How Do I Teach New Ideas in English?

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    • 1). Conduct a needs assessment with your students. Needs assessments can help you gauge a student's exposure to English as well as where they want to go in their English studies. This can be as informal as just asking each student what they want to learn from you about English, how and when they use English and what English skills they want to improve. A more formal, form-based analysis that rates students' abilities is another way to figure out what a student wants and needs.

    • 2). Use "realia" when you communicate new ideas to your students. Realia are everyday objects that can be used to demonstrate new concepts to English language students. For example, if you want to show a student how to save money at the grocery store, show students actual coupons from a newspaper or the Internet. Go over each important part of the coupon, such as the expiration date, terms such as "two for one," and how to figure the percentage of a price to see how much students will be saving.

    • 3). Repeat yourself as many times as necessary. Go over the same words and ideas until the student has mastered their use and understands them. Then review the ideas and words in future lessons to ensure retention.

    • 4). Avoid using the student's native language to explain an idea if at all possible. Use words in English the student already knows. Hand motions, realia, role plays and simplified English dictionaries are ways to encourage students to learn the meaning of new concepts, using only English. This will promote confidence in the students' abilities to use and understand the new language.

    • 5). Keep your lessons real and relevant. Students do not need a course in English literature or to learn about world history in English. Take students to the grocery store, to the library, or have them order from a menu at a restaurant in English. Show them how to open a bank account, ask the time and give directions. These are practical experiences students will remember that will help them when they do these activities on their own.

    • 6). Do a lot of activities with your students. Games, role plays, dialogues and other active methods of learning English can help students who learn in different ways gain a good understanding of the material. Keep your games simple and flexible so that you can respond quickly to the needs and energy levels of any English classroom.

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