Developing your academic speaking skills: A handbook for learners of English as a foreign language
Impresiones FL de Natalia Rondini
Lugar: Córdoba; Año: 2022 p. 67
In this edition of the handout, we have made some adjustments to improve the activities and guidelines included in the first published edition of this material. Based on our observation of English as a foreign language (EFL) students´ oral performance at undergraduate level and on research findings in the area of foreign language speaking skills, we propose practical ways to empower university students to become more successful, reflective and autonomous EFL speakers. This handbook consists of two main sections. Section one includes a set of speaking tasks for classroom practice. These tasks explore topics such as leisure and holidays, bonds and feelings, the world of work, education, environmental issues, and crime and punishment. Language tips on how to go about these tasks and useful expressions are provided to encourage the development of speaking skills. Pair work activities and peer and self-assessment feedback sheets are meant to give students the opportunity to monitor their progress. In the Group discussion activities, students are encouraged to relate the topics to their own life and experiences and the world around them. In the Pair work activities, they are expected to compare and contrast situations and events, discuss causes and effects of a given topic, propose solutions to different kinds of problems, and express their own opinions. Pair work feedback sheets are also provided to encourage a more student-centered approach to speaking practice. Thus, students are expected to use these feedback sheets to assess their classmates´ performance in a systematic fashion. In the Decision making activities they are also encouraged to work collaboratively exchanging ideas, agreeing or disagreeing, suggesting, speculating, prioritizing and reaching a decision through negotiation.Section two begins with student-centered, participatory activities to raise their awareness about linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of oral in-class reports or presentations, and provides some practice in structuring a speech. This activity is followed by detailed guidelines to help learners go about the often daunting task of preparing and giving effective presentations in the language class. Finally, a teacher feedback sheet, a peer-feedback and a self-evaluation sheet are included to be photocopied and used as assessment tools in oral in-class reports.