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Teaching ESL FAQ

I have difficulty understanding some of my students. What should I do?
If you do not understand a student, ask for clarification rather than repetition. As you listen, note specific difficulties with sounds or patterns and use these as areas of focus for further lessons.

How should I correct the students' pronunciation?
The goal is not to eliminate accents, but to help students to make themselves readily understood.

What is the best way to approach grammar?
We recommend you address grammar using real-life, content-based material such as the ESL newspapers, recorded television programs, student writing, role-playing conversations, etc. Have the students identify idioms or grammar forms that are confusing to them, then use those forms to model other examples and construct exercises. Limit your focus to one or two points per session, give ample opportunity for practice and review often. You can use this Checklist to monitor student's progress, and refer to this online list of grammar points to focus on.

Some of the students are obviously lost in class, but I can't hold everybody up just for them - what do I do?
Create a comfortable atmosphere for students to take the initiative in asking for clarification.

My students need more opportunities to speak English outside of class. How can I help?
Exposure and practice are the keys to learning a new language. Encourage your students to set aside some family time every day where only English is spoken, and to have more contact with other English speakers, perhaps by volunteering in the community – in their children’s schools, or for community service agencies. Use your creativity to devise tasks, role-plays, or field trips that require more English practice.

Working with Beginners

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