Teaching Guidelines for English as a Second Language
I was inspired to write this article from my experiences in teaching English. This article will be based upon the conclusions I have reached from my time working with students and teaching them how to speak the language. These are the essential guidelines an institute must follow so that the students can raise their fluency in speaking English.
- Teachers must drive away the fear in the students who are afraid of speaking English in public. They must encourage them to speak in front of the whole class.
- Encourage them to speak on very simple and easy topics in front of the class without any interruption or laughter but keep track of the mistakes they make while speaking.
- Correct any speaking errors afterwards in a one-on-one discussion as it will not embarrass the students who feel shy in front of their classmates. Do not over-rely on these discussions because it will not allow the students to come out of their shell.
- Suggest the students to read in English but start off with easy material. This will help them to form ideas and thoughts in English and not in one’s native tongue.
- To converse fluently in English, students must think in the language. Construct sentences for them to speak. Translating from your native tongue to English is not desirable because it breaks the continuity. Instruct them to focus on thinking in English.
- When teaching grammar, focus on aspects that are necessary to speak English properly such as parts of speech, vocabulary, and idioms.
- Parts of speech includes nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections, and their various uses. Be sure to use lots of examples from daily life when going over the concepts.
- One thing to remember when teaching is that the students must be allotted a time slot everyday to converse in English. Thus, grammar lessons should not consume the total class time. Regular practice of speaking is required.
- With regular speaking practice in the class, students will strengthen their comfort with grammatical details as they develop confidence.
- Start with group discussions at this point. Provide some interesting topics. Allow them a few minutes to arrange their own points regarding the topic. You can start the discussion by asking a particular student to begin or leave it open to the students to begin.
- A group discussion is a very healthy way to have a conversation. The students have to converse without a break. Listening becomes very important here. Follow what the students say and encourage others to offer counter questions, answers, and additional points.
- If some students avoid talking during this time then you should make them speak by providing some direct questions.
- Group discussions are very important but they should not be held at the very beginning of a course. It is natural that students will be at different levels of fluency so those who are more advanced in speaking English could make the novice students feel more pressured.
- Once all students start to participate and begin speaking spontaneously, you can start focusing on pronunciation and accent. You can occasionally pinpoint the pronunciation of different words at the start of a course but do not put a lot of emphasis on doing this. If you do, the students will get hung up on pronunciation and break their flow while speaking.
- Convey to your students that nothing can substitute practice because it is the key to success. Also encourage them to never miss an opportunity to speak English in front of others. These two attributes will boost up confidence and that’s the most important quality for becoming fluent.
- Finally, I would like to point out that a crash course of four or six months cannot produce a student with extraordinary fluency in the language. They could never match the ability of students who have learned and practiced English from their early school days. A short term course helps in learning the basics and developing self confidence. These are qualities needed to practice regularly. Expecting phenomenal results in a short time span is definitely asking for too much but results can be achieved in the long run with constant practice.
Why Is English Important Nowadays?
Learning to speak English fluently is now a necessity.
It is no longer a matter of status or fashion; it is now a necessity for a good job and prosperous career. Many achievements in life are dependent on the way you communicate with international clients and delegates, especially in multinational companies. Fluency in English is a requirement in high ranking government positions.
The ability to read and write in English properly is very important in regards to going abroad for higher studies as well as having access to a higher standard of books and study materials. It would be wrong to say that the books available in Hindi or other languages are substandard but it is also true that the books available in English have a wider range of subjects available.