At Optimus, our teachers use various strategies to engage our students. In particular, we use three key strategies to encourage our students to develop their listening and speaking skills.
First, our teachers primarily use speaking, rather than reading, to teach students. Many students have a better grasp of reading English than listening to it before they come here. We emphasize the latter, while still incorporating the former, so that they can grow in both. This means that our teachers use speaking to instruct students more often than they use a whiteboard.
Second, our teachers correct our students in moderation. As they do this, they keep two considerations in mind. First of all, they are careful not to correct a student too much. If they do so, that student might become very self-conscious and not say something unless they think they can say it perfectly. This runs counter to our aims as teachers in that it discourages students from speaking rather than encouraging them. Second of all, our teachers must correct some pronunciation and grammar errors; otherwise the student will perpetuate incorrect speaking habits. Thus, our teachers correct repeated mistakes that they see students making. This maintains a balance between both considerations.
Third, our teachers view themselves as moderators of a discussion, rather than lecturers. Their goal is to have our students do seventy percent of the talking. The teacher will usually introduce the topic and then ask questions to spark discussion. This gives our students ample opportunity to practice speaking as they respond. Additionally, they have the chance to work on their listening skills as they hear their peers responding.
All of this does not mean that we ignore teaching our students to read and write. Both reading and writing are integral parts of our instruction. However, we do realize the value of encouraging our students to grow in their listening and speaking skills which they will frequently use in everyday life.
Published on June 21, 2018A leading English language school accredited by the CEA (Commission on English Language Accreditation) and approved by SEVP (Student and Exchange Visitor Program) located in Los Angeles, California. Learn English in LA with our ESL classes, TOEFL preparation, and English speaking classes. Are you serious about improving your English? Join a class today!