Wednesday, May 9, 2012

English Worksheets For ESL Students Vs. Native Speaking Students

By Aaron Whirl

It goes without saying that English worksheets, and especially English grammar worksheets, are anything but one-size-fits-all. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. For example, lesson plans for ESL classes will almost certainly differ a great deal from lesson plans devised for native English speakers.

English worksheets come in all forms, including worksheets for college-level native speakers, worksheets for beginner-level children who grew up speaking different languages, and everything in between, from phonics and grammar lessons to creative writing assignments and literature-themed worksheets. For teachers of English, it is important to differentiate among these different types of worksheets. Unfortunately, many teachers fail to do so.

ESL teachers should take extra care to ensure that the worksheets they incorporate into their classes are suitable for the context in which the students find themselves.

Students of ESL did not grow up speaking English, and therefore many of the grammar aspects or idiomatic expressions that native speakers take for granted will be confounding to these students. Teachers must therefore modify their lessons and develop worksheets that use clear language, simple vocabulary words, and translations, if necessary.

For English grammar worksheets, it may even be necessary to provide translations to help explain the intricacies of the grammar rules to students using their own language. In many cases, such as when teaching future perfect tense or past progressive tense, it can be very difficult to clearly explain how these are used - especially when the students are not fluent in the language used by the teacher. Therefore, translations can, in some particular cases, be helpful in ESL classes.

Moreover, teachers must provide several examples of sentences using the target grammar points, as the students can first copy these sentence patterns and then build upon them, creating more diverse sentences of their own.

In contrast, the English worksheets developed for use with native speakers can be much more challenging, focusing more on creativity and usage rather than the tedious mechanics of the language.

Creative writing assignments, for example, can help native speakers practice expressing themselves in interesting ways while also using the language correctly. This, in effect, makes it possible to kill two birds with one stone.

In this day and age, when people are busy texting and writing messages to each other on the internet, people's writing skills are gradually declining. Therefore, writing lessons are one area in which it could be said that there is somewhat of an overlap between native-speaking students and ESL learners.

Even native speakers often fail to understand the many rules involved in writing English, so both ESL and native English lessons can focus on the rules of punctuation, usage, and structure. This will help ensure a productive English writing class, regardless of who the students are.

There are many free ESL grammar exercises that can be instantly downloaded and printed for use in your classes. Some of these exercises can also be used with native speakers, but it may be necessary to make some small changes before introducing them to native-speaking classes.

For more useful worksheets and printables for teaching ESL, check out >> ESL Worksheets

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment