15 Tips on How to Teach English as a Foreign Language

Looking for new ideas to teach English as a foreign language course? While you may have studied an ESL teaching course, sometimes there’s more to learn than through your textbook.

Classrooms all over the United States are slowly increasing with the diverse number of students whose primary language is not English.

In 2009, 10% of the school population of students was identified to have limited proficiency in English. To help assist ESL in new learning concepts, educators must understand the concepts of the language.

Here are fifteen tips on how to teach English as a foreign language.

Understand your students

It is important to gain a full knowledge and understanding of who your students are as well as their backgrounds and experience in education. If your student has been studying English for several years or several days, allow them to help you gain a better understanding of their educational needs and support them.

Acknowledge their emotional and social needs

The key to learning more about the students and their needs is to understanding their backgrounds. Chances are, they live with extended relatives, have siblings to care for, or even have jobs to help support their families. In these cases, homework assignments will not be their priority.

Students must follow the SWRL during every class session

The Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening of the language must be exercised daily in all areas. This assures that students will use all domains of the English language to support their development.

Increase your understanding of the ESL proficiency

Academic English language proficiency and Social English language proficiency differ in many ways. Students may be more proficient academically and weak socially.

Use authentic manipulative and visuals

These can often be under- or over-used. However, using authentic resources such as menus, photographs, schedules and letters can help enhance the comprehension of content concepts.

Use strategies that match the proficiency in language

Understand the level of English language proficiency your students are academically functioning. Keep in mind that not all strategies for language proficiency are appropriate for language learners of all levels. Using the most suitable strategies will take time and make learning more efficient.

Collaborate with other teachers

Seek support and work with other teachers who may teach ELS. Veterans in teaching may have suggestions and resources that support English developments that you may not have. Create and sustain a professional English teaching community that strives to help students reach success.

Use Dictionaries

Teaching your students to use dictionaries is necessary for every level. Encourage students to look up work they don’t understand. This will make it more likely to remember as you can be sure that they will understand the meaning of the word.

Jigsaw reading

Pair up students to work on connected textures. Have each student read and the other cites a summary of the text.

Have Grammar races

Ask students to find an example of a certain grammar point or synonym for work. This exercise will help them think on the spot without having time to search through their textbooks.

You don’t need to stick to a set lesson plan

While this may sound shocking for some, many things are bound to happen during class time. Students will finish activities faster or slower than expected. Some lessons will be easy while others will be tough for them to understand. Staying flexible than stick to a rigid program is important.

Every student is different

This may be an obvious tip. However, most teachers tend to forget this when they teach. Learn more about your students, their learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. Try to create a variety of exercises that suit the styles of students in the class.

Encourage students

While error correction is essential to learning, correcting every mistake can destroy the confidence of the student. Praise great work and never degrade a student. Once they feel degraded, they will ultimately lose motivation.

Give homework

While you can’t force students to do their assignments, you can provide them with a choice to advance their responsibility. Just be sure to mark the homework immediately instead of leaving it on hiatus for weeks at a time.

Have fun!

If you show your students that you enjoy teaching your lessons, they will too. Showing positivity to learning will only spread throughout the classroom and make reading much more enjoyable.

Follow these top fifteen tips to make your lessons in English more productive, creative, unique and progressive. These tips will guide you towards the students’ path to learning success.