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Skills & Knowledge That Good Speakers in the CLT Model Must Develop

Many language learners regard speaking ability as the measure of knowing a language.

These learners define fluency as the ability to converse with others, much more than the ability to read, write, or comprehend oral language.

They regard speaking as the most important skill they can acquire, and they assess their progress in terms of their accomplishments in spoken communication.

Speaking Involves 3 Areas Of Knowledge in the CLT Model

1. Mechanics:

= (Vocabulary, Grammar and Pronunciation) meaning “Using the right words in the right order with the correct pronunciation”.

2. Functions:

= (Transaction and Interaction) meaning “Knowing when clarity of message is essential (transaction/information exchange) and when precise understanding is not required (interaction/relationship building)“.

3. Social And Cultural Rules & Norms

= (Turn-Taking, Rate Of Speech, Length Of Pauses Between Speakers, Relative Roles Of Participants) meaning “Understanding how to take into account who is speaking to whom, in what circumstances, about what, and for what reason”.

Teaching Speaking in the CLT Model

In the communicative language teaching model, instructors help their students:

  • Develop this body of knowledge.
  • Do authentic practices that prepare students for real-life communication situations.
  • Develop the ability to produce grammatically correct, logically connected sentences that are appropriate to specific contexts.
  • Use acceptable (that is, comprehensible) pronunciation.

Speaking Activities in the CLT Model

  • Asking and answering questions.
  • Repetitions.
  • Dialogues.
  • Games.
  • Discussions.
  • Comments.
  • Role plays.
  • Oral Fluency & Presentations.

Tips For Teaching Oral Fluency

  • Encourage learners to speak.
  • Don’t interrupt learners or jump on mistakes.
  • Let learners express their thoughts freely.
  • Prevail a relaxed atmosphere in your class, this will unleash the learners’ imagination.
  • Don’t dominate all the time, leave room for learners. Learn to take a back seat.
  • Of all activities “conversation” is the one, which obviously concentrates on fluency rather than accuracy.
  • Beware of big issues as the basis of conversation lessons.
  • Let learners talk about topics that interest them. Don’t impose topics, which interest you.

Good Speakers in the CLT Model

Consequently, good speakers in the CLT model are expected to be able to:

  • Produce the expected patterns of specific discourse situations.
  • Manage discrete elements such as turn-taking, rephrasing, providing feedback, or redirecting.
  • Choose the correct vocabulary to describe the target language items.
  • Rephrase or emphasize words to clarify the description if the receiver does not understand.
  • Use appropriate facial expressions to indicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the speech.

Other Skills & Knowledge That Good Speakers in the CLT Model Must Master:

  • Producing the right sounds, stress patterns, rhythmic structures, and intonations of the language.
  • Using grammar structures accurately.
  • Assessing characteristics of the target audience, including shared knowledge or shared points of reference, status and power relations of participants, interest levels, or differences in perspectives.
  • Selecting vocabulary that is understandable and appropriate for the audience, the topic being discussed, and the setting in which the speech act occurs.
  • Applying strategies to enhance comprehensibility, such as emphasizing key words, rephrasing, or checking for listener comprehension.
  • Using gestures or body language.
  • Adjusting components of speech such as vocabulary, rate of speech, and complexity of grammar structures to maximize listener comprehension and involvement.
  • Paying attention to the success of the interaction.

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