Ways to help students cope inihibition

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JUNE O3, 2009

What is about to be discussed are some techniques considered useful in class to help shy students. The teacherhas to learn how to deal with these kinds of students to help them to cope with this shaming weakness. There are several methods that help inhibited students to get involved in class, namely: roleplays, two-minute impromptu speeches, and giving students specific responsibilities. First, it is clear that people feel more comfortable when they act like somebody else; due to this, they are not afraidto make some mistakes, they speak more freely, and as consequence of this psychological effect, their utterance is relaxed. For example, a shy student would feel more comfortable with this particularactivity pretending -even though he is in fact in trouble– he is in a problematic situation in which he has to get out no matter what. Something amazing about role plays is the fact of beingspontaneous. Words come out the mouth as a response to an external stimulus. Second, a more challenging technique to help shy students is a fun activity called “Two-minute speech”; in this activity, thestudent is given two minutes to organize his thoughts and get ready for speaking for two minutes minimum. It is a good idea to encourage these students to talk about something tangible rather thansomething abstract. However, the best choice is to talk about something that he is familiar with. This technique has been observed in Specialized English Training, where many shy students improved theirspeaking skills in ways that signaled their more general application. And finally, something as simple as giving specific responsibilities to the students; when you have some students who avoid toparticipate in class, a good idea is to give them a particular reason to talk; some ideas include: to designate someone to be in charge of presenting new vocabulary, paraphrasing the instructions before an...