If you want to learn to listen to yourself as you speak, so that you can have the chance to fix your mistakes if you make them — something really positive for human communication and Speaking Tests, too! — then you should make sure you follow this procedure.

1. Pick a topic for your mon. from all the audios / audiovisuals you have been learning language from.

NEVER WRITE DOWN YOUR MON. You have to learn to develop a topic just from an outline. This exercise will also teach you to learn to speak, because when you read from a text you are not learning to speak — you’re  practicing pronunciation and intonation above all.

2. Two sheets of paper: one for your outline, another for Useful Language. List in the second all the vocabulary, expressions, and whole sentences you have been listening to and repeating. Brainstorm on the language you want to use, to make your range richer: tenses and modals (varied), types of clauses (relative, conditional, time, contrast, result…), adjectives (also -ing/-ed adjs.) and other noun modifiers (a six-year-old child), Saxon Genitive where possible (possession, time yesterday’s paper, and distance a 2 km’ walk)…

After you brainstorm for language, work out the outline of your text. No narratives. Just key words.

3. Timing yourself, start speaking, following your outline and trying to use all the language items you wanted to use.

Do it again, it will be different but similar, and you will improve things that are easy to improve. Keep practicing/practising it whenever you have 3 minutes!

4. When you’re ready record it. (If it’s not 3 min it’s OK. 3 minutes is the maximum, for the time being.)

5. Listen to your recording some day, and be ready to work on your List of Mistakes. You will be learning to listen to yourself, and fix your mistakes. Be patient. Some day you’ll be able to do it AS YOU SPEAK! If you think you can improve it, record it again.

If every week (or two weeks max.) you work like this — get organized because you can fit it into a few little dead moments in the day — your Speaking File will be very useful. You will soon notice your progress and this will give you more energy to keep learning!

6. You can share your monolog(ue)s in class any day. You can also send me your best work once a month, for feedback or publication.

Read on!!

Working on your mons. in the classroom!


3 Responses to SPEAKING: Mons

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