Building conversation skills through listening?

Yes, being a good listener is part of being a good conversational partner, even in your native language. When thinking of how to help our students to gradually build their conversation skills, we tend to focus on aspects of the classroom tasks that we design for this purpose. Those elements include the topic (the task[…]

How communicatively adequate are my students?

Communicative adequacy refers to a persons’ ability to successfully communicate in a real-life situation. Within the context of foreign language education, communicative adequacy is the primary goal of instruction: we want our students to express themselves, in speaking or writing, in a way that native speakers of the target language will understand. Communicative success in[…]

The role of vocabulary in building fluency: Making students aware

Do you remember those days when you were a beginning language learner and you became easily frustrated during speaking activities? Remember the feeling of hopelessness when you got stuck searching for words to express your thoughts? You had something great to say, but you may have remained silent more than you should have had simply[…]

What’s For Dinner?: Paired Dialogue Task Ideas

A few months ago, we posted about the benefits of student-centered paired speaking activities on Extempore. There are a ton of reasons to promote these sorts of activities in your classroom, but the most convincing one of all, I think, is that they give the teacher a snapshot of his/her students’ authentic spoken abilities at a given point.[…]