The web has had so much of a socializing effect for businesses, entrepreneurs and people from across the globe, that it has created an increased need to speak more than one language, which offers great opportunities to people who speak foreign languages. Nowadays, you can easily find e a number of jobs for foreign language teachers and instructors on Gumtree and other job opportunity sites.
Learning a new language is difficult for anyone but especially for adult learners. The reasons are many, but primarily because language learning is a practice based learning process; it works much like learning to play a musical instrument. In other words, practice makes perfect. So the key to effective language learning lies in your ability to get all of your language students to practice the new structures for the majority of the class time. So what do you do to guarantee this practice?
Often getting students to get the most out of a language class is challenging, especially when you have a large group of students. Working with large groups often means that only the best students participate in the class. To get all students to participate, place students in pairs and have each pair work together. This way every student participates in any given activity.
Practice Listening Skills
Use video, music, or narrated stories that emphasize the structure you are teaching. Place students in groups of two or three and have them talk about what they heard. They can retell the story, give their opinion to each other or analyse the listening exercise. Afterwards, have one member of each team relate their thoughts to you.
Add Conversational Activities
Add conversational activities to your classroom. These are usually open ended questions where students can express their thoughts or ideas and use the new grammatical structure you are teaching. Find language conversational activities online or think of situations which would require an opinion.
Use a Mirror for Pronunciation
Have students bring a small mirror to class. When practicing pronunciation have students pay attention to the movement of your mouth. Ask them to pronounce the words in front of a mirror using the same movements of mouth, lips and tongue.
Add Visual Elements
Many language learners are visual learners, so asking them to memorize words doesn’t work, but handing them an item and saying the word helps the student to identify and visually remember the new word. OK so while it certainly may be difficult to actually physically bring all of these items into the classroom, you can draw pictures, cut out magazine pictures or locate images on the Internet. You can offer these in presentations, on flash cards or create posters of this new vocabulary.
Make Reading Activities Fun
Reading for language learners can be even more interesting when you add audio. This allows the students to listen to pronunciation, assimilate new vocabulary, and see how the new words are written. Try integrating audio books or audio articles into your classroom activities.
Take Advantage of the Web
The web is a wonderful tool for language teachers. Look for games that practice language structures. Some people try to take advantage of web learning by buying software like Rosetta Stone from sites like Postsad.co.uk, and while these are proven study methods, learners often have better results with a guided class. You might consider using exercises or activities from programs like this. Although there are also a number of other teaching resources here, you might even consider finding pen pals in countries where the language you are teaching is spoken. These are usually other students trying to learn your native language. This offers a perfect opportunity for your students to learn to use the new language and learn of the different cultural practices. Keep pen pal practices safe by using this as an in class, group project. Just enter the search term, “International Pen Pals” and you’ll get a long list of pen pal sites for language learners.
Creating a more meaningful experience for language learners isn’t difficult; it just requires your bringing real life situations into the classroom. This helps students use the language in real situations, thereby making it more meaningful for them.
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