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How to Improve the Oral Communicative Abilities of Middle School Students

By Cindy Kennedy,2014-08-28 17:10
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How to Improve the Oral Communicative Abilities of Middle School Students

    How to Improve the Oral Communicative

    Abilities of Middle School Students

    Abstract~English is an international language. It has become an important tool in the international communication with the increasing of the world’s economy, the communication between the countries become more and more. So foreign language teaching has an effect on the development of a country directly, especially oral English. Since our nation has been accepted as a member of the World Trade Organization, oral English is becoming extremely important. But there is a common phenomenon that many Chinese people’s oral English is not satisfactory. They have learned English for many years but are unable to speak fluently.

    Why so many people have poor oral English? The traditional foreign language teaching method of china causes it. The teacher attaches great importance to inculcate the knowledge while neglect to develop the communicative ability of students in the beginning. They do not give the students enough activities to practice, which result in “Dumb

    English” and “Deaf English” on the part of students. The students are the main part of language teaching. But some of them lack in confidence while they speak. Some of them lack in practice and language environment. These are some of the reasons.

    To improve oral English is an important part of English. It is not a problem, which cannot be resolved. The traditional method should be improved. It is necessary for teachers to succeed in oral English class. They may use some activities in the class, such as two-way communication, information-gap activity, and role-play activities. The students

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should find the suitable way for learning oral English.

    Key words: oral English, teaching method, teachers, students, and activity

     :英语是一种国际语言;它是国际交流的一种重要工具;随着世界经济的增涨;国家之间的交流也越来越多;因此;外语教学特别是英语口语直接关系到国家的发展。自从我们国家成为世界贸易组织的一员;英语口语也变得非常重要;但是现在有一种普遍现象;许多中国人的口语都不太令人满意;他们学了很多年的英语仍不能说得流利。

    为什么这么多人的口语都不好呢?这是因为中国的传统外语教学法造成的;老师在开始就只注重知识的灌输;忽略了学生交际能力的培养。他们没有给学生足够的活动去练习。造成了成了学生的会听不会说会说不会听的毛病;学生是语言教学的主体;但是当学生说英语时;他们缺乏自信;而且缺少语言环境。

    提高英语口语是英语的一个重要部分;传统的教学方法必须改进;这就要求老师在口语课上运用一些活动来上好口语课;学生也应该找到适合自己的学习方法来学习口语。

    关键词~英语口语; 教学方法; 老师; 学生; 活动

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    Contents

    Abstract……………………………………………………………………? 摘要………………………………………………………………………ii Contents……………………………………………………………………iii Introduction………………………………………………………………1 1. The current situation and importance of oral English…………………1

     1.1 English in the world today……………………………………1

     1.2 The importance of oral English………………………………2

     1.3 Current situation in oral English………………………………3 2. Analysis of causes resulting in poor oral English……………………5

     2.1 The traditional foreign language teaching method of china…5

     2.1.1 Syllabus design……………………………………………………5

     2.1.2 Roles of learners and teachers……………………………………6

     2.1.3 Shortcomings of grammar-translation and audiolingualism…………7

     2.2 The problems of students in spoken English…………………8

     2.2.1 Lack of confidence while speaking………………………………8

     2.2.2 Lack of communicative practice and language environment………9 3. Strategies used to improve the oral English……………………………10

     3.1 How the teachers to succeed in oral English class…………11

     3.2 The teaching methods used in oral English class……………13

     3.2.1 Two-way communication…………………………………………14

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     3.2.2 Information gap activity……………………………………………16

     3.2.3 Role-play activity……………………………………………………17

     3.3 The students’ methods for learning…………………………18 Conclusion…………………………………………………………………23 Bibliography………………………………………………………………25 Acknowledgement………………………………………………………26

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Introduction

    If listening is the Cinderella skill in second language learning, then speaking is the overbearing elder sister. The ability to function in another language is generally characterized in terms of being able to speak that language. When some one asks, “Do you know another language? They

    generally mean can you speak the language.

    From middle school to college, we have been learning English for some years. I have found that many English learners' oral English are not satisfactory. Some students are really afraid of speaking English even though they are English majors. I also have this problem. But now, English is the most important language in the world. People who are in the international conference or business communicate with others in English. Oral communicative ability has long been given much attention to. More and more people realize the importance of oral English teaching. Oral English is an important course for students in China. How to improve the oral communicative ability of middle school students has become a key point in English teaching. It is necessary to help Chinese students gain confidence and do well in their oral English classes.

    1. The current situation and importance of oral English 1.1 English in the world today

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    There are 4,000 to 5,000 living languages in the world. English is the most widely used by far. Besides being a major vehicle of debate at the United Nations, and the language of command for NATO, it is the official language of international aviation, and unofficially it is the first language of international sport and pop scene. The role of English has been significant in people’s daily life. Our country has been accepted as a member of World Trade Organization, and we will hold the 29th Olympic games in the year of 2008. The investment in China grow relatively fast over the few years. We have many opportunities to talk with foreigners. So, English has become more and more important, especially oral English. If we cannot express ourselves fluently, the communication cannot be successful.

    1.2 The importance of oral English

    Language is a communicative tool. It can build up and maintain social relations between people. Speech and writing are the two major media of communication. But speech is used more frequently than writing. “The spoken language is used for a wider range of purposes than written, and

    ? carries a larger load of communication than the written.”so, the oral English

    has become the element of English education. The students not only need to know the vocabulary and grammar of the language, but also to attain the oral communicative ability. According to a statistic by American experts of language teaching W.M.Rivers and M.S.Temperly, it shows that in people's communicative activity, speaking account for 40 percent in the four basic

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    ?skills. the linguistics Hymens thinks that "the goal of language teaching is to develop the communicative ability." Then, speaking is the beginning of communication with others. So, spoken English is the skill, which the students will be judged upon most in real-life situation. It is an important part of everyday interaction and most often the first impression of a person is based on his or her ability to speak fluently and comprehensibly.

    Speaking is a skill. What is the difference between skill and knowledge? Bygate points out one “fundamental difference is that both can be understood

    ?and memorized, but only a skill can be imitated and practiced. ” Therefore,

    without more practices, the skill cannot be attained well. In fact, speaking is arbitrary by nature. People may say something that he wants to in daily life. There is no need to prepare ahead of time only when the person is going to give a speech. This is just embodying the skills. With the excellent speaking skills, you can have a perfect conversation with other people. 1.3 current situation in oral English

    From the modern linguistic point of view, listening, speaking, reading and writing are four linguistic skills. Linguistically, speech is functional medium in communication, closely related to discourse, parol and performance.

    Oral English plays a very important role in real life. But there is a common phenomenon that many students have poor oral English. According to an investigation, about 80 percent Chinese people who have learned

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    English for many years are unable to speak English fluently. Even more surprising fact is that most Chinese teachers of English, some professor can hardly express themselves well. At present, most of the teachers like to provide the students with a lot of knowledge words, phrases, grammar and so on. As a result, students are good at writing but bad in oral English.

    The purpose of school English teaching is to improve the students' four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, with the base of necessary phonetics, large vocabulary and good grammar. But this is not the final purpose. The final purpose is to let the students be able to use the language. If a student is only good at reading and writing, can we say that he is good at language? No. If a student is good at English, he should be able to use the language. That means he can speak English fluently and can have a conversation with others in English freely.

    Some students can't find the right word when they communicate with other people in English with the result that they have the impression that they are poor at oral English. As the time goes by, they become more careful of picking up more exact words to express themselves, and sometimes they do not function very well. Therefore the fear of speaking English will come forth unconsciously.

    Sometimes, it is not that the students do not know the word to express but they have no idea about which word should be chosen to make their expressions more profound. It is self-evident that choosing the ideal word will

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    take some time. But sometimes another topic will appear by the other side. So the perfect word you choose has no chance of presenting itself. At this rate, the process of picking up the ideal word will repeat all the time. After one round of conversation, you seldom got the chance of speaking.

2. Analysis of causes resulting in poor oral English

    Oral English is the key of communication with other people. But why so many English learners have the problem in oral English. The reasons are the following:

    2.1 The traditional foreign language teaching method of China

     In traditional language teaching, “Language were dissected into lists of isolated grammatical structures (usually based around verb tenses) and these were taught to learners to acquire whatever structure is presented to them and

    ?then move on to next one.”The teacher emphasizes to inculcate the

    knowledge to the students. They do not pay much attention to the ability of students. Different from it, American higher education lays much emphasis on giving scope to the students’ initiative and creativeness. So, American

    students are full of abilities. However, the Chinese educational system stresses the ability to memorize. Therefore, the Chinese students are good at memorization but they are lack in imagination, flexibility and creativity. So the traditional treading method has some shortcoming and malpractice. 2.1.1 Syllabus design

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    In traditional language teaching, syllabus design issues and methodology were decided with reference to the classroom rather than with reference to learners’ real communicative needs in actual situations in the world outside.

    As a result, learners often had difficulty using in what they learned beyond the classroom. With grammar-transition and audio-lingual drills, it was often difficult for learners to make the accentual leap from the classroom to genuine communication outside the classroom. This is not to place in the language classrooms, but that, In and of themselves, they are in sufficient. 2.1.2 Roles of learners and teachers

    In traditional language classrooms, learners are taught chiefly about language and its rules. They learn facts about language rather than how to use it communicatively to express ideas, to talk and write to other people to read and listen to real language, and to learn how to cooperate with others, the primary role of the learner is as a relatively passive recipient of know ledge. They are passengers, being operating within such a transmission mode, learners practice patterns provided by teachers, textbooks, and tapes. They spend most learning time copying and reproducing language written down by others. They learn how to communicate in model and predictable situations but they don’t learn how to respond appropriately in novel authentic communicative situations.

    The teacher is the main part and the student is the subordinate in English class. Teachers always put the explanation to a leading part and neglect to

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