engage students in ESL teaching class

Engaging With ESL Students In China

Cecilly Author EF
Author
Gin Wu
2020.12.11

Let’s try to understand more about your students’ background before we start it.

What are the main pain points for Chinese children in learning English?

Language Environment

We have to say that their native language is Chinese. The time to use and practice English is very limited when they leave the classroom. That's why it's so important to interact and engage with students, to get them to practice as much as they can in the limited time they have in class.

Culture

The structure of Chinese characters is different from that of English. Chinese characters are hieroglyphics while English is composed of spelling, and sentence order structure is different as well. In addition, national characteristics are different. Chinese people are reserved and tend to be shy and afraid of making mistakes.

Interest

People will be more active when they learn something they are interested in. However, as an important subject for Chinese students, English is not only an interest for children but also a must for them to learn.

Based on the above information, how should we engage with students?

1. Preparation

People will be more active when they learn something they are interested in. However, as an important subject for Chinese students, English is not only an interest for children but also a must for them to learn.

2. Warm up

Use 2-3 minutes to start with a simple, fun speaking activity to set the tone for the rest of the lesson. Greet and introduce yourself to your students with some props, be nice and playful to break the ice with them.

3. Activities

Bring some games or activities related to slides into your class, it’s a very important way to engage with your students.

4. Enthusiasm

Kids are more willing to speak if they feel comfortable and have fun. Show interest and enthusiasm in your voice and body language. Most importantly, enjoy your time with them!

Teaching skills

Bring some games or activities related to slides into your class, it’s a very important way to engage with your students.

Repetition

It’s always a good way when you teach a new word in a lesson. If students are struggling in an answer, you can ask them to repeat the correct answer with you until they can say it on their own.

Modeling

Always demonstrating first when you start a game or an activity, it helps you save the time and make students understand what you’re expecting from them. Use your TPR (Total Physical Response) to show them what they should do next.

Short and simple

Less is more! A simple instruction will make everything easier for your students in the class. Prepare some instructions in 2-3 words with TPR.

TPR

TPR, total physical response, or sometimes we call it body language. Just like we do travelling to a foreign language country, the actions can assist your students understand what they don’t understand.

Rewarding & positive feedback

As we said at the beginning, your students are shy and afraid of making mistakes. Especially sometimes their parents are just nearby when they’re having class. Use your facial expressions, gestures, or props to encourage and praise them, it will be a big step for them. Give positive feedback with corrections when they make a mistake.

Here are some common words of phrases you can use:

Good job!, Great!, Excellent!, You’ve got it!, Terrific!, Wow!, Bravo!, Well done!, Wonderful!, Fantastic!

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Cecilly Author EF
Author
Gin Wu

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