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What Are the Best Tips for Teaching English as a Second Language?

Vocabulary cards can be used for learning English.
People who are learning English as a second language (ESL) often enroll in immersion courses.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Some of the best tips to help an English as a second language instructor prove more effective in the classroom are those that recommend speaking slowly and evenly as well as those that suggest taking multiple approaches to teaching. A person may also benefit from tips that suggest using English for the majority of discussions and instruction time and making students feel comfortable when they participate. Additionally, encouraging students to help each other may prove beneficial for both the student who needs help and the student who provides the help.

One thing to remember about teaching English as a second language is that speaking loudly to students probably won't help them learn the language. Often, people are tempted to do this, but speaking a different language has nothing to do with a person's hearing. Instead of speaking louder, an instructor may do well to speak evenly and clearly. Such an approach is more likely to prove effective when it comes to language instruction.

An instructor may also benefit from tips that involve multiple approaches when it comes to teaching English as a second language. For example, an instructor might use both textbooks and work texts to teach this language, but using other types of instruction approaches may make teaching time more effective. For example, an instructor could use learning games and songs to help students grasp their lesson concepts. Computer software and videos may also help round out lessons and keep them interesting.

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Speaking English as much as possible during class time may also prove important when a person is teaching English as a second language. The more exposure to the English language a student has, the faster he will likely be to pick up the nuances of the language. Likewise, he might learn new words more effectively when he hears them in discussion. In such a case, a student may learn new words by deciphering their meanings based on the context in which they are used.

Another good tip for teaching English as a second language is to be mindful of a student's feelings when teaching. If a student is forced to speak when he does not feel ready, he may become embarrassed and feel reluctant to participate in the future. This will probably not help him to reach his educational goals in a timely manner. Instead, it is often better to encourage participation by making everyone in the class feel comfortable when participating and ensuring them it is okay to make mistakes.

An English as a second language instructor may also benefit from tips that involve encouraging students to help each other. For example, if one student is struggling, another student may agree to help him after class. This serves two purposes. It helps ensure that the student who is struggling gets the tutoring he needs, but it can also help the student who assists him gain a further grasp of the material simply because he must help another person understand it.

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