An English speaking course is in essence one where the overriding objective is to improve the fluency and confidence of the student when speaking English, and so improve the ability of the student to communicate effectively in English.
There are many facets to developing speaking skills. A good English speaking course should have specific English lessons to cover all of these facets which include; active vocabulary and grammar development, pronunciation, intonation, turn-taking, conversational gambits and many others. The English speaking course should aim to maximise the amount of student speaking time through group and pair work, it is this building of confidence through practice that is absolutely vital when developing speaking skills in another language.
The skill of the teacher is paramount to a successful English speaking course. Stimulating lively lessons that engage the student are a vital conduit to improving their fluency and expressiveness. The SGI blog is a very good example of how current news and popular global themes can be used as a source of English language learning, equally, the managed use of current events in the classroom is a great way of encouraging English speaking by engaging the student and getting them to actively want to contribute to classroom debates and discussions.
SPEAKING ENGLISH IN THE WORLD TODAY
As it stands, at this moment in human history, speaking English is something literally millions of non-native speakers have to contend with, as English continues to be the dominant global language in so many spheres of professional international life, such as commerce, technology and academia. In fact, it could be argued, that speaking good English has become an essential facet of ‘getting on in life’, with almost all well-paid jobs, across a broad range of industries. demanding a proven good level of English ( at least B2) as well as industry-specific knowledge, as part of the job specification.
At SGI, the development of English speaking skills is a key objective in all our group courses, whether the course has a general, business or academic focus. All our courses have, as one of the key objectives, the significant improvement of students’ speaking skills. Whilst the main focus of these classes is clearly different, students universally need to improve their English speaking ability to be able to compete successfully in whatever work arena they choose to put themselves into.
Being able to communicate in another language, even at a rudimentary level, is very satisfying and with good teaching and good student motivation there is absolutely no reason why an English Speaking course should not be a fun rewarding experience.
At SGI our method for teaching spoken English is to focus on the dominant British English. This is obviously one of the prime shapers of international English which is perhaps a better description for spoken English at SGI in London.
The following courses have a significant Spoken English element, click the tab to find out more.....
This popular full-time morning course contains a substantial amount of English speaking practice. Much of the speaking that takes place is related to the language points ( grammar, vocabulary) the teacher introduces to you depending on your level of English. So for example a B1 (Intermediate) student will learn the grammar and vocabulary which when it comes to speaking enable them to.....
• Deal with most typical situations when travelling
• Express and respond to a range of feelings
• Agree and disagree politely with others
• Express personal beliefs, views and opinions
The Intensive English course combines the morning Standard English course with an afternoon class which is all about developing confidence and fluency with your English Speaking. Popular afternoon activities include projects where the students have to collaborate, here are some typical popular projects:
• Giving a group presentation based on some research
• Making a mini-film about an aspect of London life
• Creating an online newsletter about life at the school
• Interviewing members of the public as part of some market research
The Business English Mini-Group takes place in the morning and contains a lot of speaking as the focus is on Business English Communication skills. This means that students develop their English speaking confidence, accuracy and fluency over a wide range of typical work related skills such as....
• Speaking effectively and clearly on the telephone
• Participating and discussing company matters in meetings
• Presenting facts, figures and trends to work colleagues
• Being able to persuade and negotiate effectively in English
Private Tuition is popular at the school, with students being able to choose from very intensive options, such as the Immersion and Crash courses (6 hours or more daily) right through to the Flexi option of just 2 hours a week. Private Tuition provides an abundance of English speaking opportunity for the student, enabling students to really focus on the more subtle aspects of spoken fluency such as pronunciation. Pronunciation points commonly worked on in Private Tuition are....
• Word stress: three syllable words and word families
• Phonemic symbols & sounds: vowels / consonants
• Common minimal pairs
• The schwa, and strong vs. weak forms (e.g. of modals)