How do you get to school? I am sure for many that is an easy question to answer. Until recently it was easy for me as well. In my previous Chinese city I rode the employee bus and got around via taxi or public bus (of course I also did my fair share of walking).
Now I am in a new city and there is no employee bus, the public bus and taxi’s are unreliable. So what’s a girl to do? Find another form of transportation. If you have ever been to China or maybe any foreign country, you know that sometimes driving and driving laws are very different from the U.S. Once upon a time I said that I would never drive in China, because it was too crazy. I have learned once again to never say never. I bought a tric or three wheeler.
I know that three-wheeler’s are dangerous so I chose one that had a pick-up behind it to make it a bit more steady. So far I have only driven around the parking deck, but I will soon hit the road. School starts next week so if you think of me on the road send up a prayer. We live in a smaller city now so it is slightly safer and I intend to stay on the back roads as much as possible (don’t worry MAMA)!
I have taught ELL students for the past eight months. I have had my ups and downs, epic failures and moments of awesomeness. Here are some quick tips that I have gathered on my journey teaching so far:
1. Speak Slowly – Lets face it we all have our own unique way of speaking -At the beginning of a class or when you get new ELL students train yourself to speak slowly. This will help students learn the pattern of your voice and your mannerisms. It may seem like a hassle at first, but it will help you tremendously in the long run.
2. Mistakes are Okay – The class erupting into laughter as a student sounds out a word is the last thing I want to happen in my class. I try to create a classroom atmosphere where it is okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn. I would not have learned half as much if I were a perfect person/teacher. Students need to understand that. I would suggest pushing this at the beginning of the year as it is much harder, though not impossible, to do this later.
3. Know Your Grammar – I cannot tell you how often students come up to me with grammar questions. It is very important to know grammar in my school so that I can help students as they study English Language Arts and ESL. Chances are if you don’t know your grammar your students will (just food for thought).
***Another Tip for Grammar – Choose your top ten grammar rules to focus on this year. There are hundreds of grammar rules and everyone has their pet peeves. Sometimes students get bogged down by all the rules. Make it easier for them and focus on your top ten. It will be better for students in the long run to know ten grammar rules well, than to not understand any.
So there you have it three tips for the ELL classroom. I hope that they do not seem redundant and that they help you in your classroom! Do you have any tips for teaching ELL students? Please share them in the comments section below!
If you would like more great ideas from other teachers visit The Organized Classroom Blog!