As a result, spoken language becomes more and more important. Nowadays, almost everyone knows the importance of learning English, it is taught as a compulsory subject at elementary school, secondary school and university in China. A lot of people consider that vocabulary is the key to learning English, so they prefer to memorize words as many as possible. It is true that one cannot communicate effectively or express his ideas in both oral and written forms without a sufficient vocabulary. However, we all know that the effect of learning language is marked by the students’ communication ability.
There is a phenomenon which we called “Dumb English” in China, which means a large number of students can only read and write instead of speaking. Although vocabulary is an indispensable element in learning foreign language, a more important one is how to speak that language out. However, after several years of learning, students’ spoken English is also poor. They cannot express their thoughts in English in daily life.
They are afraid of communicating with native speakers in English. What’s worse. They even cannot figure out what others say in English.
Why did these phenomenons happen? Three reasons are introduced. The first one is that there are still many problems existing in spoken English teaching, such as absence of English learning environment, the Grammar-Translation Methods, and teachers paying much attention to vocabulary and grammar. The second one is the subjective reason: students are afraid of speaking English. They are scared of being laughed at by others if they say something wrong. There is a saying: “Practice makes perfect. ” They are lack of practice, so their spoken English is poor.
The third one is the objective reason, for example, the non-English environment, the different culture between China and western countries. This paper will only focus on the problems existing in spoken English teaching in High school and suggests some teaching strategies to deal with these problems to help improve students’ spoken English and communicative competence. Theoretical Framework 1 1. 1 The requirements of the New English Curriculum Standard The overall aim of the New English Curriculum Standard is to develop students’ overall language ability.
Such abilities are grounded in the development of language skills, language knowledge, affects, cultural awareness and learning strategies. Language skills contain listening, speaking, reading and writing. And the requirements of speaking skills in junior high school advocate what students can do in the speaking process as following listed: the third level requires students can tell some simple and short stories. The fourth level requires students can use simple words to describe his own or others’ experiences with the teacher’s help. And the fifth level requires students can exchange ideas and complete tasks corporately. New English Curriculum Standard,2001). It has six designing principles: Firstly, it aims for educating all students, and emphasizes quality-oriented education. Secondly, it promotes learner-centeredness, and respects individual differences.