Top What can I do to make it easier for the esl students in my classes? This is an essential question and there are many answers. For example, take a look at the list of suggestions made by the esl students themselves in response to the question, and check out the list of guidelines for mainstream teachers. It is vital to ensure that esl students can make sense of what you say in class. For this reason it is helpful if you are aware of the ways in which you can improve their chances of understanding what they hear. See the advice sheet Helping esl students understand what you say for detailed suggestions on this topic.
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Top Why don't my esl students look at me when I'm talking to them? For some esl students direct eye contact with a teacher is considered disrespectful and could be construed as a challenge to the teacher's authority. This is the reason that Asian students in particular may avoid looking the teacher in the eye, especially when being reprimanded. Another esl student behaviour that is sometimes misinterpreted is the brusqueness of their language; for example: "you shut the window! or "give me 10 Euros." In most cases this is not rudeness or lack of cooperation but simply a manifestation of their limited English. It is a luxury of native or proficient speakers of English to express their feelings and requests politely, since politeness is usually conveyed in grammatically complex language: "I'm feeling cold. Would you mind shutting the window? "I was wondering if I might possibly be able to borrow 10 Euros." Top How can I judge if a task or assignment will be too difficult for esl students? A very useful way of determining the difficulty of a task is to refer to the model propounded by Professor. Esl teachers are also very happy to advise on the likely difficulty of an assignment for any particular student or groups of students. My advice sheet Helping esl students understand what hope they read contains suggestions on how to assess the difficulty to esl students of written language.
If you see a student overusing her dictionary you might ask her what word she was looking up and try yourself, or ask another student, to give her an oral explanation. Alternatively, a compatriot could help her in her mother tongue. See my advice to students on the effective use of dictionaries. Top How can I help my esl students learn English as well as my subject? The most important advice is: make it comprehensible! If you do this, the esl students will not only learn your subject but English as well. Read more on the the theory of comprehensible input. Professor Krashen, who developed this theory and who in my opinion has the most coherent apple and convincing account of language learning, has postulated that language is acquired, both in the language and the mainstream classroom, when the student is motivated by the task, feels low. If such conditions prevail, then there is no filter or barrier preventing the natural acquisition of language - provided that the input is comprehensible, interesting and relevant.
Learning to use a dictionary accurately and effectively is not an easy skill, and many students take a long time finding a word, especially if they are trying to guess its spelling. They may often fail to locate the correct translation of the hundreds of words that have more than one meaning. If the prop of using the dictionary is to be discouraged, however, it is essential that the teacher makes an effort to make his or her spoken language comprehensible. (see my advice sheet on this topic.) It is also useful if the teacher can write key words on the board so that the student can look them up later in the lesson, or at home with the parents' help. The above advice refers to the use of a dictionary while a teacher is speaking to the class. The situation is a little different if the student is working individually on an assignment, when looking up words will not distract her attention from the teacher. Once again, however, it is undesirable if it is happening too often.
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Stronger students can quickly explain to less proficient students what the latter have not understood or what they have to do - this frees the teacher from constantly needing to check on the progress of the weaker student, allowing the teacher to devote enough attention. It can be distracting to everyone, however, if an esl student is trying to do a simultaneous translation of what you thesis are saying while you are saying. It is helpful therefore if the lesson contains a number of natural breaks in which less proficient students can be helped to understand the important points you have made or what they have to do next. In general, it is worth noting how important it is for students to be able to discuss their work in their own language. This not only helps to develop their understanding of the topic, but also serves to develop their mother tongue proficiency. There is more ellen on this in my advice to parents about what they can do to help their child at home. There is one more point to make: it can be very useful if you yourself speak the native language of an esl student in your class.
You can then use the language to facilitate or check the student's understanding of a task or explanation. It is good for the student's self-esteem to know that you have learned and value her language. Top Should i encourage esl students to use their dictionaries in my lesson? There are times in lessons when it is essential that a student understands a word in order that what comes next makes sense. On such occasions a quick search in the dictionary can be helpful (or alternatively, a compatriot might be able to provide the translation.) In general, however, students should be discouraged from looking up too many words in class, for two main reasons. Firstly, it does not allow them to develop the essential skill of trying to understand words in context; and secondly, it cuts them off from what you say next.
Even if you are sure that the student in question can take a joke, there may be others of the same nationality in the class who would be offended. Top, should I correct an esl student's spelling mistakes? As with grammar, it may on occasion be appropriate to draw attention to spelling mistakes. It is reasonable to expect students to spell correctly the keywords in an assignment. If for example they are writing a homework about the water cycle, they should be corrected on mistakes in words such as evaporation, condensation etc.
It may also be helpful to draw their attention to mistakes in common words that they always get wrong. The student's esl teacher will of course be aware of the problem, and if it is really severe will have suggested ways for the student to practice spelling common words correctly -. By doing the spelling exercises on this site. Top Should I let esl students talk in their native language in my classroom? It depends what they're talking about! This is not intended to be a flippant answer. Most teachers will justifiably object to esl students engaging in a general chat in their own language during lesson time. This excludes the teacher and other students, and switches the students off from the focus of the lesson. However, there are occasions where it can be quite acceptable for a student to speak his or her own language.
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Understanding mistakes in written language. The consequences of focusing on grammar at the expense of communication. Top, should I correct an esl student's pronunciation mistakes? Students are usually even more sensitive about their pronunciation than their grammar, so be very careful how you deal with such problems. If possible, it is probably better to pretend you have understood rather than ask the student to repeat himself 3 or 4 times or ask another student what he meant. You could always ask him again in private after biography the lesson; and help him to a correct pronunciation of important subject-specific vocabulary. It is very important that you do not allow other students to mock esl students for their pronunciation or imitate their accents. And of course, you should never be tempted to do so yourself.
However, written work can generally be corrected without causing the student embarrassment in front of his or her peers, and you may well wish to draw attention to one or two of the grammatical mistakes that could interfere with understanding. It is also not unreasonable, for example, to expect the verbs in a piece of writing about a historical event to be in the past tense. Consider asking the student what kind of feedback he or she would like. Some students may welcome the chance to focus on their grammar mistakes with a view for to eradicating them in future pieces of written work. Other students, however, will just completely ignore your corrections - and you can save your precious grading time! In general, it is worth pointing out that errors are a natural part of the language learning process. Students who are made to feel that mistakes should be avoided at all costs are likely to become inhibited and learn less quickly.
will stay here for one more year. In these circumstances, it is acceptable to ask for elucidation and to help them if they do not know the correct way to express their idea. An indirect way to give corrective feedback is to provide the student with a model answer. So, for example, if he says: Columbus find America in 1492, you could reply: Yes, you're right. That's when he discovered America. There is conflicting research evidence as to whether this kind of feedback is effective, so it's best not to overdo. As for written work, once again it is important that feedback is concentrated on the content quality of the answer rather than on its grammatical accuracy. It is discouraging for students who have worked hard to give a good answer to have their work covered in red ink for mistakes that are peripheral to the main purpose of the assignment. There is also the danger that they may get the message that surface accuracy is more important than conveying ideas or showing understanding.
This will give you some idea how much English they know and will help you to have realistic expectations of what they will be able to understand and do book in your lessons. Marking the names of the esl students in your grade book,. Using an asterisk and a number for their level, is a good way to identify these students. Many teachers also note down the name of the esl teacher of each esl student. This can facilitate the liaison that is a very important aspect of our joint efforts to support esl children as effectively as possible. Top, should I correct an esl student's grammar mistakes? Students who answer questions in class are working hard to show what they know or have understood and so they are usually not receptive to any feedback on the grammatical accuracy of their message. Moreover, it would probably embarrass them to have their mistakes corrected in front of the rest of the class.
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Who is this faq for? The primary audience for this faq are the mainstream (i.e. Non-esl) teachers at Frankfurt International School. For this reason some of the answers are related to the particular year situation at fis. Some of the links (e.g. To internal documents) will not work outside of the school's intranet. Most of the advice, however, will be of use to mainstream teachers of esl students in any school situation. Top, what's the most important thing I should know about the esl students I teach? It is essential to know which of the non-native students in your class are esl students and what level of esl they are.