Tips on How to Help Students Cope With Stress
As an English Speaking Person, I have had the stress of learning French as a Second Language, so I understand fully how difficult and stressful it can be to learn another language. I am here today to give successful ways to help overcome stress when students are learning English as a second language.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Heather C. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Being a teacher who is kind and encouraging while trying to build their confidence is a very big factor in the success of helping a student overcome stress. When reviewing all the material given to help teach English as a second language there are many great tools to use but they also can be used for the stress factor as well.
Something as simple as getting to know the other students in the classroom with a game of pass the ball so you can learn about each other can significantly clam down a student so they don’t feel so isolated and stressed. Learning about the other students in the room with them will show them they aren’t different than anyone else in the room.
When the teacher has their introductory meeting with a student to have an idea of their English level that also can be a perfect time to realize if the student feels stress towards learning another language or being with new students, then as teachers we can pair up a child with someone who will be helpful to them show compassion or get them out of their shell by being a mentor.
If the class isn’t big enough to pair up the students then another way to help reduce stress is to not put the student on the spot especially at the beginning, this will stress them out even more and can hinder any chance to get them to want to participate.
Let’s look at some different age groups and what can help them with stress.
The Kindergarten years are one of the most stressless years to be able to introduce a new language. With their play-based learning, you can take full advantage of play activities to help them interact with the class. With some children they can still feel the stress of learning something new but when you can learn with fun games like nursery rhymes or a game of tag they forget they are learning and enjoy the process.
Pre-Teens to Teenagers
This particular age group can be a whole lot different than the younger ages. At this age being with their peers and making mistakes can be overwhelming and stressful to the pre-teen-teen student. When making mistakes and feeling embarrassed they may shut down and not want to participate for the whole year let alone a class or two. To make it easier for this age class you need to get a little more creative with your teachings to make them feel a little less stress and a part of the group. A major problem is fear of failure if you can make the classroom a judge free zone being able to laugh at yourself as a teacher also shows the students it is ok to make mistakes as its a big part of learning.
Being an adult out in the working field already brings some interesting dynamics to this teaching of a second language. As professional people, they have already succeeded in their position and now have the task of learning a language that will take time. Time is hard for a working-class person, they are busy with their career and also want things done quickly. This may in return work to a teacher's favor because they will put a lot of effort into their studies but this also may come with a lot of stress they will put on themselves. One way to help this class with stress is to make your program flexible for their work schedule if you’re doing one on one teaching. Also having a meeting with them ahead of time to see how their stress levels are and what you can offer to them to help them out.
With Teaching English as a second language you have to be more than a teacher, you have to be able to read people see what their strengths or weakness are and how they will handle the stress of learning a new language while dealing with their regular studies as well.
For myself, the ESA Technique is a fantastic tool to help with stress. The reason for this is it covers all the bases of learning and how everyone learns differently, it gives them many different ways to learn and feel more confident in the end.
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So in conclusion Stress with Learning English as a second language can be handled if you use all the many tools that we have learned in these units and the resource books online you can be successful in teaching your students. Even those who feel stress out over the process.
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