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Teaching Strategies: Non-Native Speakers of English (ESL)

  EASIER
STRATEGIES
MODERATE
STRATEGIES
ADVANCED
STRATEGIES
CRITERIA Don't assume lack of comprehension simply because a student's spoken English is heavily accented, or assume high levels of comprehension simply because of oral fluency. Get to know the students. Be aware of the difference between the student who makes a variety of grammatical or lexical errors and the one who makes the same kind of error often. Point out the most prevalent error pattern and ask the student to concentrate on that pattern when editing.
LECTURE Highlight key points and articulate them in more than one way.

Write key terms on the board or overhead.

Encourage the use of double entry note-taking.

Give students breathing room by illustrating key points anecdotally rather than packing too many ideas and factual support into your presentation.

Provide written handouts for key ideas and instructions.

Vary presentation methods and forms of student-teacher interaction.

Supplement oral presentations with visual material.

Build rhetorical and actual questions into lectures.

Supplement visual with oral information and vice versa.

Supplement exposition with interactive exchange of information.

READING Check reading comprehension by giving short writing assignments- abstracts, brief summaries, brief responses to text.

Regularly read student writing and clarify concepts and facts for students who have repeated difficulty.

Help students understand how to use the dictionary strategically for field specific and frequently used academic terms.

Provide study questions or lists of key terms.

Ask students to identify terms or concepts they think are crucial but unclear.

Have students write about passages of text that don't make sense or seem contradictory to them.

Illustrate how word form affects meaning of key terms and concepts.

DISCUSSION Periodically review and ask questions about main points.

Be sensitive to reluctance of students to speak voluntarily.

Acknowledge the difficulty of some concepts.

Have students write and talk in small groups before asking them to articulate answers to interpretive and sophisticated questions in whole-class discussion. Imagine the ways that students are likely to experience confusion and ask questions that will illustrate the potential for confusion in the material.
PAPERS Encourage students to share rough drafts with you and focus first on content, not grammatical error or stylistic weakness. Suggest ways to improve drafts by separating issues of organization and content from issues of language error. Encourage language improvement by noting one or two most pervasive errors at the word or sentence level. Address key problems with comprehensibility, pointing out the elements that create confusion for you as a reader. Encourage self-editing with a focus on a pervasive pattern of error.
STRUCTURE Encourage students to come to office hours by bringing a sign-up sheet.

When returning an assignment, issue a written invitation to see you.

Allow students to do oral presentations (at least the first one) in groups or pairs, and build in practice time.

Offer review sessions before exams.

Offer a variety of group work opportunities.

Let students select tasks that emphasize their strengths.

EVALUATION When writing questions, express them in simple, clear language, avoiding confusing constructions such as double negatives.

Emphasize the value of authentic work and redrafting or editing.

Evaluate students' comprehension early in the quarter and frequently.

Provide instructive comments on written assignments and invite those who are having trouble to make an appointment to see you.

Ask students to submit all drafts of work to you with editors', tutors', and you comments visible to assure work is their own.

consultation contacts

George Michaelsexecutive director2130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2378
lisa berrysenior instructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-8395
mindy colininstructional consultant1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2828
Mary Lou Ramos database and ESCI administrator1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-3523
Aisha Wedlaw ESCI assistant1124 Kerr Hall
work805-893-4278
Breana Barakoffice manager 1130 Kerr Hall
work805-893-2972
faxfax: 805-893-5915