One of the biggest mistakes in language learning, that I can see, is that a lot of students learn about the language and don't learn by using the language. Instead of learning about grammar, I think that a much more effective fluency method would be to learn about travel, about technology, about the industry you work in using English. If you want English fluency, you need to start learning about the world using the English language.
The model of language fluency is simple really: we read and we listen to a language, discover new words etc and this information gets stored in our brains as passive knowledge. To improve speaking fluency, this passive knowledge needs to be activated. When you talk about the topics you have read about, all the information which you use when speaking becomes activated. Once used, it is ready to use again at a much faster rate. This is fluency. The ability to take in, and give out information quickly and effectively.
The method that I use is this: I will give you a topic to research before the lesson (ie technology, investing, travel etc). You will then watch videos and read articles and become familiar about that topic. What you are doing here is storing passive vocabulary. Then in our class we will activate that vocabulary by having a discussion about the topic which you have researched. We will look at any grammar that comes up, and you can ask me about any vocabulary that you have trouble with. I offer a lot of corrections, suggestions etc.
Another style that I like to use is studying an article with a student during class based on the principles of comprehensible input. That just means: making the article understandable together. The student is given an article to study, read and translate through before the class. Then, during class, we quickly scan through the article to the areas where the student had difficulty. Phrasal verbs, idioms and expressions are looked at a lot here as well as pronunciation, listening etc
Cork Institute of Technology - Cork, Rep. of Ireland
Online Teaching (Business English and General English)
Verbling - I am based in Taiwan
I have been teaching working professionals and students who would like to improve their English for general/social situations. My methods involve looking at natural language learning processes that develop speaking fluency.
2014 - 2015
English In Action - Madrid, Spain
I taught students of varying ages: one group of kids (7/8 years old), three groups of adolescents (10/11 years old), two groups of adults (elementary), and a number of adult one-to-one adult classes. The classes focused on communicating in English with attention to grammar as it came up. We used an interactive whiteboard with English learning software that was a representation of the student book and work book. I supplement this with my own material.
2013 - 2014
English In Action - Madrid, Spain
I taught students ranging in ages from 5–11 years old. The class sizes were typically 8-10 students each. We covered listening, reading, writing and speaking with most of the emphasis on verbal communication. Material was provided by the academy, using an interactive whiteboard and pupils' books. During the year, I also taught many one-to-one classes with teenagers and adults, the emphasis being on conversational fluency.
Having lived in Spain for 2 years attempting to learn Spanish as a second language, one of the biggest challenges to language learning that I found was overcoming the embarrassment of coming across to...
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