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7 Tips for Teaching Conversational English Effectively to Your Students

7 tips for teaching conversational English

Learning conversational English is one of the most important yet challenging aspects of English language acquisition.

The ability to communicate fluently and naturally is vital for effective communication. However, achieving such proficiency in English conversation necessitates extensive practice to master the language’s rhythms and cadences.

Therefore, to achieve the desired level of fluency, one must invest a significant amount of time and effort.

Teachers must follow some tips and effective techniques to improve their students’ spoken English skills.

Here are seven tips to help you teach conversational English effectively to your students.

1. Use authentic conversations and real-world situations

Don’t just rely on textbook dialogues; use videos, podcasts, articles, etc. that show natural conversations on everyday topics. This exposes students to actual spoken English.

2. Focus on high-frequency vocabulary and phrases

Identify the common words, expressions, and fillers (um, uh, like, you know) that native speakers frequently use in conversation, and ensure students learn these.

3. Practice functional structures

Teach some structures like “Nice to meet you,” “My name is…”, and “Could you repeat that?” that can be inserted into conversations right away. Memorizing these chunks builds confidence.

4. Set up pairs or small groups for speaking practices

Students need lots of practice speaking with someone in English, not just the teacher. Set up pairs or groups and give them discussion prompts or information-gap activities. 

5. Teach principles of conversation

Students should learn skills like asking follow-up questions, showing interest, interrupting politely, agreeing or disagreeing, etc.

6. Focus on pronunciation and fluency

Conversations rely on clear pronunciation and good flow between speakers. Set aside time for students to work on sounds, stress, rhythm, intonation, and speaking smoothly.

7. Give feedback on communication, not just grammar

Provide feedback on how well students interacted and conveyed meaning, not just grammar mistakes. The goal is communication.


Teaching conversational English presents unique obstacles but can be highly rewarding when students begin communicating smoothly and confidently.

By focusing on real-world situations, high-frequency vocabulary, formulaic language, discussion activities, pronunciation, and communication skills, teachers can significantly improve their students’ abilities to converse in English.

With ample practice and feedback, students will be equipped with the conversational skills needed to hold their own in social and professional English-speaking environments.

Though challenging, guiding students to conversational fluency is one of the most valuable skills an English teacher can impart.

Thanks for reading

“Teaching The Four English Language Skills – A Comprehensive Guide”  

This comprehensive book provides concrete strategies and lesson plans for teaching reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Some key features include:

  • Insightful information about the nature of each of the four English language skills.
  • Practical procedures and activities that teachers can implement in the classroom to develop these skills in their students.
  • Step-by-step instructions for setting up a listening lesson.
  • Techniques for teaching speaking in the classroom.
  • Tips to develop your students’ speaking.
  • Strategies to teach reading.
  • Pre-writing activities to generate ideas and improve organization.
  • How to teach paragraph and email writing (step-by-step lesson plans).

Whether you’re an experienced EFL teacher or just starting, this book will provide many useful ideas and practical tools you can take into the classroom.

It’s worth it to add this valuable teaching resource to your professional library.

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