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Speaking Onions

by Fulya Çolak |

For all type of the speaking lessons, this teaching tip can be used to create more opportunities for the learners not only to practice speaking but also to bring about motivating and engaging lessons.

Resource Type: Teaching Tips

Audience: Adult

Audience Language Proficiency: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Materials And Technology:

To maximize the speaking of the learners, teachers use different student patterns like pairing or grouping. However, in time, it can create a kind of monotonous lessons for the students which can cause demotivating lessons. Considering the multiple intelligence theory, teachers need to address all kinds of learning styles and take into consideration the size of classes and the space of the classroom; the teachers need to prepare activities for students with kinesthetic intelligence.

To support such students and create more motivating and engaging classrooms, creating inside and outside circles which look like an onion can be a good alternative for the learners and teacher. No matter what the lesson is about or the objective of the lesson for speaking, the only thing that the teacher needs to do is make students stand up, create two different circles in which the students in inner circle face the students in outside circle.

The students in outside circle move once clockwise when they hear a bell or a clap from the teacher. The teacher can bring different toys or materials to signal that the outside circle needs to move clockwise. As a consequence of that, the students start to talk with another pair which creates an opportunity for them to practice the target language over and over and to see different perspectives in a real social interaction in which the language is used as a medium.

If the lesson is planned to make students take some roles while speaking (e.g. life coach-consultant, doctor-patient, trainer-trainee, tourist guide-tourists, etc.), the teacher can change the roles of the students by moving down from inside to outside circles. In this way, the students multiply their speaking opportunities with different pairs and it creates a motivating and engaging atmosphere in the classroom.



Useful Link: (for the visual)

Supporting Files:
Speaking Onions.pdf

TESOL Interest Section: English as a Foreign Language

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