Saturday, April 10, 2010

Building ESL Student Confidence

Hello Fellow ESL Teachers and ESL Tutors,

Welcome to ESL Teacher, a great place to become all that you can be as an ESL teacher and ESL tutor.

Today we are going to touch on a very important milestone in an ESL student's life, when they become confident that they can and will succeed in learning English.

Before this point, your student will give up easily and will think that they are not good enough or smart enough or whatever. If you have ever learned or attempted to learn a foreign language, you probably personally already know what this feels like.


1) Teach them some basic but very useful sentences to memorize. I have students learn the following:
Let me introduce myself.
My name is ____
I'm American/Chinese...
I've been in Hawaii for ____
I've been coming to the Drop-In Center for _____
I'm a teacher/housewife/...

2) I have the beginner students recite these sentences every class until they have them memorized.

3) If the student refuses to believe in their ability to memorize these sentences, I have them memorize one sentence first. And I have them say it to me every class, at least 10 times but an upward of 50 times, until they've memorized it. Then I work on the next sentence, and have them say the 1st and 2nd sentences many many times again, until they have memorized it as well.

4) Be persistent and be consistent. Don't change up the sentences until they have mastered them. Don't teach them anything else until they have memorized all of the sentences. Be sure that they say all of the sentences at the beginning of every class and that they remember them before you teach anything new.

5) The very act of memorizing those sentences will help them break down their negative beliefs, and will give them the confidence and the knowledge of how to study on their own.

Please share any techniques that you have! We would all really appreciate it!

Your fellow ESL teacher,


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