Handy tips for teaching ESL x 12
Do you have experience teaching English as a second language? Whether you are just starting or have been teaching for years, these twelve tips will help you create lessons that engage your students and help them learn the language. These ideas will help you make your ESL classes enjoyable and productive, from using games to keeping things interesting.
- Keep the lesson short
It might seem like adding more content would help students learn more, but this is not true. Instead of piling on the material, keep lessons short and sweet. This way, students can focus on one thing and get involved in the study programme.
Use the first 10 minutes. It’s best to start with a warm-up activity to get your students engaged in the lesson right away. Use the first 100 minutes of class for an energy-filled warm-up if you have time. This will give your students a chance to interact and communicate before starting on their learning goals.
Grammar is your friend. Make sure to mention grammar throughout the lesson. Try not to overwhelm students with too many new grammar rules at once. If you keep a few basic grammar rules in mind, the rest will fall into place naturally.
- Use games and other activities
Don’t spend all of your time in front of the board! Instead, use fun games and activities to help students learn their English vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. Not only will this keep your class more interesting, but it will also ensure that students work with the language in a way that reinforces what they have learned.
- Keep students engaged and entertained
Put yourself in your students’ shoes: if you were taking an English class, would you want to spend all your time watching videos? Probably not! Instead, use multimedia such as songs and short films to help change it up and keep students entertained.
- Try out new methods of teaching
Never stop looking for new and effective ways to teach your students. The best way to do this is to make sure you understand the different ways in which students learn. Some students work well with an auditory learning style, while others need a more visual approach and suchlike.
Use real-life scenarios in your lessons. We all know that the best way to learn a language is by using it. While this is true, many students are scared that they won’t use what they learn in class outside of it. Don’t be! Instead, find fun and engaging ways to use the language outside the classroom. For example, if you teach your students about the past tense, you could play a game where students have to describe what they did yesterday.
- Use specific language-learning strategies
To ensure that your students are successful English learners, be sure to teach them specific language learning strategies. These will allow your students to apply the skills they’ve learned in class, outside of it. Some useful approaches include the following:
– Using mnemonic devices to learn new words
– Learning words in context
– Making eye contact with others when speaking
- Challenge your students
Use games to teach new vocabulary and challenge your students with more difficult questions. This will help them learn the language and test their understanding of it simultaneously!
- Keep things short and simple
While you don’t want to bore your students or put forth too much information, you also don’t want to overwhelm them. Keep things short and simple so that your students can understand the lessons without too much trouble.
- Be consistent with pronunciation
This is very important if you are teaching English as a second language: be careful with how you pronounce words and speak! Your students can’t learn from what they don’t understand, so cautious pronunciation gives them the tools to succeed.
- Use visuals and gestures
Your students have a different perspective than you: while English might be their first language or even their second (if they are learning it), they may not be used to the same words and phrases that you are. Use visuals and gestures to help them understand the language in context, which will make it easier for them to put their new skills into practice with others.
- Simplify your lessons
Sometimes complicated examples are helpful, but they are confusing to students who are learning English as a second language. Try using simple words and phrases to help students better grasp the language.
- Don’t be afraid to use English around the classroom
While it’s good for students learning English as a second language to hear you speaking in their native tongue, sometimes this isn’t possible. If there is no other choice, don’t be afraid to speak English around the class! It will help students learn the language they are hearing and using, not to mention that it can be helpful for you too.
- Don’t forget about pronunciation
When pronouncing words, make sure to use correct stress, tone, and intonation. This is especially important when speaking with your ESL students because it can be harder to understand the language if you aren’t speaking clearly. For example, when teaching English learners about phrasal verbs, it’s important to stress the correct syllable when saying words such as “turn off.” Also, whenever you emphasize a word or phrase in your sentence, make sure to use the correct tone of voice.
English as a second language can be difficult to learn, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience with the right techniques. These twelve tips will help you make the most of your lessons and keep your students engaged and interested in learning.
About the writer: KC Raj is a career counsellor and recruiter with many years of experience. Interested in topics like human development, education, immigration, inequality, and many other international issues. Reachable at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kc-raj-kcr/