Is it possible to teach speaking?

The answer is going to be “yes, of course”. Easier said than done.

Today I thought it nice to share with you a few reflections on the teaching of speaking. If you have pen and paper at hand, I’d like to ask you to brainstorm everything that concerns the teaching of speaking – if you like, later you may want to post it as a comment below.

If I think about how students are taught to speak English in Italy, my brainstorm list would probably consist of words or expressions or concepts, gathered under the two big sets of “inefficient school systems” and “underdeveloped culture towards ‘the foreigner'”. To be honest, these two main cathegories would also cover many other sub-cathegories of the Italian country; however, for now and for the aim of this blog, let’s just stick to the teaching of spoken English.


While surfing the web, I found a few quite interesting articles. This one in particular, by speaking skills specialist for introverts Jade Joddle, will give you a pretty clear idea of what’s wrong in the way Italians approach to English language.

All this has led me to rethink the way English is taught and acquired in Italy. In a situation like the Italian one – of current absence of interventions by the Italian government – technology comes as a quite useful tool. As a first thought, if communcation doesn’t occur in real life occasions, it certainly does via technology (how many people keep in touch with several friends from all over the world, through social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, etc.?)


One thought on “Is it possible to teach speaking?

  1. Hi Benedetta,

    Technology could aid those as you say from cultural or educational institutions in which they do not have the opportunity to improve their speaking skills. By utilising technology they can find similar minded people through avenues such as Facebook groups with whom to improve their English speaking skills. How would you personally improve the situation with regards to the way teaching speaking is dealt with in Italy?



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