Ten tips -- ESL

1.       Review frequently, even doing some of the same activities more than once.

2.       Have students do the majority of the talking in your tutoring sessions. Activities #8, 14-22, 28, 29, and 54-61 in the book “Teaching Adults: An ESL Resource Book” are especially good for this. The teacher’s resource files from “LifePrints: ESL for Adults” also are very good.

3.       Try a class project. Some possibilities could include a collage of pictures from magazines on a certain topic, a map of the area, directory of certain services provided in your area, a simple skit in which students read their lines, or a visit to a location in the community.

4.       Help your student practice outside of class using Ingles Ya (for beginning speakers of Spanish), EASY ESL (beginning speakers from any native language background -- be sure to get worksheets for your studetn also), Crossroads Café (intermediate speakers of English from any native language background), or Mango Languages or Live Mocha on the databases section of www.hcpl.net.

5.       Have students keep a folder of their work, divided into sections. A binder with rings so that students can insert or reorder pages works for this. Some sections could be a “personal dictionary” of new vocabulary words, a few sentences that reflect a particular grammar skill, Language Experience stories, and examples of printed work, such as job applications.

6.       Help students get an email address and access it several times with them to help them become comfortable with it. Getting an account in their own language is fine (they can still send email messages to you in English).

7.       If you speak your students’ language, this is a valuable connection with students but try to say five sentences or less in your student’s language per session so that they can get more practice in English.

8.       Teach each skill directly as well as communicatively.   A repetition drill is an example of teaching a skill directly. Have the whole class repeat after you and have each student repeat after you. However, also give students a chance to use the sentence, vocabulary or grammar in a communicative way. This means students use it in conversation with each other, finding out something new from their partner or group. They can add words, grammar and phrases. Many of the activities mentioned above are helpful. Review again.

9.       Make corrections according to the situation. If you are teaching a skill directly, make sure it is as close to “correct” as the student can do at this point in time. On the other hand, if students are speaking with each other or as a class communicatively, their success at getting their ideas and information across should be the standard. You can listen for one or two common errors and review them later.

10.   Give very specific homework assignments. For assignments involving spoken English, include exactly what to listen for and more or less what to say.