Teaching Special Groups in ESL - Top 10 Tips When Teaching Beginners
Regardless of which type of beginner class you are teaching here are my top ten tips for the teaching of beginners.
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1: Keep it simple
The first thing is to keep it simple, you have to remember when teaching beginners that your language level has to be at the same level or at most slightly above theirs, otherwise they're not going to understand you.
2: Be visual not verbal
One of the ways in which we can reduce that language level down to its lowest possible value is to be visual rather than verbal. Certainly at the starter level and within all levels in fact visual information is a far easier way to transmit that information than trying to talk about it.
3: Keep them talking
Something we need to do as often as possible is to get the language learners talking. It's through the use of the language that they're going to learn in the quickest.
4: Repeat Repeat Repeat
One of the ways in which we can help to keep them talking is to use questioning and repetition, so repetition drills for pronunciation and so on and so forth.
5: Use pairwork
Another thing that will help to keep them talking is to use pair work. Individuals working on their own have no real reason to talk. What we want to do is to get them talking as much as possible and by using pair work we maximize their opportunity for student to student interaction.
6: Praise often
Always try to be supportive and praise as often as possible, praise will increase the students confidence and will also get them used to the idea that when they give any answer they can expect to be praised for that.
7: Teach to their needs
Always respond to the individual needs of the students. At the starter level or the beginner level particularly, there are going to be a whole range of individual needs that different students will have.
8: Be patient
It's very important that you are patient, you cannot expect the students to pick up everything that you say immediately so you need to be patient and you need to be prepared to cover material again.
9: Play games
Make sure to play lots of games. What interactive games will allow you to do is to get the students talking to each other as often as possible. Games can often create language in some form of realistic context.
10: Don’t overcorrect
Finally for our top ten tips. It is important that we don't overcorrect students; confidence can be brought down very quickly if we correct every single mistake that they make. Remember, making mistakes is part of the learning process, so try only to correct where absolutely necessary.
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