6 Classroom Helps to Getting ESL Students Communicate
ESL students often have a deep- rooted fear to communicate in English
Imagine living in a word of dead silence so one’s allowed to speak or else the tongue gets slashed. Hopeless? Yes and horrible too. Most ESL students may see themselves trapped in this world.
I was once a student of French and I’m just glad that was over. Getting buried in the rubbles day after day and class after class was one great ordeal I don’t want to look back to. Oral examinations were hell. I wanted to shout HELP!
Language acquisition brings with it enormous struggles from memorizing vocabulary to getting a message across.
When I became a language teacher, I get a little frustrated to have so many things to teach yet not knowing how.
Not trying my best to reach out to my students is a disservice to them more so a failure on my part.
Learning how to communicate in English doesn’t have to be bloody. No Jason and Freddy Krueger. I promise!
Here are a 6 easy classroom helps to make ESL students communicate better:
1. Teach basic greetings
To someone who’s learning a language for the first time, getting familiar with basic greetings means a lot. This is actually the first step toward starting out a conversation. Being able to say “good morning”, “how do you do?” give an extra shot of confidence to students.
2. Provide group activities
A group work makes ESL students interact in the language. I hear people say they are not comfortable completing tasks in groups. In learning a new language, though, working with someone makes the process productive and less tedious. Simple dialogues and vocabulary exercises will do. Some students may feel at ease learning with a mate other than the teacher. Be sure to limit the number of persons in a group. Too many members may leave behind other students. This defeats the purpose of group activities.
3. Use visuals and concrete examples
“A picture paints a thousand words”, the famous adage says.
Pictures, props, charts and gestures to name a few reinforce language building. A student, for instance, could better remember the word “pleasant” when he sees a picture of a woman smelling flowers. Bringing fresh flowers in class may also do. As teachers, we need to know that the whole learning process is only completed when students’ senses have been explored to the maximum potential.
4. Highlight keywords
One way to make ESL students feel at ease is to highlight key terms in a sentence. Put emphasis on nouns, verbs and adjectives. By doing this, ideas become crystal clear.
The simple sentence She was taking care of her brother could be chopped to highlight only the words “She”, “care”, and “brother”. Through these three keywords, an ESL student can paint a picture of the situation. This technique is especially helpful to students who learn effectively through visualization. Don’t forget to speak a little slow and enunciate words properly.
5. Communicate consistently
Establish a habit of doing English exercises both inside the classroom and outside. For parents who can speak English, you may advise them to do reinforcements with their young ESL students at home.
Set a specific schedule for each activity. After some time, you will be surprised at how your students act naturally in class because they already know what to do next.
Always find opportunities to speak with your students without necessarily correcting grammar flaws. Set the mood for a smooth and relaxed sharing.
6. Give personalized teaching and feedback
Personalizing feedback encourages the student to work hard.
Students have unique needs even if they belong to one proficiency level. The teacher must be mindful of the biases and cultural backgrounds students have.
A tailor-fit lesson plan makes ESL students feel the teacher’s utmost dedication. It’s amazing how a student could personally track learning progress by simply checking out the learning milestones set by the teacher.
Our students become so part of us that their success becomes ours too. Making them effective English speakers would definitely not gonna hurt. Don’t you think?