This article is devoted to teach students’ speaking skills with using speaking activities. There are three basic reasons why it is a good idea to give students speaking tasks and two following examples to proving it.
On February 16–17, 2012 there was held an international conference devoted to the problems of modernization of continuous education in Tashkent. Participants from 48 countries took part in the conference. In his congratulatory speech, President I.Karimov drew everybody’s attention to two main tasks standing before education authorities. That is to know at least on foreign language in order to have a verbal contact with foreigners, to have a talk on specialty and computer technologies and multimedia means.  Teaching and developing all teaching skills is the most important part of teaching foreign language.
There are three basic reasons why it is a good idea to give students speaking task, which provoke them to use all:
‒ Getting students to have a free discussion gives them a chance to rehearse having discussions outside the classroom. Having them take part in a role-play at an airport check in desk allows them to rehearse such a real-life event in the safety of the classroom.
‒ Speaking tasks where students are trying to use all and any language they know provides feedback for both teacher and students. Teachers can see how well their class is doing and what language problems they are having (that is a good reason for boomerang lessons) students can also see how easy they find a particular kind of speaking and what they need to do to improve.
‒ Good speaking activities can and should be highly motivating.
In the following two examples, we are going to look at very different speaking activities. All the activities satisfy the three reasons for speaking task which we mentioned above.
Example 1: discussion (for intermediate and upper intermediate level)
Most teachers hope that they will be able to organize discussion sessions in their classroom, particularly if the exchange of opinions provokes spontaneous fluent language use. Many find, however, that discussion sessions are less successful than they had hoped. The first thing to remember is that people need time to assemble their thoughts before any discussion. The ability to give spontaneous and articulate opinions is challenging in our own language, let alone the language we are struggling to learn. The following sequence, therefore, stresses the need for discussion preparation and shows the teacher building the discussion up in stages. The teacher starts by asking individual students to name the last film they saw. Did they enjoy it? Was it funny? Serious? Violent? The replies he gets at this point will be fairly monosyllabic, but at least the topic has been introduced and the students are enjoying thinking about movies. The teacher now says that the class is going to concentrate on the issue of violence in films.
Example 2: Role-play (upper intermediate and advanced level)
Role-play activities are those where students are asked to imagine that they are in different situations and act accordingly. We may tell them to role-play being guests at a party, travel agents answering customer questions or participants in a public meeting about a road building project for example. Role-play activities provide the kind of rehearsal possibilities. In the following example, a meeting is being held to decide whether a new supermarket should be built on land which is currently used as school playing fields. Students are put into groups of six.
The students decide who decide who is who in each group and the teacher then hands out the following cards to the individuals, with the instruction that they should read them but not show them to anyone else. This is what the cards show.
It is your job to run the meeting and make sure everyone’s voice is heard. Start by getting everyone to introduce themselves by name and say what their occupation is. Ask them to state their point of view, but at all stages allow other members to question them. At the end of the meeting, you will call for a vote on the supermarket project.
Colin Grafter, Taksi representative
You represent Taksi. You are offering an important facility for the public. You will pay for a new slip road from Taksi’s funds and you will make the new supermarket attractive with adequate parking and play areas for children.
Muriel Fightwell, local resident
You love the playing fields and frequently walk there with your dog. The last thing your area needs is a new supermarket with hundreds more cars clogging up the streets and polluting the air for the families around, not to mention the destruction of a beautiful piece of land in the heart of a residential area.
Brian Shelfsurch, local resident
You welcome the idea of a new supermarket. The nearest one is four miles away and in the rush hour (when you normally do your shopping), it takes hours to get there. This new scheme will be just right for your own shopping needs — and since Taksi have agreed on a new road it shouldn’t cause too much of a problem
Councilor Clare Howe-Sing, local politician
You do not think the council should agree to this use of the land when there is a shortage of low cost accommodation for the city’s residents. If the land is to be sold by the college, it should be used for building flats and houses for low income tenants — that’s what the council’s priority should be
Councilor Amby Valent
You are sympathetic to both sides of the argument. You think the supermarket would benefit locals, but you do not want to see the loss of green spaces. You will decide which way to vote when you have heard the discussion (you should ask as many questions as necessary to help you decide)
The teacher tells students that they can ask him about any details they are not sure of He tells them that they must stick to the information on their original cards, but that they can invent new facts which fit with that information.
Speaking is the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts.  Here are some suggestions for English language teachers while teaching oral language:
Try to involve each student in every speaking activity; for this aim, practice different ways of student participation.
Provide maximum opportunity to students to speak the target language by providing a rich environment that contains collaborative work, authentic materials and tasks and shared knowledge.
Circulate around classroom to ensure that students are on the right track and see whether they need your help while they work in groups or pairs.
Speaking activities are very important part of teaching speaking. Therefore, it is essential that language teachers pay great attention to teaching speaking with speaking activities. With this aim, various speaking activities such as those listed above can contribute a great deal to students in developing basic interactive skills necessary for life. These activities make students more active in the learning process and at the same time make their learning more meaningful for them.
- Karimov I. A. Congratulatory speech to the participants of the international conference “Modernization of educational system, spiritually developed and intelligent youth-generation of progress” T. Turkiston, 2012, 18.02. № 13 p. 2–3
- Nunan. D. “Practical English Language Teaching”. NY: McGraw-Hill. 2003
- Chaney, A.L. and T. L. Burk “Teaching Oral communication in Grades K-8”. Boston: Allyn&Bacon 1998.