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Educational institution compels the non-native students to speak only in English inside the classroom. While this might help a few smart students, I found many students are anxious about attending the class. Even though some students attempt to speak broken sentences, they fail to learn correct usages. What is the best practice to be followed inside the classroom?

migrated from ell.stackexchange.com Jun 10 '16 at 8:32

This question came from our site for speakers of other languages learning English.

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The issue of student anxiety is fairly significant. Having taken many language classes myself I know that it can be scary to try and speak the new language. It is extremely important to make it clear that it's OK to make mistakes.

One way to get students to speak up is to use games as a regular part of the class. The students may get caught up in the game and forget to be nervous (I've seen it happen).

Another method you could try would be to get them to learn English songs (e.g. they could each come to class with a pop song and then explain the lyrics). Poetry may work as well, depending on the ages and linguistic abilities of the students.

Regarding the broken English: this is a problem which will only improve with practice and immersion. For most students it's better to speak a lot in broken English than to be paralyzed by fear of making mistakes. By immersing the students and introducing various inputs which include correct grammar (e.g. books, TV shows) you will probably help them eventually work out the correct way to speak and be understood. If this doesn't seem to be working you could try grammar-based games and assignments.

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The best way to learn a language is by prolonged usage of the same. Ask the students to speak English, irrespective of their fluency. Let them make mistakes. Only then will they learn about the mistake. But make sure their mistakes are corrected, so as to ensure that they don't grow learning incorrect usages and words.

  • Ask them to write essays or something, in class. If the students can write without many mistakes, they will learn to speak the same way.

  • You could also conduct reading aloud exercises, and correct their mistakes, all very gently. Also, you could also ask the rest of the class to correct the reader. That way, the reader stands corrected, also, the listening students will not make the same mistakes when they speak in English.

  • You could assign them books to read, and then conduct book reviews, both oral and written.

  • You could use dramas, discussions and debates also.

  • Encourage kids to read the newspaper, and maybe ask them to do a news presentation. This is double-win, as they are updated with the news, and their language is also improving.

  • Conduct 'Find the errors' programs. Make a passage with errors, both grammatical and pronunciation-based. Ask the students to identify the mistakes and correct them.

There are many more ways to do the same. But these are a few very effective ways to help children in a classroom learn the language faster, and more efficiently.

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    Great answer and welcome to Language Learning Varun! – fi12 Jun 10 '16 at 11:58
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Keep on using English of course! Practice makes perfect and that is true for lots of things such as perfecting a language. Allow the students to only speak English regardless of their current skill. Better students can help out the newer students on lots of topics such as tenses, pronunciation, and proper word usage (like for instead of four). Most learners learn in a variety of ways such as:

  • Watching movies, dramas, plays, or some type of show

  • Using flashcards

  • Reading

  • Writing

  • Talking to themselves and others

  • Proofreading each other

For group type learning, I recommend:

  • Writing to each other (such as writing letters)

  • Group/Popcorn Reading

  • Social Activities that includes lots of talking

Teachers should also participate and occasionally fix the mistakes. It is best to let the students to find out for themselves as they can reflect and learn and get better.

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