It has been observed that the most primitive and time tested process to learn a new language is to hear, observe and speak! Our minds are conditioned to pick up words and sounds that we hear and use in our daily communication, and that helps us understand the proper usage.
Though, conversations are the best way to learn a language but it can also becomes a challenge if the conversations are not interesting. In Classroom environment, the teacher can gauge the interest of students from their body language and facial expression. But, the same becomes a challenge when it comes to learning on phone. It is very important to keep the students interested and engaged at all times.
Below are a few tricks to make English learning on phone fun and easy.
- Make the student tell a story: One reason why sessions become boring is that we often ask questions that can be answered in just one or two words. So once you have asked basic questions like, “How are you?” ask questions, like, “What did you do today?” or “What was the most interesting thing that happened today?” Questions like these invite the other person to tell a story. Same way, If something particularly funny or interesting happened to you , tell the student about it to start a conversation.
- Be curious and sound interested: When talking with students, ensure that you are interested in topics that they talk about. Ask questions as you may never know what makes a person tick. Listen more intently, and you’ll naturally think of questions that move the conversation forward which in turn would make the students talk more. This would lead to more opportunities to correct the student. Being curious and engaged in a conversation is a highly attractive quality, and it creates immediate interest and intimacy.
- Play Games: Games are definitely a great way to keep students engaged. Both children and adults enjoy them, but these are especially important for children. Turning class time into play time, and helping them to speak English is definitely a good idea. Students will pick up the language a lot quicker.
- Role Play: Put yourself and student into a situation where they and you have to act out specific roles. Role plays can be a very effective method of language learning. A lot of people quite enjoy this. There are many benefits. The student gets actively involved in the class and in the conversation. As they need to think creatively, it will help to stimulate their mind which would lead to better thinking capacity and also some new vocabulary can be added to their word knowledge. Using the language they already know, the students will be able to come up with new words and phrases. However, one must completely allow the students to follow their own dialogue and not spoon feed them with dialogues.
In the end, we should always remember our motive behind these conversations is to improve the students’ spoken skills. Hence, the more the student speaks, the more opportunity we have to correct and improve his English.
– Attributed by Lalita Karthik