Teaching English to ESL students is a challenging and laborious duty. Four formulaic skills are required in an ESL class: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. The first three skills are easy to develop and work upon, however; the fourth skill, i.e. writing is the hardest both in terms of teaching as well as learning. ESL students are hesitant to write in English as they are not native English speakers. It requires a great effort by the teacher to improve their writing skills. Here a few golden tips for a teacher to practice in an ESL class.
- Convince the students that in order to develop good communication and interpersonal skills, speaking is not enough. Writing is also essential. Make them understand that learning to write in good English is also an imperative skill for their future. This will definitely give them a sound logic and boost their level of interest
- Give priority to teaching writing skills. Give them writing assignments on regular intervals so that they get in the habit of doing the drill without hesitation. Remember, practice makes a man perfect!
- Assess the level of the ESL students and guide them accordingly. Lower level needs higher guidance. Rather than asking beginners to write stories and essays, tell them to write short sentences and paragraphs. As they advance in their level of learning, you can then lower your level of guidance and give them more difficult tasks.
- Allow them to check each other’s assignments often, but in your supervision. While correcting the assignments of their mates, they will learn from their mistakes.
- Do not be too harsh if they make mistakes. Remember, they are new learners while you are a professional. Give them a chance to correct their mistakes and learn from them. This would improve their writing for sure.
- Be patient and look for better and innovative ways to help your students reach the level of proficiency in English.
- Include some fun and entertaining activities in the daily lesson plans as that would be of great help to them in retaining the lessons they have learnt.
- Appreciate them on their good performance. Keep ensuring them that they are learning right and performing well in class. Avoid criticizing them. This will give them an incredible boost.
- Encourage the ESL students to interact with native students more frequently and to try to speak in English at home as well. This would help them make better progress.