The various reasons given in response to the question ‘what goes wrong when our students speak English’ can be as follows:
a) Students are tongue tied and shy and they refuse to open their mouth.
b) They lack confidence.
c) They are afraid of speaking, fear of going wrong and committing mistakes.
d) They grope for words.
e) They are unable to distinguish between Sea and She.
They perform well in the classroom, in predictable contexts, but are unable to tackle unpredicted situations outside the classroom.
This list of problems in speaking English is not exhaustive, you could add to this list. But such a diagnosis is necessary to decide on what kind of treatment is needed in order to develop our learners’ spoken skills.
In a multilingual society like India, two or more language plans may become mixed, leading to code switching, code mixing, transfer or so called interference errors e.g. while giving directions to the stranger, the learners may say ‘ maidan‘ or ‘pucca road‘ or ‘kachha road’ etc. as teachers, we have to make our learners aware of the contexts where such expressions are acceptable and where they are not.
In Garrett’s Model (1982), our cognitive process cause speech to pass through four levels of representation before it is actually produced as sound.
a) Message level/conceptual planning process, at which ideas and general meanings are represented.
b) Functional level plans, here broad syntactic frames are assembled and word meanings are selected.
c) Positional level, here sentence structure and word forms (with endings) are defined.
d) Production level, here actual articulation of words is produced.
Now we can define Speaking – Speaking is effective communication, when all aspects of a language are integrated into a single utterance. There are two approaches to the development of oral communication skills.
a) Learning language as a skill, in the classroom.
b) Developing spoken skills through exposure and use.
Language as a skill...