Go back to basics and use small opportunities in a lesson to help students gain confidence in using English outside the classroom.
Help students with their pronunciation. We can get used to our students’ pronunciation and understanding them. Would the average person in the street understand them too? Look for frequent opportunities to work on pronunciation in every lesson.
Provide students with frequent feedback on how they are doing. Students want to know if they have done well or if they have made a mistake, so it’s particularly important to find ways of giving valuable feedback after speaking activities. Speaking activities alone are not enough for students to improve.
Help students perform better by giving them time to prepare and rehearse for their answers and tasks. Nobody enjoys being put on the spot. The ability to speak spontaneously develops over the course of many years and will depend on the level as well as the personal preferences of the learner.
While the focus will often be on speaking and speaking activities in lessons, it’s important to raise awareness of and practise the language which is needed for speaking before that task. This preparation can involve a focus on grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and even writing. It’s time well spent.
These suggestions may seem very obvious but once we get into the swing of teaching a new class, they can be easily forgotten.