Speaking club – enjoy the conversation

Speaking Club - for a foreign language learners - English in particular - is almost the most useful and necessary thing that can happen to them. Firstly, define what a Speaking Club is, as a rule, a type of class (although it is actually allowed to be individual, which, however, will be different from a group class) aimed at giving the learners the opportunity to apply the knowledge gained earlier (with or without lessons) in practice. Develop speaking skills, placing the person in a relatively stressful situation where they have to speak only the foreign language, because the use of the native language forbidden. Speaking Club is a real treasure trove that can help a student learn to speak without the help of a teacher/interpreter/companion. The class itself has the main purpose of helping to get rid of the barrier of fear of talking - it is worth noting that the most common barrier for people to learn English is to learn to speak. This format of lessons is the best tool for honing conversation speed, in terms of forming thoughts in another language and correspondingly their verbal expression, replenishing your own vocabulary and much more. We are silent about the fact that the Speaking Club is a meeting place for like-minded people - so students even just end up in a circle of amateurs like themselves. Any speaking club should be organized according to a student's skill level – it is nonsense to place the beginner at the same table as the student. At the end of the day, none of them will feel comfortable and it will end badly.

How does it work? Let us take any speaking club that has been divided into levels. Yes, for the light version itself, you can simply choose a topic to discuss and talk about it. It is a good way; everyone can say what they want to say. What about the shy ones, for example? There are students who (literally) need to be pulled by word. They may have excellent knowledge, but they are not talkative. However, everyone is important when it comes to holding a speaking club, because this is group cooperation. Cooperation is to have to motivate people on talking. You should try hard to encourage them. It is not always that easy, but it is in this situation that the scenario in the title of the article is useful. You just need to resort to different activities, because our task is to combine the pleasant with the useful.    

  Unusual and very interesting format of holding a speaking club - with the help of data sheets, detective stories, various investigative style puzzles, etc. At the beginning of the lesson, the conditions are announced: the circumstances of what happened are explained and certain details are given that are allowed by the rules. Afterwards, each student must build a logical chain of events and find a reasonable explanation of what happened. The game moderator tries to push the participants into certain reflections by summing up what has been said earlier, or by focusing on the places (certain phrases, words) that contain the key to the answer. An example of such a tribute: "Newly-weds, having signed, left work and lived only for their own pleasure. A year later, they became millionaires. What happened?" When choosing a riddle/history/daily, you have to take into account the complexity of the task itself due to the participants in the speaker. Remember, complicated tasks, just like too easy ones, will not bring anyone pleasure.

In this and the next item, we will touch on conversation activation. These include those that primarily encourage the participant to engage in active discussion, express their own opinion or use their own imagination. Thus, a game can be used in which each student takes part in creating a story. That is, each player is given a leaf with a certain number of words (5-7, it is possible and more - varies depending on the level of the participants), in which one word is common and the others differ. Each player must create a piece of history using words from the leaf, thus creating one single story. That is, each subsequent speaker continues the idea of the previous one, using his or her own words. During the game, the participants have to unravel the mysterious words from others - who guesses most of the words from others becomes the winner. In this game, high speed of thinking and reaction is stimulated, because everyone needs to follow what others say - in terms of not only meaning, but also the words themselves. In addition to creating their own, logically linked story. The number of circles in the game is a set by the situation. When selecting words, you need to take into account their frequency of use, their connection with the rest of the words and their possible application. It is therefore advisable to avoid common words, except as a challenge.

Here we will talk about discussions in the pros and cons certain style. This format is suitable for older groups - both in terms of level and age. At the beginning, a topic is announced; on which participants indicate the pros and cons of this topic. Preparation may only require the writing of some sketches, or the discussion may begin immediately after the issue is announced. The moderator can always use pre-prepared questions about a topic to keep the discussion active. It is important to consider the participants' interest in the topic. It is not worth taking failed topics in advance. You have to agree that everyone will hardly like to discuss Global warming. Naturally, it is difficult at first to find out what is best to take, so it is better to take more neutral, but at the same time interesting topics. Like Murphy's Law, Travelling, Time, Hobbies, Pets etc. When the line-up of participants ceases to be unfamiliar, it is worth taking topics that are interesting to them - you can even dare yourself for some unbelievable topics. When the moderator himself gets involved in the discussion, it gets even hotter.

 Now focusing on perception. Musical pause. The essence of this lesson is to improve listening skills and analyse what you have heard. One song is chosen (if you want, you can have several) - a song that is popular, or not very popular, maybe to someone's taste, it is not so important as the intelligibility of words and the text itself. Let us say that British performers - Coldplay Hurts, and Sam Smith - should be considered a good choice. Let us explain: any listener can easily hear melodies at a measured pace - they; lyrics are relatively light, and the pronunciation itself is very clear and legible. After selecting the performer and the song, the text contains and the words are taken out - i.e. a few words are taken from the lines, after which they are printed out and distributed to the participants in a random order. Those in turn, listening to the melody, catch the words and take the ones they have heard. To add spice, you can add a few extra words to preserve the intrigue. The main thing for such a lesson is not to lose track of the song. Complex pieces in the r'n'b or -core music style will do no good.

The final will be a scenario where we use the good old "crocodile" or similar interpretations. "Who am I?" is the key question in the game. Participants come up with names, words, personalities, events - anything - and give a clue to another member of the game. He or she must not see what he or she has been riddled with and try to guess who or what he/she is. The others can help with descriptions, leading questions, hints (only unobvious), etc. A very useful thing to improve your questioning skills, stimulating your imagination and thinking. As with any previous activation - do not overdo it - words should be available to these people. When it gets too difficult - show help in time, only moderate help.

         Thus, only a small part of what a speaking club can do is displayed here. There are actually plenty of opportunities to encourage people to communicate; the main thing is to be able to present it. Anyway, if it is interesting to you, it should be interesting to everybody else. Remember the main purpose of this entertainment is not just having fun; it is also about getting new knowledge.