Small talk with big results
The art of teaching English forwards
I've known two people in my life that had to attend speech therapy: one who had developed a terrible stutter as a result of a medication that he had to take, the other who had brain damage after a major road accident. They were both dear friends, so helping them overcome their verbal communication problems was a laborious favour rather than a mind numbing chore.
Outside of this, I would avoid anyone like the plague who spoke like they did. Why? Because it's boring!
Here's a classic example of how conversations used to have to ‘flow' with my friends during their recovery:
"Hi, how are you?" "I'm fine thank you, and you?" "I'm fine thank you."
Now, where have we all seen and heard this longwinded, nigh on nonsensical way of communicating before?!
I'll tell you where you will never see/hear it:
1. When you're a young child forming your first words and sentences (imagine having to talk like that, you'd never get off first base and in the unlikely chance that you did, you'd never have any friends!)
2. When you're talking with family (because they'd tell you to speak normally or seek help!)
3. When you're talking with friends, colleagues and associates (because if you did, you'd very quickly find yourself a loner!)
And now I'll tell you where you nearly always (to put it mildly) see/hear it:
1. In the English as a second language classroom
2. In English as a second language courseware
3. In English as a second language gap fills and multiple choice tests and exams
Essentially, this is learning English backwards. Instead of starting off as you did as a child, free from the clutter of grammar, punctuation, perfect nouns and spelling, you're getting the whole caboodle thrust upon you all at once, minus proper conversation and pronunciation. Insanity!
So what's my point? Do it forwards instead! Teach English as you first learned it and have always spoken it to other native speakers and stop boring your students senseless.
Teaching forwards is widely practiced at my school because it works. Here's an example of a lesson on food that I delivered to my M2 classes:
What's your favorite Thai food?
A one name answer, in Thai, i.e. ‘Tom yum' and NOT ‘My favorite Thai food is tom yum'.
What do you prefer, brown or sticky rice?
Again, a one name answer, in English, and without repeating most of the question.
What's your favorite Asian food?
Any one of: Chinese, Japanese, Laos, Vietnamese, again without any of the question being repeated back.
What's your favorite Western food?
Any one of: pizza, hamburgers, etc., one name answers again.
Have you ever tried Indian food?
Yes, I have. / No, I haven't.