worrying about having perfect grammar. Mistakes are OK!!! As long as the idea is communicated. And mistakes can be corrected over time.

    When native speakers talk we don't used correct grammar anyway, we omit subjects, use incorrect forms and tenses all the time.

    Classes should not consist of translating English into Japanese but rather using English for functions, (asking, commands, appologising, etc etc) and situations using functions (going shopping, ordering a meal) as these are what are required in the "real" world.

    All classes should have a speaking component (at least a third of the total class time) the other two thirds can be listening, reading or writing or whatever.

    When teaching a grammar point, Present the point (simply), then get the students to Practice it, then Produce it by speaking preferably. PPP easy
    PPP is great, and it works. Though sadly not in the majority of Japanese schools due to the reasons Dob said. Until the system changes and students are required to orally communicate English classes will continue to be taught in Japanese so as to give the students the best possible grounding for the all important tests. I don't agree with it, but it's the way it is.

    Sure you can try to change the way the JTEs approach things, you may even be successful for a while, then all the teachers change schools/grades and you're back to square one again with the new batch. That's my experience, and the same for a few other 3rd, 4th & 5th year JETs I've spoken to.

    Also, a major point of PPP (as highlighted above) is that mistakes are ok. This is a hard point to get across to teachers and students alike, because mistakes are not ok in the Japanese culture - there is only one way to do things, one answer. Have you ever had the "which answer is correct English?" conversation with a JTE. Watch their heads explode when both answers are equally correct.
    Give me my marker show me my line... surely this is it... the edge?

  9. #9
    az
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    I know, it's sad isn't it. I was teaching English to Japanese adults in New Zealand and after all the english they learnt at school and university they still couldn't communicate.

  10. #10
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    Very sad.

    IF my students are allowed to speak, on the rare occaision I'm allowed in class it's usually just to repeat after me. Last week they got to repeat the names of the characters in the Peanuts cartoon strip. In 20 minutes they'll get to repeat some baseball terms. I'm not shitting you. Charlie Brown likes baseball, so today we'll learn to say pitcher, catcher, shortstop, error etc. Words they already know, albeit katakana versions.
    Give me my marker show me my line... surely this is it... the edge?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az

    Do you find that the JTEs spend a lot of time talking in class?
    Put your foot down. I told my JTEs that I believe that the students dont speak enough, so I now have students at the front of the class every 10 minutes. Even if the student would rather die in a corner, I get them to speak. As long as you make every student speak at some stage, and every lesson, then it will work out fine. I want oral communication to become more relaxed and it is working.
    There are some students who wont speak, but they dont even speak in Japanese.
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

  12. #12
    az
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    There are some students who wont speak, but they dont even speak in Japanese.
    This is very true, I don't think that it's always an English specific thing, some students are just shy. I remember at my high school ther were lots of students that were shy and the good teachers got the classes relaxed enough so that they felt comfortable to speak

  13. #13
    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az
    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    There are some students who wont speak, but they dont even speak in Japanese.
    This is very true, I don't think that it's always an English specific thing, some students are just shy. I remember at my high school ther were lots of students that were shy and the good teachers got the classes relaxed enough so that they felt comfortable to speak
    No, these kids dont speak at all. There are two in my mountain school. The boy will do the work and show he understands, but its like he cant speak. The girl does not even speak to her mother so, yes, not going to happen. The fact that she has been absent the last two times I went to the school does not help.

    The one girl in my base school will speak and present to the class, but because of her oversized teeth it is very difficult for her, so she seldom speaks.
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

  14. #14
    az
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    You said
    Won't speak
    did you mean can't speak there is a difference ie, are they austistic, or mute or

  15. #15
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    The girl does not even speak to her mother
    We used to have a student that wouldn't speak. Not to classmates, teachers or parents. The only person in the world he'd talk to was his younger brother in the grade below. The weirdest thing was that this behaviour seemed perfectly ok to everyone involved

    Edit: coz I quoted the wrong part.
    Give me my marker show me my line... surely this is it... the edge?

  16. #16
    Now with 25% less sugar! Auburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az
    Quote Originally Posted by kristybruce
    Can anyone here give a brief break down on how to conduct a communicative lesson?

    I'm a little unsure of what you all mean... but would like to learn new skills for teaching.
    Sure, it is a break away from Grammar Translation.

    Basically, the emphasis is on Communication. Of course grammar is taught but not stressed. The idea is that students focus on communicating their ideas fluidly, rather than worrying about having perfect grammar. Mistakes are OK!!! As long as the idea is communicated. And mistakes can be corrected over time.

    When native speakers talk we don't used correct grammar anyway, we omit subjects, use incorrect forms and tenses all the time.

    Classes should not consist of translating English into Japanese but rather using English for functions, (asking, commands, appologising, etc etc) and situations using functions (going shopping, ordering a meal) as these are what are required in the "real" world.

    All classes should have a speaking component (at least a third of the total class time) the other two thirds can be listening, reading or writing or whatever.

    When teaching a grammar point, Present the point (simply), then get the students to Practice it, then Produce it by speaking preferably. PPP easy
    Cool, thanks. Turns out I've been doing it this way without knowing the name of the theory...

    (I'm not in Japan anymore, but I am back in Canada teaching French as a second language, and I find that many of the games and ideas posted in this forum are easily adapted to FSL. So thanks.[/i]

  17. #17
    Senior Member Narnia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by az
    You said
    Won't speak
    did you mean can't speak there is a difference ie, are they austistic, or mute or
    No darling, wont speak.
    Dr Peterson: 'I'm a schoolteacher'
    Porter at Empire Hotel: 'Thought so: they always look as if they've lost something' -From "Spellbound"

  18. #18
    az
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristybruce
    Cool, thanks. Turns out I've been doing it this way without knowing the name of the theory...

    (I'm not in Japan anymore, but I am back in Canada teaching French as a second language, and I find that many of the games and ideas posted in this forum are easily adapted to FSL. So thanks.
    Sweet as- hope you're having heaps of fun

  19. #19
    OPPORTUNITYISNOWHERE mteacher80's Avatar
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    I have a student that absolutly wont speak in class (or school, or in public) Every once in a while i forget and try to pick her to answer a question and she will either keep her head down or stare blankly at me untill either i remember, or the JET reminds me that "she doesnt speak in public"

    She does really well on written tests and worksheets, but just wont speak.

    I find this the exception to the rule however at my schools, when i actually call on someone to read somthing aloud or say somthing out loud, and if i am persistant they will usually speak up...

    mark!
    ☆★REAL EYES REALIZE REAL LIES★☆

  20. #20
    az
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    Quote Originally Posted by az
    You said
    Won't speak
    did you mean can't speak there is a difference ie, are they austistic, or mute or
    No darling, wont speak.
    Interesting, in a later post you wrote
    Quote Originally Posted by Narniaru
    can't speak
    You really should make up your mind, dear.

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