Learning any language is challenging in itself. Students need to overcome their initial language barriers, remove language anxiety, and try to acquire as much knowledge as possible. The same goes for learning English as a second language. And, it’s your job as their teacher to help them strive.
There are numerous challenges that ESL students may face, but none of them are unsolvable. This is why it’s important to learn how to help your students overcome them. Below, you’ll find the list of the 5 biggest challenges of ESL students and tips on how to help them overcome those issues.
Let’s take a closer look.
A major factor in the process of learning English as a second language is the starting point of the student.
If the student is starting from scratch, it might be easier for them to adopt proper knowledge from their English teacher. But, if the student has had previous learning experiences that have been poorly conducted, it may be a problem.
To help your students overcome this problem, you’ll need to:
As an ESL teacher, you have to help your students polish every segment of their learning process and continue to improve from a solid base.
Your ESL classroom is your students’ number one source of language knowledge and information. Their native language should have nothing to do with it.
Still, so many ESL students tend to keep using their native language in the classroom, in different situations:
This will make the native language dominate the ESL classroom, while it should be the other way around.
As a teacher, you need to impose clear rules that only English is to be used in the classroom. Also, make sure to:
Set an example, and stick to your rules, until your students reduce or eliminate their native language from the classroom.
Your students’ native language is always going to dominate their mindset and influence how they think about other languages, including English.
This is why ESL students often face the challenge of:
This leads to bizarre sentence structure, improper word order, and even translating idioms, which are simply absurd.
To overcome this problem, ESL teachers need to:
This goes for both oral and written exercises, so always be on the lookout for literal translations and help your students avoid using them completely.
Your classroom is your students’ primary place for learning English. But it’s not enough.
ESL students often face the challenge of not knowing how to keep learning, even when they’re not in the classroom. This leads to a lack of practice and poorly adopted knowledge.
As a teacher, you should guide your students through the process of learning English, even outside the classroom. Give them suggestions on how to do it, such as:
You can even organize movie nights or other fun activities students would enjoy being a part of.
Students love when they can see actual changes for the better in their ESL journey. This keeps them motivated and inspires them to invest more hard work.
But, if you don’t provide enough feedback, students might start feeling lost and lose their will to learn. This is why we strongly recommend that you:
You can use services like Topessaywriting if you need help with writing feedback reports to your students to make sure you do it professionally and accurately.
Learning English as a second language is a challenging process. There’s going to be a lot of bumps in the road for your students. The important thing is that you help them stay determined and motivated.
Use the tips we've shared above to help your students avoid facing these most common challenges or overcome them with ease. It will make their ESL journey much more effective and enjoyable.
About the author: Jessica Fender is an educational blogger and content specialist at Alltopreviews.com, a resource with ratings of the top 10 websites for students. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with students of all ages and making learning easier for them.
Previously: 9 Reasons you should get your TEFL in 2020