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How to help shy students speak English

Whilst for the most part learning English is a fun experience, there are some students out there who completely clam up if they are faced with the task of trying to communicate in the language. Thankfully however, this doesn't mean that they can't learn English  and a private English tutor should always have a couple of tricks up their sleeve to help the child learn and to start speaking English out loud.


Firstly, the tutor should not pressure the student too much. This really is a short cut to getting the student to seize up even further. One of the problems with many an English tutor is the fact they constantly ask question after question in order to get the student to speak, this won't work. Instead, you want to go 'back to basics'. This is to ask simple questions, just to get them speaking English out loud. For example 'how old are you?'. The reason for this is that many students actually seize up as they don't believe they will be able to give a proper answer to a question that is given to them because they don't believe their skills are good enough. However, if you start with simple questions then it will start to open them up, and hopefully they will have the confidence to continue. If this still isn't working, then you also help them to learn English by coming up with a list of questions to ask you, hopefully this should help alleviate some of the fear.


Many students also seize up as they are not confident in the situation. This can be easily rectified by 'bonding' with the student. You need to show them that you are there to help them in the learning English process. Perhaps the private English tutor can start to incorporate more 'fun' into the learning activities, games are always a good way to get a person to open up. If the English tutor has only just started with the lessons then it is important that they do not expect too much, too soon. It will take a while for a student to be confident enough to speak English, even if they are normally quite 'loud' in their every day life. In this situation it is best not to become too stressed, and actively offer the student encouragement in the hope that they will open up. This means using words such as 'you can do it' etc. basically, provide them with the motivation that they need to speak!


Finally, if you really can't get the student to speak, then an English tutor should try communicating in the native language. Often the student should be comfortable enough to speak in this language. The tutor can then find out exactly what the problem is, and both can work together to overcome the problem and start that English flowing!


If you follow these tips well, then any English tutor should find that it is fairly easy to get a child to open up, and actually start talking English. Remember, once you can install a sense of confidence in the child, they will be more than happy to talk out loud in the future.

The above article is written by Native English Tutor Wonderland. No copyright infringement is allowed. Please respect copyright and show the URL and source of the article if you want to make use of the above article. Thanks

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