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3 Major Problems Facing Students in Classes of Different Nationalities

3 Major Problems Facing Students in Classes of Different Nationalities | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Imagine yourself in a country with people who do not speak the same language as you. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to be around people who you do not understand nor do they understand you? Try to put yourself in the shoes of the many students who move to a country and have to learn a new language.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Virna B.

Learning to communicate only in English

When students arrive in a new country they are faced with many challenges. One of the problems they face is learning to speak the native language of the country where they reside. When students are in a multilingual classroom with various nationalities, the students must learn to use only the English language. In order to help the students learn English the teacher can use a variety of teaching tools such as a flashcard or a dictionary to achieve this goal. Using a flashcard with a picture on it will provide a visual description for the student while the dictionary will help the student look up the meaning, pronunciation and usage of a particular word.

Also read: Differences in Teaching Monolingual and Multilingual EFL Groups

Becoming bored and losing focus

A second potential problem is that a student may become bored in the classroom and cannot focus nor pay attention to the lesson. This problem may arise because the teacher has failed to engage the students in any meaningful question-and-answer class discussion. If the teacher does not make the lesson fun and enjoyable, the students will not be motivated to continue learning. A teacher must be able to provide students with clear directions and explanations to any lesson. In order to assist students to be more eager to learn a new language, the teacher can incorporate a variety of teaching methods. One method that would improve the effectiveness of his or her teaching ability is the ESA method.

ESA stands for Engage, Study, and Activate. Using this teaching method will keep the students interested, motivated and eager to learn. In these three phases a number of activities can be employed to get the students involved in the learning process. They also help students demonstrate how much of the information they have retained, showing the depth of their understanding of each concept and allowing the students to put to practice what they have learned. As teachers the goal is to equip our students to do their best by implementing these methods in our lessons.

Also read: 7 Alternatives to Boring English Worksheets

Overcoming shyness

Lastly, some students are shy or timid by nature and do not feel comfortable participating in front of a classroom. In this case the teacher needs to be familiar with her student’s behavior by being sensitive and alert to their feelings. The teacher should be able to identify with each student’s weak points and strong points in order to tailor his or her lessons to assist their student’s needs. The instructor should avoid putting any students on the spot. Instead the teacher should help each student benefit by putting them into small groups or pairs with those they are comfortable working with to develop the confidence they need to speak the language fluently.

Also read: The Benefits of Having Good Rapport with Students

In conclusion, the relationship between a teacher and student is very important because the teacher is the driving force of the classroom. The teacher has to make sure that each student feels comfortable about learning and is nurtured during their learning experience as they acquire the necessary skills to be proficient in the language that they will be using. The way the teacher makes good use of different teaching techniques and methods available to them in the classroom will prove beneficial in motivating the students to want to learn, and as teachers this is the goal we would like to achieve.

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