What are some teaching strategies for ESOL classes?


Quick Answer

Some teaching strategies for English for Speakers of Other Languages classes include modeling, using non-linguistic cues, building on previous information, adjusting rate of speech and wait time, and implementing cooperative learning strategies. Teaching English to speakers of other languages employs different strategies than teaching students in their first language.

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Full Answer

Modeling is important because it allows students to contextualize the information. It shows students what is expected of them, which is particularly important when introducing new concepts in the classroom.

Using non-linguistic cues such as posture, intonation, gestures and other visual cues helps students to understand corrections and engages the students, in contrast to rote memorization.

Building on previous information and lessons helps the student to build up to more complicated grammatical structures and more specific vocabulary. Starting with a basic model or dialogue and then modifying that dialogue to suit different situations is an example of lesson building.

Adjusting rate of speech and wait time is one of the most fundamental strategies that an ESOL teacher can employ. In order for students to understand, the teacher should slow down her rate of speech so that the words and expression are more accessible to the student. ESOL students also require a longer time to respond to questions while they organize their ideas and employ grammatical structures.

Implementing cooperative learning strategies allows students to learn from each other, not just the teacher. Students working in groups can balance their own weaknesses against the strengths of their peers. This technique also raises students' comfort levels when experimenting with English in the presence of others.

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