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S.C. - Korea said:
Teaching beginner studentsTeaching english as a second/foreign language in a country outside of your own is a fulfilling occupation. However, learning a new language starts from the beginning. Teaching english to beginner level students is an important role because it is from the beginning where the students develop proper language skills such as: pronunciation, speaking confidence, listening, reading, and writing skills. From there, they are able to build upon that foundation as they continue to grow their knowledge of the english language. In this article, I will go into further detail of techniques and strategies in teaching beginner level students, specifically in young learners. What is a beginner level student? A beginner level student is a student with little to no english exposure. They may have heard some english words but are not able to interpret and/or retain that information. Early elementary school students would generally be classified as 'beginner' level students with a variety of levels depending on if they are getting supplemental teaching outside of the classroom. These students know what english sounds like but are unable to communicate using that language. That is why it is so important as the role of the english teacher to build a strong foundation for the students. Learning is like a 'tower of building blocks'; the foundation are the building blocks for the future of the students. Therefore, the roles of the teacher should be to motivate, encourage, establish a rapport with the students, as well as know the needs of the student to help build that foundation. Young learners are like sponges and absorb the material easily. Enforcing routines and repetition, the students can follow a guideline and build a sense of habit. Often times, when a routine is not specifically set, the students feel lost and confused as every day is different. This allows the students to feel comfortable with learning a new language. As a golfer, muscle memory was key in fixing a bad habit; the same goes for learning a language. With repetition and time, good behaviors can be enforced to create a good outcome. As important as routine and repetition is in the classroom, learning english should be fun and interactive for the students to retain the information. Utilizing engaging activities, songs, video clips, and games to reinforce speaking, writing, reading, listening practice is vital for the students growth. When the students are having fun by participating in games and activities, they don't view learning english as a chore, but rather as something that garners their interest. Not only are games and interactive activities fun for the students, it shows the teacher the level of progress the students are making, as most games require speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. Songs are also a great way to teach beginner level students because it allows for cognitive growth, listening skills, as well as speaking fluency, and pronunciation. Growing up, chants and songs were ways for us to learn and memorize vocabulary in a fun an engaging way. To conclude, teaching students in a beginner level is the base of their english learning foundation. We, as teachers hold a responsibility to establish and build their confidence and motivation in learning english. Ways a teacher can enforce that is by setting a routine in the classroom, where the students can follow along and know what to expect; as well as using listen and repeat repetition. Also, using various teaching methods such as songs, chants, video clips, games, and engaging activities will help the student associate english in a positive light with a more willingness to learn the english language. All in all, teaching english to beginner level students is a rewarding profession, knowing that we have the power to change the lives of these students. Sources: