The Spoken English course at Smart Center has become quite a success.
In this class we discuss various topics related to a number of different issues.
The classes are completely student led and student oriented with me, Alex, becoming merely a spoken language mediator, coach and facilitator.
The goal at the start of the course was to have TTT (teacher talking time) set at about 20% and STT (student talking time) set at about 80%.
I can confidently say the students in the course have well succeeded those expectations. My vocal participation is at an average of about 10% and the students’ at 90%. What does this mean? The students in the class are leading discussions autonomously. In monitoring their discussions I visually give constant feedback to improve their language use and sharpen the arguments they wish to make.
The students use this class to practice their speaking skills in an argumentative way. This entails proving and defending a position on a certain issue. They learn to argue and argue well.
We have covered a variety of issues, most recently this has included debates on: family values, marriage, revolutions in technology and European politics.
Debates are divided into teams and pitted against each other. Each team’s goal is to maintain and defend their position on an issue. Winners of debates are declared based on their ability to formulate the most logical, convincing arguments.
In addition to this students are asked to formulate their arguments and opinions in written form, this is the part of the course that entails tasks (homework) to be completed outside of class time and are submitted for revision.
The idea is to give them practice speaking about the topic in class, reinforcing and sharpening those ideas at home, orally and literally.
As I’ve already mentioned the discussions have become completely student led and dominated allowing for the most amount of STT possible while at the same time still communicating sound ideas.
Students have learned to become comfortable in their speaking abilities and decrease their fear of speaking. The environment in which we work is open, accepting and pushes students to take chances and risks.
This sort of course is specifically geared toward preparing students to take university level courses in English, participate confidently and with ease.
Join us, challenge yourself, learn to face your fears head on and conquer them!
“Man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
Professional English Language Coach/Teacher