Call for Contributions: New Ways in Teaching Speaking, Second Edition

TESOL Press is seeking engaging and successful lesson plan ideas for teaching speaking in the English language classroom.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2017

If you would like your submission to be considered for inclusion in this revised edition, carefully follow the guidelines below and submit to the editor, Julie Vorholt

Scope and Purpose

The upcoming edition of New Ways in Teaching Speaking will consist of classroom-centered activities developed by ESL/EFL professionals for the teaching of speaking in classrooms in a variety of settings around the world. While your submission may focus on students at one level and one age group, the edition aims to include activities for students at all levels and all ages. The lesson plan may include digital technology or Internet resources, as this volume will have a companion online resource page.

While contributions will determine the final categories of this book, here are some areas that might be developed into distinct sections:

1. Fluency

conversation, fluency and interaction, group work, dialogues and role plays, games for speaking, using audiovisual aids)

2. Accuracy

functions (such as how to interrupt and ask a question), grammar, vocabulary

3. Pronunciation

segmental phonemes, suprasegmental phonemes

4. ​Speaking in specific contexts

oral presentations, spoken English for Academic Purposes, interviews and questioning

5. ​Young speakers (K–12)


This book is for all teachers who address speaking in their classrooms. Contributors are encouraged to submit lesson plan ideas for all ESL/EFL contexts, for students at all levels and all ages, including young speakers (K-12).


This series offers at-a-glance, simple lesson plans. All submissions should follow the format below as closely as possible:
  • E-mail your submission as an attachment. Please do not place your submission in the text of the e-mail message. Microsoft Word documents are preferred, but not required.
  • Name the document with the Last Name of the Contributor, followed by the Title of the Submission (e.g., Vorholt_Fishbowl Speaking).


400–800 words

Section Parts

  • Title
  • Contributor’s Name (first name, last name)
  • Level/s (beginning, intermediate, advanced, all levels) for which the lesson is most appropriate
  • Aim/s of the Lesson (e.g., developing fluency, developing accuracy, motivation)
  • Class Time (in minutes)
  • Preparation Time (in minutes)
  • Resources Needed (e.g., index cards, whiteboard)
  • Introductory Blurb (provide some background about the activity, typically 3-5 sentences and more if necessary)
  • Procedure (clear step-by-step instructions for leading students in the activity)
  • Caveats and Options (for caveats, explain possible trouble areas; for options, offer alternate ideas or consider different contexts)
  • References and Further Reading (APA format for publications; URLs for online resouces)
  • Appendix (e.g., a student sample of the idea, worksheets, additional Internet references)
Note: Please provide a note and/or reference if your lesson plan is based on another source.

Acceptance Process

Contributors should follow the format of the series as closely as possible and use APA for formatting and referencing. Before submitting, activities should be meticulously reviewed and checked for clarity and accuracy by the contributor. All submissions will be carefully vetted by the editor and given a final review by the TESOL Book Publications Committee. There will be no automatic acceptances.


TESOL asks all contributors to assign their copyright to the association. The author(s) will be asked to sign a contract after their submission is accepted. Please do not submit work that has been previously published, is currently under consideration elsewhere, or already under contract, and do not submit work for which you wish to retain copyright. All contributors will be given a TESOL Press permissions form to use and are responsible for obtaining copyright permission to use previously published material and for paying any associated fees.

Note: If you have previously published a lesson plan and you own the copyright, then you may submit your work to the project.

Sample Contribution

Title: Fishbowl Speaking

Contributor: Julie Vorholt

Levels: High beginning-Advanced

Aims of the Lesson: Practice impromptu speaking and actively listening

Class Time: No set time

Preparation Time: None


Index cards or strips of paper, 1 per student

Introductory Blurb: Fishbowl activities have been used by many teachers over the years. The speaking students sit in the center of the room and can be watched by their classmates, just like fish are watched in their fishbowl. Many variations of this activity are possible, based on the selection of different topics.

In this version, students talk about topics that interest them. Students’ confidence in public speaking may increase due to speaking informally while staying seated, which can be less intimidating to some students than giving formal presentations in front of the entire class. Students should focus on fluency, not accuracy.


1. Give each student an index card or a strip of paper. Tell the students to write down a question to discuss in class and then bring the card to you. Quickly check that each question is clear and quietly ask the student for clarification if needed.

2. Direct students to arrange the desks into 2 circles, with approximately 5 desks in the inner circle/”fishbowl” and the rest of the desks in the outer circle. Place one desk in the center of the fishbowl and arrange the question cards face down on the desk.

3. Tell the students that they will complete a practice activity focusing on fluency. Students will move between speaking in the fishbowl and actively listening in the outer circle.

4. Invite five students to join the fishbowl. Direct a student to choose a question card and read it to the class. Discussion begins in the fishbowl.

5. Start the timer. After a few minutes, tell the students in the outer circle to raise their hands if they want to join the fishbowl. Ask students in the fishbowl to indicate if they are ready to leave; one person may leave or all five. Students move into their new desks.

6. Discussion on the same topic continues until students’ participation begins to decrease. A student in the fishbowl draws a new question card and reads it aloud. Discussion on the new question begins.

7. Continue rotating students into the fishbowl by using the timer and guiding students in moving. Eventually, all students who were in the fishbowl at the activity’s start should be in the outer circle.

Caveats and Options:

1. Remind students to speak loudly, so that the entire class can hear them. The five desks can be spread out in a larger circle, so the students must speak with more volume. Also, students in the outer circle can be called on to summarize what they have heard.

2. Students can assist with variations on this activity. For example, a student can record who has participated in the fishbowl. Other students can take notes on the quality of the discussion and report on it to the class as the activity’s conclusion. For example, students could report on body language, eye contact, or the discussion’s content, such as the most interesting idea.

3. For larger classes, students can sit in three separate circles. Students in the fishbowl discuss. Students in the first outer circle actively listen and prepare to join the fishbowl. Students in the second outer circle take notes. This arrangement can involve approximately 30 students by placing 6 in the fishbowl and 12 in each outer circle. For a class this size, it works best to use the timer and direct students into the fishbowl instead of giving the option of switching at different times. Students rotate in a set order, from fishbowl into second outer “notetaking” circle to first outer “listening” circle and back into the fishbowl.

4. The activity can be repeated with a different focus. Give students a specific topic or theme for the discussion or add a visual component. Ask each student to bring an interesting picture to share with the class.

References: None

Appendix: None