After our teacher trainers have shown our trainee teachers how to present new language and have the students practice it in a written form it is time to turn our attention to the speaking skill. It could be said that so far the students have only "dealt" with the language, but they have hardly spoken it, if at all.
Drilling is, in essence, the TEFL teacher making a series of utterances that contain and model the target language being studied. This is then repeated by the students who can, by hearing themselves, adjust their production to imitate the teacher’s model. Added to this, the teacher is in a position to correct students and also focus on individual’s specific personal needs. The idea of drilling is to prepare the students for the next stage by giving them:
Practise in the physical formation of the sounds.
A remedy for any L1 pronunciation interference.
Security in the knowledge that they are speaking in a fashion that is similar to the model provided by the teacher. Students can hear themselves speaking correctly, and this increases their motivation and helps with their confidence.
Practice in the correct stress, rhythm, intonation and pronunciation patterns.
Accustom the students to manipulating syntax changes that occur due to changes in form (affirmative / negative / interrogative / contractions / addition of different modifiers etc.).
Start the process of oral production as a group, leading to individual production, hence avoiding the sense of embarrassment felt at the moment of using new language for the first time.
Create an opportunity for some really fun activities, resulting in increased classroom synergy, which has a positive affect on learning in general
There are a lot of techniques and combinations that can be used in drilling and in our next article we will examine these giving indicators for TEFL teachers as to how to go about executing them in the TEFL/TESOL classroom.
Posted on May 26th, 2017