ESL Learning Methods
Jun 16, 2014 English as a Second Language (ESL) 4948 Views
There are 8 main ESL learning methods:
These learning methods are; active, reflective, visual, verbal, sequential, global, intuitive and sensing.
Active Learners learn best by being involved in the lesson. This means having lots of discussions in class. It also means that the teacher must give active learners a chance to participate. When studying, it is advisable for active learners to make their own ESL study notes and then have a discussion with friends and family members.
People who are reflective learners need time to think about the material. Often, understanding will not happen immediately. However, reflective learners can still do very well in examinations, because they have taken time to prepare and study. Most often, reflective learners do a lot of study in their heads through thinking about things themselves. Teachers must not push reflective learners into big group discussions or speaking tasks too soon. Reflective learners are often quiet observers. When studying, reflective learners are best to look at the text book, remember and think about what was taught and what types of questions could be in the exam.
Visual learners need to have things in picture and graph form. Some visual learners can remember just words on a page. But usually the words have to be put in some sort of order such as a macrologue/ brainstorm map. Visual ESL learners are encouraged to make such maps of their lessons at home or in class. Teachers need to also provide graphs where appropriate and test that understanding is deeper than rote learning/ memorisation. Visual learners also need to remember to think critically and not just rely on memorisation alone.
Verbal Learners remember words that are spoken to them. So they are good listeners. Verbal learners like to listen to the teacher whilst reading. Reading alone is not as effective. When studying ESL, verbal learners can study with a partner or family member to learn. Verbal learners can write dialogue which their partner or family member can read to them to help them study.
Sequential ESL learners need to see logical steps from topic to topic. They can benefit by asking teachers for a table of contents or curricula to help make learning more sequential and logical. Studying in the order of learning topics is useful at first. However, sequential ESL learners must remember to study the topics that are most difficult to them, and not stay too rigidly to the topics list/ order because most ESL tests combine topics in a non-sequential order.
Global learners need to see how topics relate to the world around them. Global learners must have the opportunity to partake in real life or in class activities that are situational (real life). For instance, just reading about small talk is not the same as going up to meet a new person and practicing small talk with them.
These learners benefit from creative activities. Anything involving the creative arts mixed with English will help. For instance, drawing a picture about a topic or listening to an English song. Even the act of teaching English to someone else will help intuitive learners as teaching is a creative process too.
Sensing learners need to have facts. It is not enough to show them how. Sensing ESL learners need to know why. They also need rules, guidelines and boundaries for learning. Giving out a course description with what will be taught and offering the chance for discussion as to why it is being taught will help. Also, outlining marking criteria and course expectations are important. ESL students who don't feel these are addressed by their teachers need to ask questions such as "May I please have a course outline?" or "May you please write a rule for that?"
Next time you're in class notice the way you learn best and try to use that way to learn faster. Maybe you need to use a combination of different learning methods. Don't be afraid to ask your teacher for additional homework and activities that appeal to your learning methods.