Magoosh GRE

Understanding and Meeting the Needs of ESL Students

| October 17, 2011 | 0 Comments

Anyone who has been on holiday to a foreign country and doesn’t speak, or barely speaks the language, will know how daunting it can be for students coming to the UK who speak English as a second language (ESL).  As a teacher, if you have ESL students on your course, it is important to understand what their needs are and how to meet them.

An ESL student who has come from abroad specifically to study at a UK university or college may have different needs to a student who may have lived in the country for a time but whose primary language is not English. Distinguishing between these differences is helpful because someone who has lived in the country for some time may be much more aware of the customs of the culture and how its laws and regulations work. Those in the UK for the first time are likely to find the initial experience bewildering, which is why access to advice and support networks is key.

ESL students from overseas are at an educational institution on merit. They will have had good results at their former institution and also passed appropriate tests in English before they arrive to study. So, students understand the concepts of the studies to be undertaken, and can learn to explore, argue and discuss the development of their subject.

As their teacher or support officer, you will want to look for ways to make the integration process as easy as possible, without being patronising. Direct students towards all the avenues of advice that are open to them, in particular websites that give a step-by-step introduction to the issues they need to understand and deal with. Providing a supportive atmosphere will ensure that the student is not only able to make a real contribution to university life, but be settled and happy whilst living in the country.


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Category: Articles & Advice

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