English as a Second Language

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Some Do’s and Don’ts in Teaching Language

There are several things that you need to consider if you are teaching English as a second language. First of all, because you’re teaching it as a second language, you can’t expect your students to immediately learn what you’re teaching. Also, you can’t place unnecessary demands on them, such as requiring them to speak in compound sentences (or worse, complex sentences). Be realistic in your expectations and in your methods.

 

There are some important do’s and don’ts for teaching.

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Whether you’re going to teach English or you’re simply intending to build a website about it, be sure you have these important instructions tucked away in your mind, so that you’ll be on your way to a more rewarding teaching experience. Here are some essential do’s and don’ts for all English teachers, as you would find in any tech blog.

First of all, modeling is key. Do model for students what they are expected to do or produce, especially for new skills or activities, by explaining and demonstrating the learning actions, sharing your thinking processes aloud, and showing good teacher and student work samples.

Second, when it comes to the rate of your speaking and waiting time, do it slowly and clearly, and be patient with your students and their progress. Remember, they are thinking and producing in two or more languages. After asking a question, wait for a few seconds before calling on someone to respond. This “wait time” provides all students with an opportunity to think and process.

Third, don’t use just one kind of cue. Use a variety of linguistic and non-linguistic cues, as these will help address the needs of all kinds of learners. Remember that not everyone is visual. Some learners are auditory, some are more kinesthetic than others. Guided by that knowledge, design your teaching styles to match the many kinds of learners in your class.

Fourth, don’t just ask them if they have any questions. This is not an effective way to gauge what all your students are thinking. Waiting until the end of class to see what people write in their learning log is not going to provide timely feedback. Also, don’t assume that students are understanding because they are smiling and nodding their heads—sometimes they’re just being polite. Regularly check for real feedback.