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Teaching A Second Language - Tips


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Basic best practices for teaching a second language. More here -

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Teaching A Second Language - Tips

  2. 2. KNOW YOUR STUDENTS Learn as much as you can about your students – their lives, their culture and their personalities/learning styles. Use the student’s culture to support learning. Prior knowledge is an important factor in learning a 2nd language. We connect the new through the old and create meaning in the process. Key Words: schema, cognates, transfer, student centered teaching, L1
  3. 3. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify…. These are the 3 cardinal virtues of the EFL / ESL instructor. Use less words when instructing and demonstrate more. Avoid slang and idiomatic expressions. Reinforce with body language. Repeat and Review OFTEN. Key Words: TPR, micro teaching skills. lesson delivery, modifications
  4. 4. Provide a Target and a Timeline Write the lesson objective or target language on the board. Provide students with a simple, 1-2-3 agenda. We learn better when we can see the destination. Always teach the big picture first and then specifics. Key Words: lesson planning, teaching strategies, sequencing, assessment
  5. 5. COW
  6. 6. Provide Context, Background Use manipulatives and realia (props) when presenting language. Make it real – if possible, go on field trips, connect with real email pals, take the lessons outside. Use video and pictures to reinforce the learning. Context allows students to acquire language as they create a their own theory of the world. Key Words: the natural approach, realia, visual learners, connectivism, epistemology
  7. 7. Everything has its time and place. Never force students to speak or to read/write before they are ready. Call on more competent students to provide comprehensible output for the class. There are no errors, only pit stops on the road to language competency. Key Words: error correction, the “silent period” , I+1, the critical period hypothesis, developmental stages
  8. 8. Make it Active! We can learn on our feet as well as on our duffs. Give students tasks and focus on production and their talk time. The more students speak or are “engaged” in the learning, the more they will be learning. Key Words: Comprehensible output, task based instruction, teacher talk, inductive learning.
  9. 9. Keep it up to date! Use current events, stories and the “now” as context. Computer assisted language learning, videos, technology and social networking are crucial instructional aids. Authentic and teacher made materials lead to good teaching practices. Key Words: digital natives, call, technology and computers, text to speech
  10. 10. Get more bang for your buck Focus on one skill but use them all, every lesson. Language learning is a multi-modal experience and we use all our senses, skills. Reinforce speech with text / writing. Teach listening skills and don’t assume understanding. Key Words: language modes, lesson planning, learning styles
  11. 11. Make it social! Language learning is a social event. We learn in concert with others. Group your students and use their differing levels so they help each other. Teach cooperation and make a learning family out of your class. Key Words: cooperative learning, project based instruction, pragmatics, social networking, netizens
  12. 12. Pause – create suspense! Good teachers create anticipation in their classrooms. Students “attend” in anticipation of what comes next. Deliver your lessons so there is a sense of “what might come next?”. Pause often to allow students to reflect and answer questions. A good pause is what makes action! Key Words: lesson delivery, lesson planning, narrative, rhetoric
  13. 13. It’s all about happiness Learning is built on the emotional world of a student. Start with happiness and learning will pour forth. “I’d rather graduate one happy street sweeper than a thousand neurotic prime ministers.” – A.S. Neill
  14. 14. “When one teaches, two learn.”