Methods in Teaching Speaking Skills to Young Learners

  Speaking is the active use of language to express meaning so that other people can make sense of them (Cameron, 2001, p. 40). It is the process of building and sharing meaning through the use of verbal and non-verbal symbols, in a variety of contexts. Speaking, as it relates to young learners, is one way for them to play, in this case, playing with words and sounds. As an English Foreign Language’s Young Learners, children are not demanding to be competent because children are still learning on their first language (Inawati, 2014).
    For young learners, learning English as a foreign language do not develop English language skills more readily than older learners. However, they have a clear advantage when it comes to pronunciation if they begin learning English as a foreign or second language at an early age.
    Speaking to young learners is taught just as a repetition of drills or memorization of dialogues. According to Fransisca (n.d.), there are some methods in teaching speaking to young learners;

1.      Audio Lingual Method (ALM)
a.       Drill with coral response
This is the basic strategies of teaching where students will repeat what they heard from teachers and students will be given as much time speaking as possible (Klancar, 2016)
b.      Dialogue
Through learning dialogue, students will be able to speak in real life, because dialogue’s conversation is the example of daily conversation.
c.       Using puppets to introduce the dialogue
Here, teacher will provide some example characters so children will know what how to response to others by learning from puppets’ dialogue.

2.      Communicative Language Teaching
a.       Games
Play is a vital and important aspect of a child’s development and language is a part of that play. As children is an active learner (Cameron, 2001), they like to do something they are interested in. An enjoyable game can be a learning source. For example, role-play game.  
Role-play is believed to be successful ways to teach speaking. It is a best way to get students to speak (Kayi, 2006) and also they can understand what they response should be when they are in such a position or situation.
b.      Teaching Pronunciation
Teaching pronunciation is just as a repetition so that students know how to pronounce a word correctly.

     Overall, teaching speaking is undervalued and English isn’t seem important to be taught to young learners. Recently in Indonesia, English class in Elementary School is not an obligatory lesson.


Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching Languages to Young leLarner. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.

Fransisca, E. (n.d.). Teaching speaking English to young learners. Retrieved from

Inawati, I. (2014). TEACHING SPEAKING TO YOUNG LEARNERS THROUGH ROLE PLAY. The Second International Conference on Education and Language (2nd ICEL) (pp. 97-105). Lampung: Portal Garuda.

Kayi, H. (2006, November). Teaching Speaking: Activities to Promote Speaking in a Second Language . Retrieved from The Internet TESL Journal:

Klancar, N. I. (2016, November). Developing Speaking Skills in the Young Learners Classroom. Retrieved from The Internet TESL Journal: