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Teaching Guidelines for English as a Second Language

The author is an online writer and teacher with lots of life experience to share with readers.

I Taught English and You Can Too!

I was inspired to write this article from my experiences in teaching English. This article is based on my experience working with students and teaching them how to speak the language. These are the essential guidelines a teacher must follow so that the students can raise their fluency in speaking English.

Teaching Guideline

  1. Teachers must drive out the fear in the students who are afraid of speaking English in public. They must encourage them to speak in front of the whole class.
  2. Encourage them to speak on very simple and easy topics in front of the class without any interruption or laughter but keep track of the mistakes they make while speaking.
  3. Correct any speaking errors afterward in a one-on-one discussion as it will not embarrass the students who feel shy in front of their classmates. Do not over-rely on these discussions because it will not allow the students to come out of their shells.
  4. Suggest that the students read in English, but start off with easy material. This will help them to form ideas and thoughts in English and not in one’s native tongue.
  5. To converse fluently in English, students must think in the language. Construct sentences for them to speak. Translating from your native tongue to English is not desirable because it breaks the continuity. Instruct them to focus on thinking in English.
  6. When teaching grammar, focus on aspects that are necessary to speak English properly such as parts of speech, vocabulary, and idioms.
  7. Parts of speech include nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, and their various uses. Be sure to use lots of examples from daily life when going over the concepts.
  8. One thing to remember when teaching is that the students must be allotted a time slot every day to converse in English. Thus, grammar lessons should not consume the total class time. Regular practice of speaking is required.
  9. With regular speaking practice in the class, students will strengthen their comfort with grammatical details as they develop confidence.
  10. Start with group discussions at this point. Provide some interesting topics. Allow them a few minutes to arrange their own points regarding the topic. You can start the discussion by asking a particular student to begin or leave it open to the students to begin.
  11. A group discussion is a very healthy way to have a conversation. The students have to converse without a break. Listening becomes very important here. Follow what the students say and encourage others to offer counter questions, answers, and additional points.
  12. If some students avoid talking during this time then you should make them speak by providing some direct questions.
  13. Group discussions are very important but they should not be held at the very beginning of a course. It is natural that students will be at different levels of fluency so those who are more advanced in speaking English could make the novice students feel more pressured.
  14. Once all students start to participate and begin speaking spontaneously, you can start focusing on pronunciation and accent. You can occasionally pinpoint the pronunciation of different words at the start of a course but do not put a lot of emphasis on doing this. If you do, the students will get hung up on pronunciation and break their flow while speaking.
  15. Convey to your students that nothing can substitute practice because it is the key to success. Also, encourage them to never miss an opportunity to speak English in front of others. These two attributes will boost confidence, and that’s the most important quality for becoming fluent.
  16. Finally, I would like to point out that a crash course of four or six months cannot produce a student with extraordinary fluency in the language. They could never match the ability of students who have learned and practiced English from their early school days. A short-term course helps in learning the basics and developing self-confidence. These are qualities needed to practice regularly. Expecting phenomenal results in a short time span is definitely asking for too much but results can be achieved in the long run with constant practice.

Why Is English So Important Nowadays?

Learning to speak English fluently is now a necessity.

It is no longer a matter of status or fashion: it is now a necessity for a good job and prosperous career. Many achievements in life are dependent on the way you communicate with international clients and delegates, especially in multinational companies. Fluency in English is a requirement in high-ranking government positions.

The ability to read and write in English properly is very important in regards to going abroad for higher studies as well as having access to a higher standard of books and study materials. It would be wrong to say that the books available in Hindi or other languages are substandard but it is also true that the books available in English have a wider range of subjects available.


ahmed abdillahi on September 21, 2019:

i went to leaning english

Girijanandan Dutta on May 28, 2019:

Very effective guidelines both for beginners & adults.

Jiwan Mandlik on October 03, 2018:

Can you tell me ma'am how can i teach english to wants to learning and speaking

Subuhi on February 05, 2018:

Really v well penned down.. m starting my job as spoken English teacher and these points will surely going to help me.. thanks a ton

Sabri Thabet on September 25, 2017:

Very interesting points. Thanks

Riya on July 03, 2017:

Amazingly explained...helped a lot

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on March 16, 2017:


Thank you very much for finding the article useful. See, those who are not confident they will certainly be a little hesitant. That can be removed through lots of encouragement, make them feel easy and coax them continuously to speak up by giving some very interesting topics with which they are familiar as well as can relate easily such as college fest, college election, latest technology and so on. Hopefully, it will work.

Priyamvada on March 16, 2017:

hello ma'am, your article is very useful to me. I have joined as a communication skills tutor in an engineering college. the students are very hesitating and dont speak, please tell me how can i motivate them to speak.

Aliasgar Abuwala on March 04, 2017:

Shampaji, your article echoes my sentiments exactly. It is highly important to think in English if you're want to gain proficiency. Learning any language is all about practice. and reading is extremely important.

Speaking is all about expressing yourself, as is writing. I am thinking of starting an English training centre where students will be encouraged to express themselves through writing. While speaking, students do not have enough time to think of correct words and form sentences. Writing down their thoughts gives them more time.

Tina. on January 28, 2017:

This is a fruitful site. It has been of help as I prepare my course outline for ESP. Thank you very much for those well thought ideas.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on January 16, 2017:

Hello Chitrangada,

I am delighted that you, a superb writer, appreciated my work. Actually, my experience of language teaching became an advantage in penning down the hub. By the way, we both stay in Delhi but neither we spoke to nor met each other. Where do you stay in Delhi? Thanks a lot for your encouragement.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 13, 2017:

Excellent hub and I can relate to it since I have also been an English language teacher for secondary classes! You made some important suggestions in your article . This will be helpful to many teachers as well as students.

I am sorry to have missed reading this earlier.

Thanks for sharing!

Animesh Kumar on November 20, 2016:


My name is Animesh.I am from Sitamarhi, Bihar. I have had a long experience of teaching English. I had begun my career as a spoken English instructor in New Delhi. I feel that unless there is a long practice of translation from the mother tongue into English the students can't build confidence in them. It removes the hesitation and the rest is managed by the instructor by encouraging them to speak on the familiar topics, through group discussions, extempore speech etc.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on September 16, 2016:

Hello wiserworld

Thanks for the appreciation. I am not in touch with teaching any more so I have no idea regarding the job sites. Thanks again.

wiserworld on September 15, 2016:

Great tips for teaching in India. Are there any job sites that foreign ESL teachers can go to that you know of to find teaching jobs in India?

priya on July 30, 2016:

Thanks a lot for your valuable tips. It will definitely help to everyone.

kishore on July 04, 2016:

i must thank u n yr people 4 valuable suggestion

Helmsly on June 05, 2016:

"slow and steady wins the race". This is the proverb one should have in his or her mind when learning a foreign language.

Sanjeev Kumar Mishra on April 01, 2016:

As i experienced myself as a Spoken English Trainer for a period of 8 years i do agree with your points as it is the most practical and productive method to hone fluency in English . As far i experienced speakers mostly get accustomed to speaking their native language ,so very first they need to get used to speaking English by and large in day -to -day life;it creates interest and attachment with the language. Speaking English must be involved in daily routine without focusing on its correctness initially. Thereafter whatever the method we are applying to make them proficient in English will be effective rapidly. One more thing which i have experienced and would like to share with you ; Sentence Structure must be the integral part of teaching Spoken English because the speakers always get confused and feel difficulty with respect to create sentence either for the purpose of speaking or writing .

mr.Kishor Chaudhari on December 31, 2015:

Dear Mam i want to start my own spoken English Class in my city Bhusawal , Maharashtra would u plz guide what syllabus should i teach or from where i can get the other details regarding the success of class

Prabhakar on December 19, 2015:

Hello Sampa madam

Your guide lines are very useful, mam small request.

How to start a spoken English academy....?

Kindly can u suggest me a legal procedure to start a spoken English academy?

I would like to start an academy or institute in Tamilnadu and provide the spoken English Trainers to the schools and colleges in surrounding districts .

Your reply will be very valuable to me, eagerly waiting for your reply.

Prabhakar Kura


Kanyakumari dist


Peter on December 07, 2015:

Dear Ms Shampa

I came across your article two days ago and think it would be wonderful

to enable people around your area to speak english fluently in company.

May I request your suggestions for holding one-on-one training classes

for office staff,housewives,students going abroad etc ?

I come from the Anglo Indian community,retired engineer and plenty of free time.

I was thinking of including proper table manners,dress codes etc as part of the course

I would be most grateful for any of your suggestions on this matter

Thank You

neha sharma on December 01, 2015:

hello shampa mam.... a heartly thanx for this post mam.. as i have joined english spoken institute for the very first time. as i know about the basics and syllabus according to entrance exam but a novice in teaching spoken english . mam i need some more tips on how to start it at beginning.. whether by their introduction or by giving tips only .. please suggest me too .. that how much one should cover every month . and some study material . and if u uploaded some of urs vedios on youtube then that will be a cherry on the cake. thank you . u can also mail me some tips and data . i vl be highly obliged by you.. and can get a remarkable start under ur supervision ... thank u mam ....

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on November 18, 2015:

Hello Rohit, Thanks for commenting. Lack of strong vocabulary is not at all a big problem. Regular reading of newspaper, listening to news channels, English story book reading as well as conversation in English will help you to increase your vocabulary. Remember you need to consult dictionary or else you can easily Google for the meaning of a word and you will get to learn the right pronunciation, meaning and many synonyms of that very word. By this method you can easily increase your word stock . Everyone is a learner because no one knows each and every word found in the dictionary. So, just give it a try.

Rohit on November 18, 2015:

I read your points and i would like to say that it would definitely help me while teaching. Thanks for your valuable guidelines. Sir my query is that if someone faces problem of vocabulary despite it can one take spoken class.

John on July 20, 2015:

Thank you Shampa, your article contains many practical tips as to how to train others in improving spoken English skills.

veena on June 04, 2015:

Thank you shampa for posting such an informative article. I have just joined an institute as spoken english trainer. I came across your article and it has helped a lot. Also i appreciate the contributors who have posted their queries and shampa maam it is inspiring to see how you have kept this thread alive even after such a long time. I hope i will be able to get your guidance when needed.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on April 13, 2015:

Hello Sumaira, James, Murali Krishna, sara, liza, Shivam, dr smita, i m mr. yogesh machindra hegadkar and shweta,

Thanks to all of you for appreciating the post. Though I am no more in this profession, I would still suggest you all to stress your students to read more and more articles written in English. Later allow them to express their opinion on the articles they read. Do not interrupt them if they speak wrong English but note down their mistakes and discuss it once they are through with their viewpoint. Interruption will never allow them to gain confidence rather it will make them nervous. Learning basic grammar is an essential part for speaking correct English but the class duration must not be devoted to teach grammar only. Everyday the students must get time to converse in English about a topic. So, class timing has to be adjusted accordingly or else it will be like a school. Hope it helps all of you!

shweta on April 13, 2015:

Hello Thankyou so much for the will really help me in starting english thing i woukd like to share I m a housewife n get plenty of time nd i want to startteach spoken english at home should i proceed and start with the classes plz help n guide

i m mr. yogesh machindra hegadkar on March 21, 2015:

The very very good grup discustion. I provd of you.

dr smita on March 18, 2015:

Thanks a lot ma'am for such a beautiful guidelines u hv given to start the spoken english i m bit confuse regarding the course duration n study i m a preschool teacher i wnt to start thz class for summercamp for kids betn 5 to 12 yrs...

Shivam on March 08, 2015:

I think what you have written here few years back is going to be useful not only today but in future as well. I am a German language teacher since few years and now I am also planning to start a Spoken English batch, however I keep on getting stuck with some basic requirements for teaching English and I hope you, as a very experienced English teacher, can help me out with that. Here is my list of requirements:

- What should be the curriculum of a Spoken English class?

- Should I only focus on making my own teaching content using internet/books or do we already have a good book in the market for teaching Spoken English?

- Which topics should be included in a Spoken English class?

- In regards to the grammar part, I think we need to focus on the basic grammar only in a Spoken English class, right? In that case what are those basic grammar topics that one should cover in the class?

- What should be the duration and schedule of such a batch?

- If you were in my shoes, what would have been your favourite methods to teach Spoken English today?

Many thanks in advance for your response. Looking forward to hear from you.

Murali Krishna on April 11, 2014:

Communicating in English has become the necessity of the day. Let it be for Students, Job seekers, Businessmen or even Housewife's. There are many mushrooming Spoken English center's around us but they just teach us English and not Spoken English. For learning Spoken English you need to start speaking and practice speaking. After a lot of research and survey i have found something very interesting and practical. SpeakToday is a very practical and innovative course helping many native speakers speak in English. SpeakToday with advanced Speech practice tools is helping many in a much practical way. you can get more info at www.speaktodaycom

James on April 10, 2014:

Thanks for suggestions that are valuable. Pls give more tips that are practical. For example, topics for discussion, how to monitor these etc.

Dipankar on February 25, 2014:

Thanks for giving me such suggestions.

I will follow your suggestions.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on February 24, 2014:

Hello Dipankar

Thanks for appreciating my post. Well, for speaking English correctly and properly I feel you need to have proper knowledge of grammar, proper diction, correct spelling and confidence and if you have them then there is no reason that you cannot start a batch of a Spoken English course. Now, the point is I have no idea regarding what qualification you require for the registration of any institute. Hope it helps!

Dipankar on February 24, 2014:

First of all I would like to thank you, that you are helping us by giving such important tips and your valueable time. I have much interest to start a spoken batch ,but my qualification is preventing me to start. I am doing B.A(Honurs in English)1st year from an open university. Most of the times I spend with English because I am fond of this language.What do you suggest ? Must have I certificate to start?

Sunil Kumar Kunnoth from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India) on February 13, 2014:

It is a wonderful topic and you have decently narrated things in detail. It is a fact that we Indians lack fluency as it is not our first language. Yet we are far ahead when compared with other nations such as Japan, China and some East European and Latin American countries thanks to the colonial rule by the British. We are so good in reading and writing in English and lack fluency in spoken side. There are many institutions in India who offer some course for 'Spoken English' but fail to teach the students some good English. They just end up with teaching some grammar only, which never helps one to speak fluently. As you have a good experience in the field, I request you to keep on writing some hubs givings good tips to polish our language skill. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. It is shared on my FB account for maximum reach.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on February 06, 2014:

Hello Sumaira,

Thank you very much for your kind words.

Sumaira on January 30, 2014:


Just read ur experiences...and believe me it has motivated me largely.I am a housewife and i stay at a place where people want to speak english fluently.Belonging to an english medium school i speak it up very easily.People around me suggested to open up an spoken english classes.Thanks a lot soooooo much.Ur article has provided me a new direction.I have prepared some teaching materials but was hesitating as to where should i start from.I saw this post of urs...thnks a lot for such helpful post...god bless u.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on February 09, 2013:

Hello purvaagrawal,

You are always welcome!

purvaagrawal12345 on January 27, 2013:

Thanx a lot mam.........

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on January 26, 2013:

Hello purvaagrawal,

I used to refer to a grammar and composition book written by N. K. Aggarwala which was published by Goyal Brothers Prakashan. I feel very easy to understand the explanations given in this book but sorry other than this I won't be able to recommend any. One suggestion I have, you can check the grammar books which the reputed schools advice for their board students and may check the prescribed books by CBSE and ICSE. Hope it works for you!

purvaagrawal12345 on January 25, 2013:

Thanx a lot for ur suggestion.......can u plz prefer name of any author..........

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on January 25, 2013:

Hello Purva Agrawal,

Thanks a lot for finding my article helpful.

Well, I would suggest you to take the help from those English grammar books which are written by Indian authors. You need to explain the subject matter in a very simple manner so your language must be very easy and examples should be be from the day to day life. This will give a clear picture of the topic you discuss and one thing you must not forget is that you are going to teach the rural students so at the very beginning to create interest in them your language has to be extremely easy and simple to understand. Hope my suggestions prove helpful to you!

Good Luck!

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on January 25, 2013:

Hello Shwetha,

I am extremely sorry for being late in responding to your comment. Thanks for appreciating my article.

Sorry, I won't be able to recommend you any particular course for training as I took up the job when I completed my post graduation in English and was doing my B. Ed. Hope you won't mind!

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on January 25, 2013:

Hello Shireen Bagwan,

I know I am quite late in replying you and so sorry for it. First of all thanks a lot for liking the article.

I believe in originality so if you go by some books available in the market then it is not going to make a strong impact on your students. You make your own course material with the help of some books, keep in mind you have to start with the basics in grammar, use your own example but definitely the ones which are easy to understand. Explain the examples thoroughly in the written material provided to the students.

Hope it helps and All the Best!

Purva Agrawal on January 20, 2013:

really ur advises are very helpful for me since i want to open coaching cenglish for english spoken in a rural area.......there is no such centre.......i just want dat here people can speak english..... i need ur help for these.........i m frm english med school n completed i m a housewife.....which book i should prefer for teaching........

plz give me suggestions.....


Shwetha on January 03, 2013:

Hi..I am running a small setup for teaching Spoken English myself. These are really excellent and practical tips for teaching.

I myself am not a trained teacher and would certainly like to get a proper certification to to train. The PGCTE course which Mr.Prasad has undergone certainly seems apt. Can you recommend any other courses which I can take online?

Shireen, I have built my own course material with the help of internet and basic grammar books.. and each genre of students are handed out different types of material depending upon their requirement.. Its not too difficult, considering that we have a comfort level teaching what we have built.

Shireen Bagwan on December 11, 2012:


I really liked your guidelines for starting a spoken English class. I wanted to start a spoken English class. Could you advise what kind of course material should be provided to the students? Do i have to make the course material or can I provide the speaking English books available in the market?

If i have to make the course material then could you give me some points as how to start with it?

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on August 28, 2012:

Hello Maria,

Thanks for liking the article.

Now, the answers to your questions are as follows:

I feel you need to have a sound knowledge of the language and so I think Honors Degree in English is a must.

About registration of the class I am not very sure because I did not own an institute of Spoken English but I worked there as a teacher.

Hope I've answered your question. Good Luck!

Maria on August 28, 2012:


It is really a very good guide lines for the English teachers/trainers. I wanted to start up a English Spoken Classes, could you let me know what should be the qualification of the trainer and if the class is required to be registered to teach English speaking

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on July 23, 2012:

Hello savita avadhani,

Thanks for finding my article apt. It is always a pleasure to be appreciated. Thanks again.

As you have asked for some guidance which is a privilege for me. Though I am no more a trainer and the time has also changed a lot but from my past experience few things I can suggest you. See if it helps you or not.

It is definitely difficult to make students speak. They lock themselves into a shell made of hesitation and inferiority complex. It will take a little time for them to open up and for that the teacher has to be very calm and patient. If the trainer looses his/her composure then it will become doubly difficult to make the students speak. My suggestion is at first make yourself an easy going person with the students. This will break their hesitation, allow them to discuss with you bilingually at the beginning, allow them to write and read out on a particular subject then gradually make them speak one by one. At every step the teacher's role is to go on encouraging. Your hard work and patience will make the students speak but remember not in a day..

savita avadhani on July 22, 2012:

hello madam,

your suggestions are apt. i am a budding trainer in some english training academy. Really motivating the students to speak is difficult.

Any guideness can i get?

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on June 14, 2012:


First of all thanks a lot for reading my article and appreciating it.

Now, as of your query I would like to say that I wrote this article on the basis of my experience that I gained when I worked as a Spoken English teacher long back. The time has changed and naturally there will be some kind of change in the crowd pulling approach too. The basics never change but some advancement is always required to succeed in this competitive world. So, I would suggest that at whichever place you would like to set up an institute then try to survey the ongoing institutes for a month or so. Follow the pattern they provide. Try to add some advance and interesting methods to teach the students and make it a better package than the existing ones. I am sure it will certainly give you success. Have a firm believe in you and start an institute if you want to do so. Good Luck!

RAHMATH on June 13, 2012:

The guidelines you have given are really encouraging and provoking me to start a spoken english class. please tell me what I should to start such a class.

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on February 15, 2012:

Hello thumbi7,

Thanks for reading and sharing as well. I feel, no one forgets the experience of teaching and in my case it is a bit special because I usually relive my experiences.

JR Krishna from India on February 15, 2012:

It is amazing that you remembered the details of something happened seventeen years ago!

Voting up and Thanks for SHARING:)

Shampa Sadhya (author) from NEW DELHI, INDIA on February 13, 2012:

Hello prasadjain ji,

Thanks a lot for your valued opinion. It's a pleasure to receive a positive comment from such an experienced teacher. Now, my experience and observation has got a certificate from you which is really a true satisfaction.

Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD from Tumkur on February 13, 2012:

Yes,Having worked for 25 years as English method master in B.ED colleges, and having acquired 'Post-graduate certificate in Teaching English(PGCTE) frim CIEFL, Hyderabad, I fully endorse the points streesd by you here. Now ,with the help of technology, best training modules, we can teach good pronunciation easily. This indeed helps.