Thinker (Photo credit: RyAwesome)By Aaron Whirl
Teaching ESL to young students requires a teacher to have patience, humor, and an ability to communicate in a lively manner using few words and many gestures. But these qualities alone do not necessarily make for an effective class.
It is crucial that the curriculum used in class is suitable and effective, as this will be the main guiding force in the students' learning process. However, given the large amount of ESL resources on the market, it can often be very challenging to find truly useful and effective ESL textbooks.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of finding suitable ESL resources for teachers of young children who are not native English speakers is finding books that will challenge them without making them feel bored.
Young children may become bored quite easily when studying a foreign language, because they simply don't understand the language and may lack the attention span necessary to stay motivated and alert throughout an entire class. ESL resources such as books, workbooks or magazines can either help or hinder this process.
Ideally, an ESL curriculum will incorporate books that have reading passages and writing assignments along with games, colorful pictures, and maybe even songs. Moreover, it is always a good idea to try to come up with creative assignments.
This may mean adding your own ideas to supplement the standard assignments included in textbooks or simply skipping some of the material in the book in order to keep it fresh, interesting, and relevant to the young learners.
However, teachers are often at the mercy of the school's administration when it comes to choosing books. Therefore, to customize classes and shape them to the teacher's liking, it is a good idea to regularly incorporate ESL worksheets into classes.
Teachers can add their own stamp on classes by bringing in worksheets, including either those custom-made by the teacher or suitable worksheets downloaded from the internet. The best ESL worksheets include fun and lively components such as pictures, jokes, or interesting sentences that will hold the children's attention and keep them wanting to learn more.
Many teachers view worksheets as something that does not necessarily have to be interesting or entertaining; however, by looking at worksheets differently - as something dynamic and potentially enjoyable - teachers may find new possibilities for their classrooms.
Most worksheets will involve sentences, stories, or writing passages. This is a perfect opportunity to have fun with the kids and make them interested in English. The sentences or passages on the worksheets should be interesting, lively, and maybe even silly.
In this way, students will actually begin to look forward to the worksheets, and they will begin to view them as a break from the rote and routine process of learning, which often involves sitting in a chair and passively listening to a lecture.
ESL Worksheets can be a teacher's saving grace, especially when the curriculum allows for little flexibility.
For several useful ESL worksheets, lessons, and exercises that can be freely downloaded, printed, and copied, check out ESL Resources for Teachers
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