Even students with an aptitude for studying foreign languages are liable to hit the occasional roadblock when learning English. As one of the world’s most nuanced and complex languages, English is often difficult to master, especially when being learned as a second tongue. That being the case, it behooves English teachers to simplify the learning process whenever possible. This will help ensure that students don’t become overwhelmed by the material and are able to process lessons at a comfortable pace. Educators on the hunt for practical ESL tips can benefit from the following pointers.
Make Your Lessons Interactive
While some individuals learn best from rote memorization, most students require a certain level of interactivity to become fully engaged in language lessons. For starters, this means engaging in conversation drills at the beginning of each class. This will help students grow accustomed to basic questions and common forms of conversation and provide them with an incentive to review course material on a regular basis. Interactivity also means having your students act out basic scenarios in English. Examples include making purchases from stores, placing orders at restaurants and issuing invitations to social events. In addition to being a lot of fun, acting out these scenarios helps imbue students with the confidence to use English in their everyday lives.
Encourage Consistent Studying
Practice makes perfect, particularly when studying a foreign language. In order to achieve proficiency in English, most learners need to review vocabulary words and sentence structure on a daily basis. Of course, this isn’t to say that they’ll need to study excessively. In many cases, 20 to 30 minutes of study time per day is enough to enhance students’ understanding of course material. To provide additional incentive, make sure your daily drills correspond to the material the class is currently studying. Highly-rated textbooks, workbooks, and other ELL resources are sure to prove useful in this endeavor.
Don’t Skimp on Visual Aids
Although there are several exceptions to the rule, people are, by and large, visual learners. Visual aids are particularly helpful to language students, as they provide points of reference for new vocabulary words. As such, make a point of having props, photos and other visual aids handy when introducing new words to your class. This ensures that your students have clear-cut frames of reference for vocabulary words, which will ultimately make new terms easier to remember. Whether you’re teaching English to children, adults or a combination thereof, the aforementioned aids are an absolute must.
For many students, English is hard to learn – and even harder to master. However, despite the language’s plethora of complex elements, becoming proficient in English doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. When it comes to learning English as a second language, the right teacher can make all the difference, and a teacher who’s armed with the right knowledge can make the material considerably less daunting. ESL educators interested in creating an enjoyable, low-stress learning environment can do so with the previously discussed tips.