Most of the English learners feel that they need more conversation practice. Actually, over the years it has been noticed that the number one requested skill by students is conversation practice. According to the opinion of many experts in the field of education, this points clearly to the fact that students need English to communicate first and foremost. Writing, grammar and other skills are very important but in the minds of students the most important thing is the conversation. Teaching conversational skills, unfortunately, is much more challenging than teaching grammar. It has been noticed that some of the students are often timid in expressing their viewpoints when employing role-plays, topic discussions and much more. This seems due to a wide range of reasons such as students do not have an opinion on the subject or in case they have an opinion, are worried about what other students might think or say. Another typical reason is again connected with the opinion of the students. They often have such one but do not feel they can say exactly what they mean. There are also many other reasons which only shows the great importance of teaching conversational skills.

Teaching conversational skills

Important thing for the opinion of students is that they begin giving it, but want to state it in the same eloquent manner that they are capable of in their native language. More actively other participating students feel confident in their opinions and express them eloquently making the less confident students more timid. Conversation exercises and lessons are pragmatically intended to improve conversational skills. It is helpful for this reason to first focus on building skills by eliminating some of the barriers that might be in the way of production. Students are freed from having to express their own opinions, having been assigned roles, opinions and points of view that they do not necessarily share. They can focus on expressing themselves well in English and tend to concentrate more on production skills and less on factual content in this way. Also they are less likely to insist on literal translations from their mother tongue. Implementing this approach can begin slowly by providing student with short role plays using cue cards. Classes can move onto more elaborated exercises such as debates and group decision making activities once students become comfortable with target structures and representing differing points of view. This approach bears fruit especially when debating opposing points of view. Imagination of the students is activated by trying to focus on all the various points that an opposing stand on any given issue may take by representing opposing points of view. Students freed from having to invest emotionally in the statements they make as they inherently do not agree with the view they represent. This is not to say that students should not express their own opinions. When they go out into the real world they will want to say what they mean after all.