I always get asked that question..."what is drilling?" Don't let the word scare you, as one of my students would say "it sounds dangerous" with a laugh.
Drilling is a method to help students pronounce English like a local and learn its rhythm. Let's learn how!
After introducing new vocabulary words, grammar points, or sentence structures, its a good tool to drill them with your students.
There are many ways to drill new material. Using a variety of drilling methods with students will help make this portion of the lesson more interesting and keep students focused.
Choral repetition is a commonly used method of drilling. Students simply have to repeat words or phrases after you. This is a good method because it means that students are given excellent model pronunciation immediately before they are asked to respond. Going through vocabulary this way many times in a single lesson with drilling can sometimes help with immediate accent reduction. Students love this!
Drilling With Flashcards
Drilling using flashcards can be useful as well. In the introduction, show students both the image and word of each flashcard. When you start drilling words for the first time, show students the words of the flashcard so they can practice reading and pronouncing it. Later on, rather than show students the word you want them to pronounce, show them the image. This will help check their comprehension of the material. With flashcards, you can also challenge your students when they become more familiar with certain vocabulary by flipping through the cards at a faster rate.
Comprehension task include phrasal sentences that are short and clear. The phrases need to be in context for the student to carry on a dialog with the teacher so they can speak and hear the English rhythm. Doing comprehension checks is also a good way to break up the drill activities a bit. Small phrasal conversations using the drilling method will give students the ability to understand a native speaker and hear the rhythm of two to three words that all sound together like one. This is the hardest part of understanding any new language. For instance, when you hear someone say "I don't know" it will sound like "I dunno" in the english rhythm. It all seems to sound as if words run together because most native speaker will speak to fast for the new learner. This is why drilling works.
Drilling is generally not the most fun part of teaching or learning English but it is an essential step when learning new material. Varying your approach can make it more enjoyable and encourage students to participate more fully.
Want to try a drilling lesson?
Learning English should be fun. Give Drilling a try and build on your conversational skills. Its all about being able to speak, talk and understand the language you are studying.