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Ten Teaching Techniques to Accommodate ESL Students

Ten Teaching Techniques to Accommodate ESL Students

Whether you teach abroad or in North America, your classroom will comprise diverse students, including English as a Second Language (ESL) learners from varied cultures, learning preferences, educational histories, and linguistic proficiencies.

Since ESL students represent a rapidly expanding student demographic, educators must possess the skills to effectively meet their needs within standard educational settings.

Methods to Help ESL Students in the Classroom

1.  SIOP Techniques:

Sheltered English instruction aids ESL students in grasping and engaging with classroom content to the fullest extent possible. When addressing ESL students, ensure clarity by speaking slowly and distinctly and reinforce instructions through repetition to confirm understanding.

Employ straightforward sentence structures, supplement instruction with visual aids and gestures, and frequently assess comprehension. It’s crucial to adapt your teaching methods to accommodate the diverse needs of all students. Differentiation of your instruction is a must! 

2. Read-Alouds:

Provide lots of opportunities for your students to read aloud. This is an excellent way to blend auditory, oral, and reading skills. It will assist your ESL students to become more comfortable speaking English in front of their peers.

3.  Teach by Doing:

Model your lessons for your ESL students before having them complete the activities. This will help them feel more comfortable with what you ask them to do and reduce confusion.

4.  Consistent Homework:

Since most ESL students go home to a household that doesn’t speak English, providing students with regular homework allows them to continue using and practicing English at home.

5.  Multicultural Lessons:

Make your ESL students feel like they belong and pique their interest by creating creative lessons that incorporate their personal experiences and backgrounds. This will help them become more interested and passionate about learning English words and phrases because it will help them communicate about the things that are critical to them.

These lessons will help students feel included and appreciated. They will assist students in connecting with their peers and learning about other cultures.

6. Oral Communication:

Even though reading and writing are both essential skills, forcing your ESL students to speak as much as possible helps to ingrain the language’s sound and feel in your students’ minds. Students must develop comfort with speaking English in front of others. This will ultimately determine their level of success.

7. Cooperative Learning /Group Work:

Learning a new language and communicating in English becomes more fun and natural when students can work through it together. Learning a language alone is much more difficult. Cooperative learning groups allow students to learn from one another and have fun.

Heterogeneous and homogeneous grouping is beneficial in the classroom.

8. Teach Keywords:

School and learning, and especially certain subject areas, have specific vocabularies. ESL students must learn these words as soon as possible.

Providing the students with flashcards with corresponding pictures of each word can motivate and help them learn these words quickly. Words such as bathroom, student, teacher, math, addition, subtraction, recess, bell, or cafeteria are essential for a school day. ESL students must know how to ask for things.

9. Use Peer Partner Learning:

It is critical your students can rely on a responsible and trustworthy student to accompany them throughout classroom routines and complete various assignments.

They must have a buddy to help them navigate the school and various learning community schedules. When your ESL student is new, they will need assistance locating things like the cafeteria, buses, classrooms, etc.

10. Opportunities for Success:

Lastly, your ESL students are probably overwhelmed by all the changes and quickly become discouraged by the difficulty of some tasks in a new language. Provide students with opportunities to shine and increase their confidence.

Focus on subject areas where the language is not front and center—like physical education, drama, art, or music—and let students show off a skill or talent. This can also extend to all subjects, as long as they acknowledge their small hurdles with learning and using English.