An English speaking course, like any language course, should have a well-planned curriculum with clear objectives that can realistically be accomplished within the allotted time for the course. According to the website yourdictionary.com, "The effectiveness of your class will greatly depend on how the lessons unfold over time." You can easily create an effective language class by taking the time beforehand to chart lessons which unfold in a manner that improves students' language speaking ability and confidence.
Determine the length of time and the frequency that your course will meet. Some courses are one month long, others stretch up to two to three months. For a class in English speaking, you will need to meet at least twice a week to maintain the students' language skills.
Outline the goal or objective of your English speaking course. Decide if your course will improve student's usage of slang and idioms or if it will improve fluency or increase vocabulary, etc. You should be able to finish this sentence with simple words: "By the end of my course, my students will be able to..."
Choose your course materials. Select a textbook and a workbook. For an English speaking class you should probably select a textbook that has a CD or listening component to help students with pronunciation.
Write down your course syllabus. Decide how quickly you are going to work through the materials each week and how much homework and how many practice exercises you plan to assign.
Pick an English speaking game for each class session. Games help students loosen up and speak English in a more relaxed fashion. Ideally games should reinforce the aim of the lesson for that day.
Plan the exam schedule. Most language courses have weekly quizzes, and most courses of any subject have at least two exams during the run of the course: one in the middle and one at the end. Decide how frequently you want to have tests and inform your students.
Make copies of the course syllabus for your students. Make sure that the syllabus has the name of the textbook that you will use, the homework you expect students to complete each night and the exam schedule.
- "English Language Learners in Your Classroom;" Ellen Kottler, Jeffrey A. Kottler, Chris Street; 2007
- Your Dictionary: ESL Syllabus Design
Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."