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Effective Ways To Teach Reported Speech To Your Students Complete Guide

Posted on 3rd January 2023

We are using reported speech in our daily life without even realizing it! When we are passing on someone’s information, messages, or we are repeating someone’s statement that’s what reported speech is.

However, as a TEFL teacher, it’s quite a task to teach reported speech to non-native students. Because the responsibility is not just to teach reported speech but they need to make students understand How or when do we use reported speech in different circumstances.

In addition, if you are planning to teach English abroad as a TEFL teacher then we recommend our certificate in teaching with specialization in TEFL/TESOL program, which will not just make you an apt teacher for teaching abroad but you will also be able to deal with all kind of challenges which you might face with confidence.

Let’s get to know everything about reported speech and how you can teach reported speech in a different engaging way:

What is Reported speech?

Reported speech which is also known as Indirect speech means when you or someone else around you said something earlier and you might state that statement in your own words in front of an individual or group of people in present.

Reported speech can be delivered in multiple scenarios like when you’re telling someone about some events, stories, you’ve heard something somewhere, describing something that someone said, etc.

An individual has two choices when they want to repeat a statement of other people either they use Direct speech or Indirect speech (Reported speech).

In Direct speech, individual needs to say the exact word-by-word in the quoted statements from other people. Whereas, in Indirect speech, the person can change the conversation from 1st person to 3rd person and can change tenses.

Let’s understand with a small example:

Direct speech: “How will they get here?”

Indirect speech: She asked me how they would get here.

Now we get the idea of what Reported speech is. Let’s get to know how you can teach your students about Reported speech and When do we use reported speech?

1. Start with basics:

First, start teaching your students about the basic differences between Direct and Indirect or Reported speech. Write on your board a few examples of it in the following sequence:


Direct Speech: He said, “I live in Kolkata.”

Indirect speech: He said he lived in Kolkata.


Direct Speech: She said, “She finished her homework”.

Indirect Speech: She said she had finished her homework.


Direct Speech: She said, “She will be there at 4 pm.

Indirect Speech: She said she would be there at 4 pm.

2. Teach requesting and order expressions:

Once they get a grasp of the basics, start teaching them requesting and ordering real-life examples by using Direct and Indirect speech.


Direct Speech: "Could you please be quiet," she said.

Indirect speech: She asked me to be quiet.


Direct Speech: Submit your homework before Wednesday, please.

Indirect Speech: She asked us to submit the homework before Wednesday.


Direct Speech: She said, "Eat your lunch now!"

Indirect Speech: She told the boy to eat his lunch right then.

3. Teach Time and place expressions statements:

Teach your student to change time and place expressions with the help of Reported speech.


Direct Speech: I’m travelling to Kolkata today.

Indirect speech: He told me he was travelling to Kolkata that day.


Direct Speech: Meet me here at 7 pm.

Indirect Speech: She told me to meet her there at 7 pm.


Direct Speech: She said, "Her mother was there"

Indirect Speech: She said that her mother was there.

4. Teach reporting verbs statements:

As a TEFL teacher, you already know that there are various forms of tenses but mainly there are Present, Past, and Future Tenses. Make sure you teach your students to report verbs in each tense and in their different forms as well. Such as-

Ex-1(Past Continuous Tense):

Direct Speech: Mother said to me, “I was cooking delicious food for you.”

Indirect speech: Mother told me that she had been cooking delicious food for me.

Ex-2(Future Continuous Tense):

Direct Speech: The girl said, “They will have been waiting for me.”

Indirect Speech: The girl said they would have been waiting for me.

Ex-3(Past Perfect Continuous Tense):

Direct Speech: He said, "I had been living in Kolkata"

Indirect Speech: He said that he had been living in Kolkata.

Final thoughts:

Teaching as a TEFL teacher in a foreign land itself is a daunting task and when it’s time to teach Reported speech to non-native English-speaking students then it’s become quite a task.

However, as a TEFL teacher, you are prepared for it, you just need to make sure to teach them How and When do we use reported speech? However, make sure to teach them in a relevant context so that they can understand better and make them practice more often as well.

In addition, if you’re still thinking about becoming a TEFL teacher then we recommend our Certificate in Teaching with specialization in TEFL/TESOL Program which is being curated with help of modern teaching methods which will give you an edge over other TEFL teachers.

Written By : Abhishek

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