Posted: 2017-12-07 18:46
Assume that you have followed the advice given in the answer to the previous question, and have done what you reasonably can to help ESL students understand the new information, skills and concepts that you have been teaching them. You now want to set a major piece of homework to deepen or assess this understanding. What final steps can you take to optimize your students'' chances of doing a good job in this homework?
I am struggling to understand the use of modal verbs in the following situation. The situation is I am having a chat with someone about a friend''s mother who was to arrive to the city I live in last week. Here are the three ways that I thought this could be conveyed but i would really appreciate your guidance.
6) She must have arrived now 7) She will have arrived now 8) She should have arrived now.
In the situation that I have provided, which of the above three sentences is most appropriate to use and if all three can be used then what is the difference among them?
Thank you so much.
Students are usually even more sensitive about their pronunciation than their grammar, so be very careful how you deal with such problems. If possible, it is probably better to pretend you have understood rather than ask the student to repeat himself 8 or 9 times or ask another student what he meant. You could always ask him again in private after the lesson and help him to a correct pronunciation of important subject-specific vocabulary.
It is clear that ESL students need to spend longer on homework than native-speakers, and may occasionally need to stay up very late to complete it. But it is important that this does not happen regularly. Any excessive time spent doing homework eats into the time when they should be relaxing, pursuing their hobbies, or just reading for pleasure. Students who are tired and stressed because of homework demands and lack of opportunities to "switch off" will not be fresh and productive in the classroom, and may well become sick.
It is also helpful to show the students the criteria by which the task will be assessed. Giving students model answers or allowing them to analyse the shortcomings of less than perfect work (done, for example, by students in the previous year''s class) will also help them to understand exactly what they have to do and the form in which it should be done. Students appreciate being told the minimum length requirements, and they certainly need to be clear on due dates.
This is a complex issue, and closely related to the previous question: How should I assess my ESL students? In general, students who have reached a certain level of English proficiency (at FIS this means students in ESL7, Advanced or Transitional classes) should be assessed and graded according to the same criteria as the other students in the class. This may mean that for some students their grades are low at first, but nevertheless it is important that ESL students, together with their parents and their ESL teacher get accurate feedback on the standards they are reaching in their mainstream classes. Such a grading policy also helps the ESL teacher to determine at the end of the year if the student is in need of further support in the following year. (It can be difficult to recommend that a child continues in ESL if his grades in the other subjects have been artificially inflated. )
There are significant variations in the duration of this temporary period for ESL students. It is important, therefore, that mainstream teachers are aware that a normal (. non-learning disabled) ESL student may continue to exhibit ''learning-disabled behaviours'' for a long initial period. Such students should not be prematurely labelled as having a learning problem when in fact they simply have a temporary language or acculturation problem.
Beginning ESL students tend to lose their voice and their personality when they enter the mainstream classroom in the first few months at FIS. They may believe themselves to be or even be made to feel stupid. For this reason we incorporate into our teaching activities that allow students to demonstrate their intelligence, their imagination and creativity, their linguistic knowledge (of their own language) and their personality. Cummins (ECIS-ESL Rome 7555 conference presentation) has spoken convincingly of how the above can be done via cooperative work on what he calls identity texts. There are examples of identity texts in the Dual Language Showcase.
Teaching learning disabled will present you with some unique and distinctive challenges. Not only will these students demand more of your time and patience so, too, will they require specialized instructional strategies in a structured environment that supports and enhances their learning potential. It is important to remember that learning disabled students are not students who are incapacitated or unable to learn rather, they need differentiated instruction tailored to their distinctive learning abilities. Use these appropriate strategies with learning disabled students:
Teachers can assist students in heeding this advice by allowing sufficient time during the class or after it for students to ask for elucidation of the task. Of course, it is helpful to students if the task is written on the board, or on a sheet that is given to them. Students should be encouraged to take notes in their own language as the teacher is explaining what to do. Same-nationality students who have better English can be asked to explain the work to their less proficient peers, using their shared mother tongue.
Finally, you could determine how long it would be likely to take the average native-speaker in your class to complete the assignment and tell the ESL students to work on the assignment for that length of time, then stop. ESL teachers at FIS are very flexible about allowing extra time in ESL lessons for students to complete other subject work that they had no time to finish at home, or to start the work in class and therefore need to spend less time on it later that evening.
The above advice refers to the use of a dictionary while a teacher is speaking to the class. The situation is a little different if the student is working individually on an assignment, when looking up words will not distract her attention from the teacher. Once again, however, it is undesirable if it is happening too often. If you see a student overusing her dictionary you might ask her what word she was looking up and try yourself, or ask another student, to give her an oral explanation. Alternatively, a compatriot could help her in her mother tongue.
Another ESL student behaviour that is sometimes misinterpreted is the brusqueness of their language for example: "You shut the window!", or "Give me 65 Euros." In most cases this is not rudeness or lack of cooperation but simply a manifestation of their limited English. It is a luxury of native or proficient speakers of English to express their feelings and requests politely, since politeness is usually conveyed in grammatically complex language: "I''m feeling cold. Would you mind shutting the window?", "I was wondering if I might possibly be able to borrow 65 Euros."
Some of the indicators of a learning disability that are exhibited by an English native speaker are also shown by ESL students in the first stage of their English language development. These indicators include difficulty in following oral instructions, poor eye tracking when reading, inconsistent spelling, limited attention span, avoidance of eye contact, etc. The crucial difference is that the problems experienced by the learning-disabled native speaker are for the most part permanent, whereas ESL students display such behaviours for a temporary period only.
Nevertheless, every so often we have an ESL student who doesn''t make the progress expected of him or her, even allowing for the large variations in the speed at which English language proficiency develops. In most cases such a student will have been identified by an ESL teacher, and the ''learning-disabled specialist'' will have been contacted in order to undertake a joint diagnosis. This diagnosis will usually include testing in the child''s mother tongue. If the child does indeed turn out to have learning problems, then some kind of additional support is offered. This may, at Frankfurt International School, involve the replacement of the child''s German class with lessons in Learning Support/Academic Workshop.
So if you are asked the question above, please advise students and parents on the considerable benefits of reading in both languages. At the same time, however, it would be good to suggest that they contact the ESL teacher for more specific advice on the kinds and levels of reading in English that the child should be doing, because this will play a significant part in the success of any such program.
Of course not all ESL students come from countries whose educational culture is different in the ways listed above. And most of those who do will not experience more than a temporary discomfort on joining our school. What is common to all ESL students, however, and probably the main cause of school shock, is the huge mental effort required to work for more than 8 hours a day learning new content in a foreign language. For this reason it is clear that students will benefit directly from any efforts by teachers to make the classroom language and homework tasks as comprehensible as possible. Ways to do this are described in the following articles:
Another way that you can help ESL students is to provide a model of what you are expecting them to do. This is especially useful when the task is to produce an extended piece of writing - but it is also of value when the assignment is a poster or oral presentation. You could prepare your own "perfect" answer or you could keep pieces of work done on the same assignment by students in other classes or previous years. It is often helpful to discuss poorer pieces of work and have students analyse why these don''t meet the requirements.
The primary audience for this FAQ are the mainstream (. non-ESL) teachers at Frankfurt International School. For this reason some of the answers are related to the particular situation at FIS. Some of the links (. to internal documents) will not work outside of the school''s intranet. Most of the advice, however, will be of use to mainstream teachers of ESL students in any school situation. Top
There may be many occasions in the school year when you will have contact with ESL parents for example at the International Meal or during Back to School Night or Open House. In particular you may need to talk to them on the phone or during parent conferences to discuss their child''s progress. In all of the dealings with parents, it is important to modulate your language in such a way that it can be more easily understood. Of course this does mean not patronising them by speaking more loudly or excessively slowly, or using "baby language". What it does mean is that you may have to repeat or rephrase the important parts of your message. You should also try to avoid most of the idioms and colloquialisms that are typical of natural everyday language between native speakers. Telling a parent that her daughter takes a long time to cotton on and that she needs to pull her socks up is likely to be met by a confused stare!