As a teacher, I believe I can guide and assist students in learning a new language. Learning to speak a different language allows individuals to create new connections with other people (Payant, 2017). Students who are studying English as a Second Language (ESL) may speak diverse languages. Hence, there is a need for a teacher to take into account diversity. I believe that it is essential to come up with strategies that cover all the needs of the different students in the classroom. I am of the view that different learning styles will assist students in grasping the new language.
Concepts of Teaching and Learning
As a teacher, I strive to ensure that my students master the language and acquire competencies that assist them when speaking and writing. Students of English as a second language need continuous assistance, which means that the teacher has to be active during the teaching process (Al-Seghayer, 2017). I believe that the classroom should be well organized and structured. For example, my class is organized in such a way that the teacher’s desk is at the center while the students’ desks surround the teacher. This helps create a learning environment that allows students to be involved and feel relaxed. Students taking English as a second language will feel more relaxed if they understand the organization of the classroom beforehand (Farrell & Kennedy, 2020). Learners are intelligent and only need to be provided with a platform to bring out their abilities. Identifying the learning style to adopt is essential, especially due to the language difficulties that are evident in ESL classrooms. In ESL classes, a teacher needs to exercise patience to enable every student to catch on.
I like varying the teaching styles in my lessons to provide students with the opportunity to learn differently. For example, I can use lectures, discussion activities, group work, and presentations. Technology is an essential part of the classroom in modern times but it should be applied in areas where learners benefit (Sun, 2018). I believe that students of ESL need to understand how to come up with sentences and the right words to use in the classroom and should not rely on technology to translate the words. This undermines the whole idea of learning since it prevents learners from applying what they learned in the classroom. As a teacher, I like to incorporate technology into the classroom. Providing an assignment to students where they have to create a video speaking incorrect English and then present the videos in class can also assist in enhancing their linguistic abilities (Bobkina et al., 2020). An example is the use of video clips and audio files as part of the teaching materials.
I encourage bilingual learning for students who are learning English as a second language. Students should be allowed to learn through their native language as they continue learning English as a second language. This is useful as it helps the students avoid being left behind in important subjects such as mathematics for example. Some of these skills such as reading can be transferred to subjects like English. It also helps students maintain their bilingual nature, which is crucial in the modern-day setting. I believe in respecting the diversity in my language students as it helps develop them educationally and take full advantage of the resources available. Learners are likely to feel relaxed and develop a sense of belonging if a teacher embraces linguistic diversity and multiculturalism.
I believe that adopting holistic approaches such as instructional conversations and emphasizing communicative competence enhances learning in an ESL class. Students need to comprehend how to communicate in both formal and informal situations. This can only be learned by students when they hear audio tapes of stories, watch video clips of plays, read books, and write and act dramas. This makes the student active participants in the classroom, which is essential in learning. In my class, for example, I can read students a book, then tell them to write a paragraph that is a continuation of the story. Teaching through instructions seeks to engage students in an extended dialogue that is related to what they are learning (Tsang, 2017). An example in my class is dividing the students into groups, then giving each group the task of writing a short 5-minute play and presenting it in class. This means that students will have to engage with other group members in English, which is essential in developing their vocabulary.
In classrooms where the students are diverse both in culture and linguistics, sheltered English strategies are the most effective. Sheltered English strategies were developed in 1999 and have been in use in classrooms ever since (Sicola et al., 2018). This model encourages a teacher to speak at a rate and level of complexity that students will understand. Teachers should avoid using complex words for students who are starting to learn English as it may bring confusion (Ahmad & Lidadun, 2017). This form of teaching assists a teacher to be hands-on and to provide concrete instructional materials. For example, when learning about words, I can draw several figures and shapes and indicate what they mean. Then, students can take turns reading the words on the board. In case of any error when reading, I always make sure I correct the student immediately to ensure they grasp the correct spelling and pronunciation of the words.
Goals for Students
At the end of the learning process, I expect my students to display high levels of confidence when speaking either in formal or informal settings. Students should possess an expanded vocabulary that allows them to write in correct English. I also expect students to acquire cultural and linguistic competencies that are related to the new language. Students are expected to learn how to correct themselves and monitor their linguistic output. Additionally, I expect my students to develop their creative and critical thinking skills. I anticipate that at the end of the learning process, my students will be effective listeners who can be able to apply what they learned during the lessons.
For assessment to work in an ESL class with multicultural and linguistic diverse students, it is essential to embrace diversity. Students in ESL classes have different rates and styles of learning. As a teacher, it is essential to make sure that the assessment takes into consideration the differences that exist. Information gathered during the intake process should be used to guide the teacher when determining how to assess an ESL student. Formative assessments are more effective when handling ESL students when compared to summative assessments (Torres, 2019). In my view, testing ESL students on what they can do is the most effective method of assessing their progress. This means that the tests I provide to students are aimed at assessing what they know so that I can compare them with the previous information and gauge their progress.
Teachers should set test questions using simple English and should provide simple instructions to students (Lelis et al., 2021). In my class, I have divided the learners into two: fast learners and slow learners. When assessing the slow learners, I give them more time to complete the assessment. I also make sure that I use the fill-in-blank procedure when creating assessments. Furthermore, I believe that alternative assessment strategies such as presentations, role plays, audio, and video recordings, creative projects, and paraphrasing can be effective strategies in assessing learners in an ESL classroom. Learners can be assessed when making a presentation, with the teacher providing immediate feedback (Maarof, 2018). Oral strategies enhance the ability of the learner to grasp new vocabularies and increase confidence when communicating.
In summary, I believe that a teacher should first understand the students and their needs. This will then assist the teacher to come up with effective strategies that address the needs of the learners. ESL classrooms are rich in diversity, which should be embraced and facilitated. Teachers should adopt bilingual education to assist native language speakers to adapt easily. Assessment of students should consider the different rates and styles of learning students. Division of students into groups allows the teacher to address more issues and enhances the interaction of students.
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