Today the knowledge of English is not a whim, but a necessity. In modern world the knowledge of English has become important in lives of many in order to communicate with people from different countries in almost all spheres of human activity. It is generally accepted that as far as a person knows the language, we judge him by communicating with him. Therefore, the acquisition of communication skills is the most important and desirable in the study of a foreign language.
Speaking is one of the most important skills everyone needs to develop and constantly improve for effective communication. For teachers of foreign languages the ways to improve communication skills of students have always been very important. The modern world requires a good knowledge of English despite the profession of individuals. However, most of those who study English have difficulty in communication and a number of studies show that the reasons may be as follows:
- lack of vocabulary
The most common problem is limited vocabulary. Exercises to develop speaking skills require a suitable vocabulary, which students receive when reading and listening to various texts, as well as information from these texts. Afterwards, students exchange views on the read or listened texts and as a result of this interaction develop speaking skills.
Cultural conventions and shyness, as well as uncertainty, can make it difficult for students to communicate in the target language. Students may be concerned about making a mistake, being criticized and disgraced in front of the class. And teachers can help students overcome all these difficulties to achieve success by regular practicing and applying different methods to develop speaking skills.
To motivate students to develop their speaking skills, it is necessary to engage and support students in the topic under discussion. Quite often, students think that they have nothing to say on a certain topic. In fact, they may be bored or feel that they do not have enough knowledge on the discussed subject. It is very important to find a topic that will interest all students and they will show a desire to speak in order to express their point of view.
The following 4 techniques can be used to improve students ' speaking skills, as well as their motivation to learn the language:
In the first show-and-tell technique, the teacher calls two students, where one of the students shows any subject and the other one tries to describe it in English. When the student finishes describing the subject, the other students ask him questions. The purpose of this technique is to give students the opportunity to improve their speaking skills by using the language. Thus, the communicative method is used.
Presentation is usually given to each student separately on a specific topic and its structure correspondingly. However, to perform this work, the student needs time to prepare it. Those students who listen to the presentation, get a precise task, for example, to give feedback. Presentation is a task for students whose language level is above average
Drama refers to the type of exercise where a conversation is built between two or three students in a class. In this exercise, students perform a conversation, for example, between a doctor and a patient, a teacher and a student, a passenger and a driver, so on. This activity is similar to a role-play, but it takes more time. To submit this task, students are asked to record their conversation as a drama. The teacher should give time for preparation and submission of this task. Later the teacher gives his comments on this task.
Question and answer is also considered as a technique to develop speaking skills. In some classes, more than a half of the lesson time is given to the exchange of question-answer. However, this exercise is not always effective, as other factors such as fear, lack of vocabulary can affect the activeness of students.
All in all, the communicative competence is essential in mastering foreign languages and the above discussed techniques are the most used in the English classes. Additionally, extended reading, enlarging vocabulary and friendly atmosphere might help students to intensify the development of speaking skills.