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Name : Indah Puji Lestari

NIM : 0203515036
Teaching Oral Skills
The ability to speak a language is synonymous with knowing of that language since speech is
the most basic means of human communication. Nevertheless, speaking in second or foreign
language has often been viewed as the most demanding of the four skills (Bailey and Savage,
1994a, p.vii). then, what specifically makes speaking in a second or foreign language difficult?
Fluency of speech; the term fluency has two meanings:
The first, which is the ability to link units of speech together with facility and
without strain or inappropriate slowness or undue hesitation,
natural language use, which is likely to take place when speaking activities focus
on meaning and its negotiation, when speaking strategies are used, and when overt
correction is minimized.
It is almost always accomplished via interaction with at least one other speaker.
What features of this theoretical approach are relevant to teaching oral skills?
The most obvious way in which oral skills pedagogy has evolved as a result of this that
it is no longer acceptable to focus only on developing the grammatical competence of
the students.
A second implication is that multiple skills should be taught whenever possible. In fact,
Murphy (1991) believes that oral skills teachers should always connect speaking,
listening, and pronunciation teaching although the focus in any one class or activity
many highlight one or another.
A final feature which characterizes the current ESL classroom is that students are
encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.
The Oral Skills Class
The consideration of how to structure and what to teach in oral skill class is the level of the
Low level adults, the teacher may need to find L1 speakers to help him or her get
information on the students experiences, education background, and needs.
Academic ESL students need most is extensive authentic practice in class participation,
such as taking part in discussion, interacting with peers and professors, and asking and
answering questions. As result, these learners take their course work seriously and have
high expectations of the teacher.
In non-academic context , these might involve basic greetings, talking on telephone,
interacting with school personnel, shopping, and the like.
With academic adults, practice in activities such as leading and taking part in
discussions and giving oral reports is needed to be done. In more informal conversation

courses, the content can be structured around speech acts, which are actions such as
greeting and apologizing that are encoded in language in routine forms.
In more informal conversation courses, the content can be around speech acts, which
are actions such as greeting and apologizing that are encoded in language in routine
Major types of speaking activities that can be implemented:
Discussions are probably the most commonly used activity in the oral skills class.
Typically, the students are introduced to a topic via a reading, a listening passage, or a
videotape and are then asked to get into pairs or groups to discuss a related topic in
order to come up with a solution, a response, or the like.
Speeches. There two types of speech:
Prepared speech: topics for speeches will vary depending on the level of student
and focus of the class, but in any case, students should be given some leeway in
determining the content of their talks.
Impromptu speech: which can be serve several purposes in an oral skills class. This
activities give students more actual practice with speaking the language, but it is
also forces them to think, and speak, on their feet without the benefit of notes or
Role plays, which is particularly suitable for practicing the socio-cultural variations in
speech acts, such as complementing, complaining, and the like.
Conversation, one of the more recent trends in oral skills pedagogy is the emphasis on
having students analyze and evaluate the language that they or others produce. In other
words, it is not adequate to have students produce lots of language; they must become
more meta-linguistically aware of the many features of language in order to become
competent speakers and interlocutors in English.
Audiotape oral dialogue journals. The activities discussed so far have emphasized
fluency and meaning negotiation rather than accuracy. Like written journals, which are
used extensively in writing classes, the oral dialogue journals has much to offer both of
teacher and the students in the oral skills classroom.
Other accuracy based activities. Speaking activities that focused on accuracy invariably
involved drills (commonly uncontextualized pattern practice exercise) with have for the
most part, fallen out of favour in language teaching.
Teaching Oral Skills in an EFL Context
However, homogenous EFL classes, where all students speak the same first language
and English is not used outside the classroom, present certain additional challenges for the
teacher. EFL teachers need to be particularly adept at organizing class activities that are
authentic, engaging materials should be the basis for in class activities.

The first assessment, evaluation of classroom performance, has been discussed above
along with various oral skills class activities. Finally, the results of oral assessment

should be reported using terms that are clearly defined for and understandable to
A second assessment situation which oral skills teacher may be confronted is prering
students to take interpreting results from large scale oral examinations. Oral skills
examinations from four international testing organizations as follows:
The University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate (UCLES) offer two
large-scale speaking test:
- Certificate in Communicative Skills in English (CCSE) it is 30 minutes
interview with examiner.
- Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) it is 12 minutes face-to-face
speaking test.
The Educational Testing Service (TOEFL) offers the Test of Spoken English (TSE) it
is 20 minutes test which is conducted and recorded on audiotape.
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language (ACTFL)
Phone-Pass which is provides an assesment of English speaking and listening
ability that can be used to place students in ESL courses, screen international
teaching assistants, and judge the English language ability.
Oral skills are not only critical for communication in the ESL classroom, they are
necessary for communication in, and with the English-speaking world. ESL/EFL teachers will
want to do whatever they can to promote the development of speaking. Listening, and
pronunciation skills in their students. Content and task based teaching seem certain to remain
important aspects of oral skills pedagogy as well.
Distance learning courses already permit teaching, learning, and interaction with others
who are not present in the actual classroom. And it is probably not to far in the future that
speech recognition software will allow actual oral communication between a student and a
computer to take place. As language educators, we must remain open to these new
development in order to provide the best possible instruction for our students.
Teaching Pronunciation
Pronunciation is the language feature that most readily identifies speakers as nonnative. It is a filter through which others see them and often discriminate again them. Indeed,
pronunciation instruction needs to be taught as communicative interaction along with other
aspects of spoken discourse, such as pragmatic meaning and nonverbal communication.
ESL teachers have acknowledged that an emphasis on meaning on meaning and
communicative intent alone will not suffice to achieve grammatical accuracy, pronunciation
has emerged from the segmental/supra-segmental debate to a more balanced view, which
recognizes that a lack of intelligibility can be attributed to both micro and macro features.
It is no longer a question of choosing between segmental and supra-segmental but of
identifying which features contribute most to lack of intelligibility, and which will be most
useful in the communicative situation in which our learners will need to function.


Intelligibility is defined as spoken English in which an accent, if present, is not
distracting to the listener. Dalton and Scidlhofer list six communicative abilities related to
Prominence: how to make salient the important points we make.
Topic management: how to signal and recognize where topic ends and another begins.
Information status: how to mark what we assume to be shared knowledge as opposed
to something new.
Turn-taking: when to speak, and when to be silent, how (not) to yield the floor to
somebody else
Social meanings and roles: how to position ourselves vis-a-vis our interlocutor(s) in
terms of status, dominance/authority, politeness, solidarity/separateness
Degree of involvement: how to convey our attitudes, emotions, etc (1994, p.52)
Good learners attend to certain aspects of the speech they hear and then try to imitate
it. Speech monitoring activities help to focus learners attention on such features both in our
courses and beyond them.
Traditionally, the sound system has been described and taught in a building block
fashion: sounds syllables phrases and taught groups extended discourse. Though this may
make sense from an analytical point of view, that is not how our learners experience language.
Bottom-up approach of mastering one sound at a time and eventually stringing them all
together is being replaced by a more top-down approach, in which the sound system is
addressed as it naturally occurs in the stream of speech:
Thought Groups. In natural discourse, we use pauses to divide our speech into
manageable chunks called thought groups. Just punctuation helps the reader process
written discourse; pausing helps the listener to process the stream of speech more
easily. Thought group boundaries are also influenced by the speakers speed-faster
speakers pause less frequently and have fewer but longer thought groups.
Prominence. There is generally one prominent element, a syllable that is emphasized,
usually by lengthening it and moving the pitch up or down. The prominent element
depends on context but generally represents information that is either new, in contrast
to some other previously mentioned information, or simply the most meaningful or
important item in the phrase.
Intonation. Each thought group also has another distinctive feature, namely its
intonation the melodic line or pitch pattern. The interplay of these pronunciation
features becomes evident as we note that the pitch movement within an intonation
contour occurs on the prominent element. Often, intonation is one factor among many
that communicate an attitude.
Rhythm. English speech rhythm is usually referred to as stress-timed, i.e, with
stresses or beats occurring at regular intervals. Rhythm, or sentence stress, refers to all
the syllables that receive stress in a thought group, typically the content words. To
present rhythm graphically, she uses written dots and dashes to emphasize the short
and long syllables.

Reduced Speech. The most common reduced vowel is called schwa//. This is the
vowel you make when your mouth is completely relaxed with no particular effort to
raise or lower your jaw or to spread or round your lips. The reduced form of has
exhibits two types of reduction:
loss of full vowel quality (the vowel/has been reduced to a schwa/)
loss of a sound, the initial h. Only the vowel/uw/has been reduced.
Linking. Linking is a general term for the adjustments speakers make between words
in connected speech. We need to focus learners/ attention on the linked sound to make
learners aware that all op these pronunciation features (thought groups, prominence,
intonation, rhythm, reduced speech, linking) work together so package our utterances
in a way that can be processed easily by our listeners.
Consonants. Consonants sounds are characterized by place of articulation (where the
sound is made), manner of articulation (how the sound is made), and switching
(whether the vocal cords are vibrating or not). There are several features of learning
First, the need to decide whether phonetic symbols are necessary.
The articulation of consonant varies, depending on its environment.
Clustering is a third features of English consonant that presents a challenge to our
students need to how consonant clusters function in English and also that there
are acceptable cluster reduction for some forms.
Instruction should always focus on sounds in context. How particular sound is
articulated in real speech, or how crucial it is to intelligibility, will become
evident only when embedded in spoken discourse.
Vowels. Vowel sounds are he syllable core, the sound within the syllable that
resonates and can be lengthened or shortened. Unlike consonants, vowels are
articulated with a relatively unobstructed airflow. As a result, vowels are often defined
in relation to one another rather than to some fixed point. There are three challenges
in teaching vowel:
English has more vowels than many other languages. Japanese has 5 vowels;
English has 14 or 15 vowels
The fact that most vowels can be spelled in many different ways.
Vowel sounds are usually reduced in unstressed syllables.
Word Stress. The discussion of vowels provides a good foundation for understanding
word stress. Just as thought groups can have more than one stressed syllable but only
one prominent element. Multi syllabic words can also have more than one stressed
syllable. General terms:
Stress fall more often on the root or base of a word and less often on a prefix,
example beLIEVE.
Compound nouns tend to take primary stress on the first element and secondary
stress on the second, example AIRplane.
Suffixes can either: (a) have no effect on stree: BEAUTy BEAUtiful. (b) take
the primary stress themselves: enginEER. (c) cause the stress pattern in the stem
to shift to a different syllable: PERiod periODic.
Five teaching stages include:

Description and Analysis, the teacher presents a feature showing when how it occurs.
Listening Discrimination. Listening activities include contextualized minimal
discrimination exercise.
Controlled Practice. The learners attention should be focused almost completely on
Guide Practice. The learners attention is no longer entirely on form.
Communicative Practice. Activities strike a balance between form and meaning.
Example include role plays, debate, interview, simulation, and drama scenes.
Contextualized Minimal Pair Practice. Bowen (1975) was one of the first to stress
the importance of teaching pronunciation in meaningful context. Contextualized
minimal pair drills include more than individual sound.
Cartoons and Drawings. Cartoon and drawings can be used to cue production of
particular sentences or an entire story as well as for showing language in context.
Gadgets and Props. The teacher holds the rubber band between two thumbs. While
pronouncing words or phrases, the teacher stretches the rubber band widely apart for
the stressed syllables and lets it relax for the unstressed ones.
Rhymes, Poetry, and Jokes. Nursery rhymes, limericks, and many poems all have
strong patterns of stressed and unstressed syllables that help our learners hear the
rhythm of English.
Drama. Drama is a particularly effective tool for pronunciation teaching because
various components of communicative competence can be practiced in an integrated
Kinaesthetic Activities. Syllables are shown by the number of fingers one holds up or
by tapping out the number with ones hand.
This approach involves using short videotaped interactions as the springboard for
instruction. Learners compare both the sound of their utterance and the visual contour of it with
the model. Then the teacher videotapes each pair performing the interaction.
Audio. Audio recording is the most basic way to capture sound either a amodel or the
students own speech for the learners to review. Tapes from a variety of textbook
series can be made available in a language laboratory.
Video. A growing number of commercial videotape programs focus on pronunciation
and usually involve the author teaching pronunciation lessons or actors performing a
scene with exercises.
Computer Software. Some programs focus primarily on sounds, whereas others
visually display in length, pitch, and loudness of an utterance.
Internet. These include article about teaching, lesson plans, charts, diagrams, audio and
video listening task, dictionaries with pronunciation features, and so on.

Diagnostic Evaluation. Diagnosing a learners production are the use of a diagnostic

passage and a free speech sample.
Ongoing Feedback. Feedback during instruction gives learners a sense of their
progress and indicates where they need to focus their attention for improvement.
Providing ongoing feedback: self monitoring are gestures, pronunciation correction
signs and charts.
Peer feedback. During a traditional minimal pair activity, rather than having students
only work in pairs (one speaker and one listener who responds with the appropriate
rejoinder), students can be placed i group of four.
Teacher Feedback.. The teacher can use or pronunciation correction signs to provide
feedback silently. Out of class feedback can be provided through audiocassettes or
computer sound files in an email exchange.
Classroom Achievement Tests. Classroom achievement tests evaluate learners
progress according to what has been taught and are consequently more focused than
diagnostic assessment.
The discussion of assessment brings us full circle back to the goals we have set for
ourselves our learners. These goals are realistic the ability of our learners to understand and
be understood in the communicative situations they face.
Developing Childrens Listening and Speaking in ESL
There are a few major contrast we can make between child and adult ESL learners.
Children are more likely can be more effectively engaged through stories and games.
Furthermore, younger children are less likely to notice errors or correct them.
Activities need to be child centred and communication should be authentic. This means
that children are listening or speaking about something that interest them, for their own
reasons, and not merely because a teacher has asked them. Several themes repeatedly come up:
focus on meaning, not correctness,
focus on the value of the activity, not the value of the language,
focus on collaboration and social development,
provide a rich context including movement, the sense, object and pictures and a variety
of activities,
teach ESL holistically, integrating the four skills
treat learners appropriately in light of their age and interest,
treat language as a tool for children to use for their own social and academic ends,
use language for authentic communication, not as an object of analysis.
Children appear more likely than adults to play with language and may learn through
language play. They enjoy rhythmic and repetitive language more than adults do. They play
with the intonation of a sentence, and most are willing to sing.


Using Songs, Poem, and Chants. Given childrens greater ability to play with
language, teachers need to use songs, poems, and chants more than they would with
adults. Many children do not tire of practicing a repetitive and rhythmic text several
time a day, many days a week. Sometimes the line between poems and chants can be
Dramatic Activities. Children can be engaged in a lesson through drama more easily
than through explanations or instructions. Dramatic activities can be beneficial for for
children whether they have a big or small part in the production. Children are more
willing to take part in drama activities than are adults.
Storytelling. Stories are a powerful means of language teaching. Children usually
enjoy hearing the same story many times. Activities to use before, during, and after a
story as well as stories and lesson plans for children of different ages.
Gesture and Movement. Children need to move around more than adults do. As
mentioned above, you can combine gesture and movement with songs, poems, or
chants with drama and with stories.
Total Physical Response (TPR). The best known ESL approach involving movement
is Total Physical Response. In TPR, the teacher gives commands, models them, and
gradually weans the student from watching the teachers model.
Total Physical Response (TPR) Storytelling. TPR storytelling is a method of second
or foreign language teaching that includes actions, pantomime, and other techniques.
The instructor begins by teaching the words of a story through associated gestures.
Students then practice the vocabulary in pairs.
Teaching Grammar. Children who are developing their oral language, you will notice
many grammatical errors. In EFL situation, where time is short and class is perhaps the
only place where the child speak English, many teacher are careful about noting errors,
and plan lessons and homework in response.
Activities that are usually associated with ESL or EFL childrens instruction: songs,
poems, chants, drama, stories, gesture, movement, TPR, and TPR storytelling. ESL instruction
needs to parallel their development level. Since play is a childs successful work, the programs
allow for many kinds of play, with talk built in.
As a teacher of ESL or EFL to children, you bring at least three resources: your
knowledge of English, your experience with language teaching techniques, and your intuitions
about children. You will note their learning styles, their nedd for work in listening and
speaking, and their opennes to language play, in the process, your work as a language teacher
of children can be increasingly successful and enjoyable.