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This unit covers the different types of teaching settings an ESL teachers may encounter. There are the beginner courses; these fall into five categories: the young learner, the adult learner, the true beginner, the false beginner, and the beginner without knowledge of the Roman alphabet. Each group presents their own set of challenges for the teacher; for example, the young learner group tends to have a shorter attention span. The true beginner has no concept of the English language, they do presumably have an understanding of the Roman alphabet, however, there is a group of beginners whose mother tongue does not consist the Roman alphabet.
Another type of lesson is the one-on-one. These have a far different dynamic than the group setting as there is only one student, while in groups the students can expand off of each other's ideas. The one-on-one presents a particular challenge in how lessons are taught to keep the course interesting as well. The teacher must often vary their method and approach to keep the student intrigued and it is crucial the teacher base the lesson off the student's interests to keep them engaged.
One-on-one classes are a huge subsection of ESL teaching. One subsection even bigger, perhaps, is business English. Companies hire ESL instructors to help their employees learn English. The teacher will first have to access the students’ basic understanding level then do a needs analysis. A needs analysis helps the teacher understand what students feel they need to learn and what would be useful to know in their particular professions, as well as, find the overlaps for main teaching points of the unit. The teacher should try to focus on individual needs as often as possible and check in with students throughout the course to see how they feel about what they've learned and what they'd still like to learn.
The young learner presents challenges for the teacher, such as, attention span and behavioral issues that may be cause by home life problems. Home life problems are not something the teacher can control, however, they can keep activities short for learners' attention spans, as well as, to prevent boredom. They can also keep a look out for peer pressure to stop it before it escalates. Teachers should also work with as many visuals as possible. They should never reveal if they know the students' L1 as the students will not reach to meet their learning expectations, rather wait for the teacher to converse with them in their own language. Instead, teachers should keep their English brief, clear, and at a similar level as their students’.
The last category teachers will encounter are monolingual and multilingual classes. Monolingual classes tend to occur when a teacher is teaching in a country where the mother tongue isn't English. This can have it's advantages as students can further help each other with understanding the course material in their mother tongue, however, they will most likely lean toward using their mother tongue as much as possible, which should be discouraged as it will hinder their understand and verbal skills in English. Multilingual courses usually occur in countries where the mother tongue is English. An advantage of this is that the only common language for students will be English so they will be forced to practice their English every time they converse. One of the downsides, however, is that different topics will be easier for different students to understand (the same for difficult topics for different students) depending on the similar structures in their mother tongue to the language point being taught.