Magoosh GRE

Teaching ESL Students

| October 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

In any teaching situation it is important to know which of your students have English as a second language (ESL), otherwise it’s easy to misunderstand someone’s circumstances. Teaching ESL students requires that you know what level they have reached in their English studies, so you will know what you can expect from them in a class, lecture, seminar or tutorial. You should have a good idea of their standard from the tests they will have completed before being accepted for the course, and you will also know from the results they have achieved from their previous educational establishment.

ESL students will not be the only students on the course who make grammatical mistakes, but care should be taken over how these mistakes are corrected. As grammar takes time to learn, even for native English speakers, you may wish to concentrate more on the quality of the answer or information given rather than the exactness of the grammar or spelling. A quiet discussion after the lesson may be in order to ensure the student is comfortable with the work and to find out what feedback on these issues would be of most help.

Take care when considering correcting an ESL student’s pronunciation in front of others. Academic subjects have their own language and it takes time for a student to get to grips with terminology and how to pronounce sometimes quite complex words. Again, a discussion after the class or lecture is finished will help the student get to grips with these complexities and should help lessen any embarrassment that might be felt.

If a student is motivated and not anxious about the tasks being set, the language will improve rapidly, so it is worth working on how to make your lectures, discussions and presentations easily understandable to those who are still developing their language skills. They are there on merit and will be willing to put in that extra work to ensure they are successful.

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Category: Articles & Advice

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