Teaching The Teacher To Improve Their English Lessons
Apr 14, 2009 Teacher Training 2274 Views
Think back to your own school days. Did you not learn better when you were excited about the material? In this article, we have some advice for English as a second language (ESL) teachers that will help them reach their students.
Your job as an educator begins before you even meet your students. As you plan your curriculum, think of ways to make the students want to learn English. Make your lessons exciting, visual and fun. This will engage your students.
You should also consider who the English as a second language (ESL) students are and the unique challenges that they face. When you meet them they may initially look at you like you have grown a second head. Don't worry! You may be the first English speaking schoolteacher they have ever met. Give them time to get to know you.
Foreign students often do not get an opportunity to practice their English skills at home, which makes your job more challenging. It helps to get bilingual friends or family involved in the English lessons. The most important thing that you can do as a teacher is make the course material engaging. English lessons can include a lot of repetition and this can be quite monotonous.
To make your syllabus more interesting, show your students how it will benefit them in the real world. Incorporating an array of various life situations among English learners increases the level of motivation.
Use skits to show students how to order a coffee. Play Bingo to practice letters and numbers or use the lyrics of a hit song to teach them new words. These are all effective teaching strategies because it engages the student and makes the material more memorable.
As you are going through a lesson, check periodically to make sure that your students are in fact comprehending the material. Don't just ask them, as they may be afraid or embarrassed to admit that they are struggling with the lesson or language proficiency. Ask some friendly but pointed questions to make sure they are absorbing the lesson.
For instance, if you are learning the names of animals, ask someone if they've ever seen a lion or a tiger in the zoo before. If you are learning colors, go around the group and ask them to say what their favorite color is. Personalize the question so that it is relevant to each individual. This often encourages group discussions which is a wonderful atmosphere for learning.
Coming up with new and innovative ways to teach course material is part of a teacher's job. Instead of having a students repeat their vocabulary ad nauseam, find a game to play or show them how the word is used in the real world. This will help them put their new language into perspective and really gain the knowledge that they need to speak English fluently in the real world.