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Getting your students to speak English!
A brand new term and a brand new rule: explain to your students that this year they must speak in English at all times, both with you and among themselves. Tell them there’s only one place where they can speak their mother tongue - a small corner you’ve marked out with black adhesive tape on the floor for ‘desperate situations’, eg when they need to tell you something important that they can’t express in English. In such cases they must request you go there with them in English.
What is the incentive for them to keep to this new rule? At the beginning of each term, give them a sheet of paper containing twelve squares and explain that at the end of each lesson you’ll be signing one square for each student who has made an effort to communicate at all times in English. Students who have all twelve squares signed by the end of term will be exempt from the highly unpopular oral exam! Regular communication in English during the whole term is far more valuable than a five-minute prepared interview, and it’s amazing what an effect it’s had on my students’ motivation levels!
Yolanda Iborra Bernabeu, Colegio Calasancio, Alicante.