Boosting Reading and Speaking Skills

Explaining Training Method

It is important to make trainees aware of the training style you are using. Explaining it to them makes them trust you the more since it makes them aware that you know what you are doing. By understanding why a particular style of training is used and why it works and is effective trainees give it their full attention, effort and focus thus benefiting from the training the most. In addition to establishing trust in the trainer and boosting the amount of benefit trainees get from the training, understanding the training style being used makes trainees better able to practice on their own and keep improving their skills even long after the training program has ended.

Second Language Learning

When delivering training to improve the second language of trainees it is of great importance to tell them about the training style you will be using during the training. Not only will they appreciate this and perform better and follow your instructions more closely but it will help them further develop their language skills on their own.

Contrasting Learning Methods

Two of the main skills required to master a language are reading and speaking skills. The method by which the learner practices each of those two skills contrast sharply with one another.

Reading Skills

In order to improve reading skills one should practice by reading correctly and accurately. The learner should attempt to read everything without making any mistakes in reading even if this means reading at an extremely slow rate. the focus here is on correctness and not on speed. Focusing instead on speed of reading will never get the learner anywhere. Attempting to strike a balance between reading speed and correctness while practicing is also wrong and would lead to poor results on the long run. Only by focusing totally on accuracy and correctness and completely ignoring speed would a learner be able to improve his reading skills in a second (or first) language. By repeating what one is reading for so many times speed will eventually come on its own without forcing it.

Speaking Skills

As for speaking skills, the exact opposite is required to successfully practice them. A learner should focus on attempting to communicate meaning while practicing to speak using a second language. Here speed while practicing is required and even essential. If the learner slows down in an attempt to get every grammatical rule correct and search for the perfect vocabulary to use this could break the flow of communication. If he focuses just on communicating meaning, the inaccuracy in grammar and/or vocabulary will tend to vanish in the future as he keeps on practicing his speaking skills.

Conclusion

The methods for improving reading and speaking skills contrast sharply with one another. By making trainees aware of such methods they tend to trust the trainer more, follow his directions more closely and willingly during the training and be able to practice and improve their skills on their own even long after the training program is over.

What about writing and listening skills? What could be good methods for practicing any of those?

Learning in a Protected Environment

One way of improving one’s skill or overcoming resistance to performing something perceived as being difficult by a person is to first attempt doing it in a protected environment or in a slighter way.

Overcoming Shyness

For instance, a person who is afraid to speak in front of a live audience can first try speaking in front of his friends. He may then try speaking repeatedly in front of a small audience. After many repetitions that are stress free speaking in front of a small audience with confidence this person can then move on to speaking in front of a larger audience.

The repeated experiences he had speaking in front of his friends and in front of a small audience will help build his confidence with in a protected environment. If on the other hand he had went directly from total shyness to facing a large audience from the first time this may have caused him extreme phobia and would not have helped him overcome his fear nor gain any positive experience to build his confidence.

Learning Driving

Another example is when taking driving lessons. One should learn first in a protected area or on side streets that have low traffic. Mastery of driving should be gained on such streets first. After a good period of time and practice driving on such low traffic streets one can then move ahead to drive in more busy streets. The reason behind this is not just to avoid fatal accidents but also to allow the learner to gain skill in the basic driving techniques without being overwhelmed by too much to deal with at the same time.

Learning a New Language

A third example is when learning a new language. It is a good idea that a teacher would first use a controlled set of vocabulary before widening it up to a larger set so that the student can be able to absorb the language and handle it in a manageable way rather than being overwhelmed from the beginning with an endless flow of unintelligible new vocabulary.

Complex and Difficult Things

Although not everything that needs to be learned must be learnt in a protected environment first for best results, yet there exists many things that do. Mostly such things are those that are complex or difficult and for which the learner has great resistance towards or fear from attempting to do.

What have you managed to learn in the past using the protected environment method and eventually became proficient in?