ESL for Kids, Some Do`s and Don`ts

ESL for Kids, Do`s and Don`ts

by May Lilleton

Teaching English to children can be a daunting task as you have to develop both writing and oral skills in the kids through interactive learning and a literacy rich environment. Besides this, there are some do’s and don`ts to follow while teaching ESL to children.

1. Students usually depend on their teacher for the right answers. Instead of obliging every time, teachers should give positive encouragement to make children more comfortable and willing to answer, even if they are wrong.

2. Children tend to use their first language for communication purposes. However encourage children to speak only in English by setting some class rules and penalty system if the kids speak in their first language.

3. Sometimes, children get rowdy and distracted in class. If the whole class shows this, it means the teacher is boring or has poor classroom management. However if the problem is only one student, be strict and discipline.

4. While teaching, children may at times stray away from the topic. This is good to an extent; however if the lesson strays too far off, correct the problem by diverting the conversation back to the lesson.

5. There may be clashes between students, which are best resolved by separating them. However if the problem persists, it’s better to switch a student to another classroom.

6. Always give clear instructions for assignments. If instructions are unclear, it only generates confusion amongst the students. Use gestures, mime and short sentences to get your message across and perhaps models and examples of the activity.

7. Grasp the students’ attention by making your lessons interesting. Give something for the children to relate to for motivation, and get them interested in learning. Understand students, identify their interests and consequently design your ESL course.

Last but not least, makes sure the kids understand a topic before moving on to a new topic. Check with them multiple times, and encourage individual participation as much as possible. Don’t scold them if they make mistakes, instead encourage them to try again.

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