Teach ESL to Beginners:
In this Article we will discuss how to teach esl to beginners. Teaching English as a second language to beginners is a demanding task for anyone. Regardless of your level of education or experience, you will always face new challenges when teaching English as a second language to people. Even when you teach other subjects, you will notice that each student learns differently. At the same time, depending on each learner’s mother tongue, you will face new barriers specific to that language. However, with a little effort and some knowledge, you can acquire the skills you will need to teach English as a second language to beginners.
Teaching the basics
Start with the alphabet and numbers.
This is one of the first things you should teach your students. In fact, everything they will learn will be based on these basics.
- Let them learn the alphabet to some extent. You can start with the letter a and stop with the letter m, and then continue. Make sure that you finish learning the alphabet at a pace that suits you and the students best. The idea is to encourage them to progress without putting too much pressure on them.
- Teach them the numbers. You can use the same method you use with the alphabet, starting with 1 and progressing as the students’ skills develop. You can design cards and distribute them to the learners so that they can learn to write the letters or numbers.
- Use cards to reinforce the lesson. Write a word on the cards starting with each letter of the alphabet.
- Learning the alphabet is obviously easier for learners whose mother tongue uses the Latin alphabet.
Teach pronunciation, especially of the more difficult sounds.
This is extremely important when you want to teach English as a second language. Try to focus on sounds that are particularly complex for non-native speakers, such as Th, R and L.
- The Th sound (as in words theater or thing) is present in very few languages. As a result, many non-native speakers (for example, those who speak Romance or Slavic languages) have difficulty pronouncing them.
- The R sound is also complex for many students learning English as a second language. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that it is pronounced differently in different regional dialects.
- The L sound also remains difficult to pronounce for some learners, especially those from East Asia.
Teach them the names. After teaching the alphabet and numbers, move on to names, which is one of the easiest subjects to learn. In fact, everything around us gives us the opportunity to expand our vocabulary.
Start with the objects we use in class.
- Then move on to the objects most often found in the city, such as bus, home, tree, road, etc.
- Continue with the objects that students use every day such as food, electronic devices, etc.
Teach them verbs and adjectives. After nouns, the next step is to teach your students the verbs and adjectives in English. These are crucial to learning how to build complete sentences (both written and oral).
- The main function of adjectives is to modify or describe other words. Some examples are: wild, silly, troubled and agreeable.
- The main function of verbs is to describe an action. Some examples of verbs in English are: to speak, to talk, and to pronounce.
- You need to make sure your students understand the difference between verbs and adjectives. If they do not understand their function, they will not be able to express themselves or formulate sentences well.
- Spend more time on irregular verbs. The verb to go is an excellent example of an irregular verb. In the past tense, it becomes went and its past participle is gone.
Explain tenses and articles. After you have taught them nouns, verbs and adjectives, you need to talk about tenses and articles. If they do not understand their proper use, they will not be able to construct a complete sentence.
Teach them some common expressions. To teach English even more effectively, invite students to practice and use common expressions. It is important that they do this, otherwise the literal meaning of words will not be enough to understand the meaning of many commonly used phrases.
- You should encourage them to repeat (and use) these expressions until they can use them naturally in their conversations.
- Start with phrases like never mind, no doubt, or make believe.
- Provide them with a list of common expressions that they will need to use in everyday life.
Teach them how to construct simple sentences. After teaching them the alphabet, verbs, adjectives, tenses and articles, you must teach them to build a simple sentence. This is very important because it provides a foundation that will help your students develop not only writing skills, but also reading skills. Teach them the five main patterns that control sentence construction in English.
- Subject, verb. A sentence built on this model is very simple, and consists of a subject followed by a verb. Example: The Dog runs.
- Subject, verb, complement. A sentence built on this model is composed of a subject, followed by a verb, then a complement. Example: John eats pizza.
- Subject, verb, adjective. A sentence built on this model is composed of a subject, a verb and an adjective. Example: The puppy is cute.
- Subject, verb, adjective. This type of sentence is composed of a subject, followed by a verb and then an adverb. Example: The lion is there.
- Subject, verb, noun. A sentence built on this model is composed of a subject, a verb and a noun. Example: Emmanuel is a philosopher.
Adopting good habits
Encourage them to speak only English in class. One of the most effective ways to make it easier for your learners to learn the language of Shakespeare is to encourage them to speak only English in class. In this way, they will be forced to make better use of what they have learned in order to become proficient in English. In addition, it allows you to optimize your work schedule and provides students with opportunities to learn.
- This method is most effective if you have students who have already acquired basic skills (knowing how to ask simple questions, learn to greet, know the alphabet and numbers).
- When a student makes a mistake, correct it appropriately.
- Always encourage your students.
- This method is very effective when you invite students to repeat something after you, or to answer a question. For example, you can say something or ask them a question. In this way, they will have the opportunity to answer in English.
- Don’t be too strict. If a student has difficulty and tries to say something in French, do not embarrass them. Listen to their concerns
Give your instructions orally and in writing. When explaining an activity or giving instructions on assignments, exercises or presentations, you should always do so orally and in writing. This will allow students to hear your words and write them down at the same time. This will help them associate a word with its corresponding image, and improve their pronunciation.
- Before explaining an activity, print out the instructions and distribute them to the students. If you are teaching online, send them by e-mail before you start the course.
Constantly monitor the progress of the students. No matter what lesson or activity you do with them, you should constantly assess your learners’ progress. This will give you an idea of their progress and whether they are struggling or not.
- If you are teaching in a classroom, walk around a bit and talk to the students to see if they are having problems.
- If you teach online, send messages or e-mails to learners, asking them if they need help.
- Try to be as available as possible when students are doing classroom activities or other work.
Adopt different learning methods. Varying learning styles allows you to teach English much more effectively. This diversity is important because every student is different and learns at his or her own pace.
- Encourage them to respond in writing.
- Encourage them to read.
- Encourage them to listen to you.
- Try to promote all of these ways of learning in an equitable way.
Take short breaks during your classes. If you are teaching beginners or very young students, try to do several 10-minute sessions in each class to stimulate their attention. At the same time, don’t overwhelm them.
- You don’t need to do exactly 10 minutes. Feel free to shorten these sessions if it helps.
- Each session should be different. This will help refresh their memory and stimulate their attention.
- Make daily changes to your short sessions. Try to add as much variety as possible to your sessions to keep your students focused and motivated.
Study English and enjoy yourself simultaneously.
Use games to reinforce concepts. With games, students can learn while having fun and trying to learn new things.
- Try quizzes to get them to compete.
- If you want them to collaborate, you can divide them into teams and give them a quiz.
- Use cards for memory games or riddles. For example, show them a card with a clue and invite them to guess the correct answer.
Use visual means to teach. This is particularly important to improve their ability to make word associations. This will help your students associate words learned in class with pictures. Here are some visual aids you could use to teach English.
- Pictures and photographs.
- Comic books. They are particularly useful because they combine images and text.
Encourage the use of English language learning applications. Integrating the use of mobile applications into your courses is another effective way to teach English. Applications are very useful for reinforcing concepts learned in class, as your students could use them to practice their language skills or learn new words and phrases.
- Many specific language learning applications are available for all operating systems.
- Many of them, such as Duolingo, are free.
- Some applications offer the possibility to collaborate with other learners.
Use social networks. Social networks are a great way to teach English to beginners. They offer the opportunity to discover colloquial expressions and commonly used words. They also give students the opportunity to see how the language is used in practice and to practise.
- Explain a new expression in each lesson. Choose familiar expressions or commonly used idioms and explain them.
- Invite learners to follow celebrities on Twitter and translate their tweets.
- Create a group on a social network and invite students to share news, explain it or translate it into English.
- Try to deepen your knowledge by taking courses lasting a month or even a week. This will help you to better acquire basic knowledge, new ideas and techniques in teaching. Training courses are available everywhere.
- Always try to have enough resources before you set foot in the classroom.
- Prepare in advance all the materials you will need for your classes. You can also use other materials if you need them. You may be able to complete some textbooks faster than you expected. Some materials may not be of interest to the students, and you will need to spend a lot of time on them, even 10 minutes.