Reported Speech 101: Why Students Struggle With It And What They Can Do To Improve
The idea of reporting speech is to repeat the exact words somebody else said, without changing them in any way. Let’s take a moment to look at how reported speech can be used in everyday life.
Reported speech is when we report what someone has said. It’s different from direct speech, which is when we quote someone word for word.
Most of us use reported speech without even realizing it. For example, if your friend tells you a joke, you might say to someone else: “She said that her boss is an idiot.”
Reported speech often appears in written stories and news articles. It can also be useful in academic writing, especially when you want to avoid using too many direct quotes from sources.
If you’re a student learning English, you might struggle with reported speech because it uses a lot of grammar rules that are different from those in your first language. But don’t worry – with a little practice, you’ll get the hang of it!
Why do students struggle with reported speech?
Reported speech is one of the most difficult concepts for students to grasp. There are a number of reasons why this is the case:
1. English is not a logical language. The rules for reported speech are often counter-intuitive and can be hard to remember.
2. Reported speech requires a deep understanding of grammar. In particular, students need to be able to identify the verb tense used in the original sentence and then change it accordingly in the reported sentence. This can be very confusing for students who are still mastering English grammar.
3. Students need to be able to visualise the situation in order to correctly report what was said. This can be difficult, especially if the original conversation happened some time ago or if there are multiple people involved.
Fortunately, there are some things that students can do to improve their understanding and use of reported speech. Here are four tips:
1. Pay close attention to how native speakers use reported speech in everyday conversations. This will give you a feel for how it works in natural English.
2. Read as much as possible in English. The more you read, the more exposure you will have to different grammatical structures, including reported speech.
3. Practise, practise, practise! Try to use reported speech as often as possible in your own writing and speaking. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
4. Seek help from a qualified teacher or tutor if you are struggling with reported speech. A good teacher will be able to explain the concept in a way that makes sense to you and give you plenty of opportunities to practise using it.
5. Sign up to our full digital English program and learn correctly.
One of the most difficult things about reported speech is that there are so many rules to remember. Students often get overwhelmed and give up before they even start. The good news is that there are some strategies you can use to make reported speech less daunting.
1. Start with the basics. Make sure you understand the basic rules of reported speech before you try to tackle more complex examples. Once you have a solid foundation, you can build on it and add more complexity.
2. Practice, practice, practice. The more you practice, the better you will become at understanding and using reported speech. Try reading aloud or listening to audio recordings of people speaking in reported speech. Then, compare what you heard to the original sentence to see how the meaning changed.
3. Pay attention to context clues. When you are trying to figure out what someone said in reported speech, pay attention to any context clues that may be present. This can help you narrow down the possibilities and make it easier to choose the correct option.
4. Take your time. Don’t be afraid to take your time when working with reported speech. It can be tricky, so it’s okay if it takes a little longer for you to comprehend it fully. Just keep at it and eventually you will get the hang of it!
Summary of Reported Speech in Adult Learning
When we talk about reported speech, we are referring to the act of retelling or repeating what someone else has said. This can be done verbatim, or in our own words. Either way, it is important to be accurate in order to communicate the original message effectively.
Reported speech is a challenging skill for many students, as it requires them to process and understand complex grammar rules. Additionally, it can be difficult to remember what was said verbatim, especially if there is a lot of information to take in. However, with some practice and guidance, students can improve their reported speech skills.
There are a few things that students can do to improve their reported speech skills. First, they should focus on understanding the grammar rules associated with this skill. Second, they should practice listening carefully and taking note of key points when someone is speaking. Finally, they should try to retell or repeat what was said as soon as possible after hearing it, while the information is still fresh in their mind. By following these tips, students can make great strides in mastering this important skill.
Thank you for reading!
This was written by me. Bryce Purnell, founder of Learn Laugh Speak.