Development of students' speaking skills in the primary English classroom

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In Pakistan English as a foreign language is being taught from primary classes. Teaching English is based on the grammar translation method - reading and translating the text from English to Urdu both in government and private schools. In such classes teaching is based on rote memorization with little meaningful speaking activities, despite one of the curriculum objectives of teaching English language being to teach students to communicate orally. The purpose of this research was to develop students' speaking skills in the primary classroom. The findings related to pre - intervention stage indicate that the constraints that hinder development of speaking skills were the students' fear of making mistakes, they felt hesitant to speak. This was due to lack of opportunity to practice English in the classroom. The lack of opportunity was due to: a) poor time management; b) too many children in the class; c) pressure of exams and syllabus; d) mechanical, individual and choral speaking activities, i.e. short phrases or one word answers. The seven week intervention helped the students to develop their confidence and fluency of speech. To develop accuracy further would require more time. The intervention revealed that: a) students spoke without hesitations or fear of making mistakes and hence were more confident; b) Students spoke with less pauses, had good flow, used less Urdu and were more coherent i.e. they had much greater fluency. c) students made less grammatical mistakes. For primary students to be fluent in speaking the target language the teacher needs to give more opportunity and create an environment to speak allowing the students to talk about their own experiences.

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