The goal of every language course is the individual student progress in terms of writing proficiency, reading and speech (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). This is done by constant feedback and encouragement from the teachers and the dedication of the students under the English as a Second Language (ESL) program Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). Developing the ability to grow independently with the support of the group exists in an environment of support and encouragement from within the group (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73).
There is a basic procedure teachers must use to be able to attain the best possible performance from their ESL students. There are also different tools that are available that could enhance the learning process. Technology and computers as well as pop culture have been trends that teachers use to reach out and connect with the ESL students. Korean students are actually well-educated and have the basic background when it comes to the English language. Theoretically, they are well-equipped. They are very academically inclined.
The important thing that would be developed would be the application process of learning English as their second language. In Korea, they are used to speaking only in their native language. They do not speak in English to converse with other people. They only learn in their English classes. The need for ESL lessons when they are in other countries, like in Australia, is because they do not know how to put into practice the theoretical concepts they have of English. Teaching ESL Process A syllabus must be developed that included the principles and procedures needed to teach a small ESL class (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p.
88). The day-to-day planning of activities for the teachers should encompass the design of the curricula and the general principles that would be considered in constructing the syllabus (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). The goals should be translated into objectives and the syllabus would be the framework for the classroom instruction. Goals are the general statement of the curriculum’s purpose while the objectives actually reflect the particular knowledge and skills that the students would develop by the end of the course (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p.
88). The objectives that are set for the students must be precise and should focus on essential characteristics like performance, condition as well as criteria (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 88). For example, the instructional objectives are stated like “by the end of the course, the students would be aware of their writing style and identify where they need to be improved in” (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 89). The specific nature of such statements lie on the fact that these characteristics are observable (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 89).
When instructional objectives are clearly stated the teachers would have an easier time when it comes to planning individual class periods (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97). A way of putting it is like this: “Compose descriptive, narrative, and expository paragraphs” and in order to achieve this, the students must “compose a 250-word paragraph about one’s experiences in the country (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97) A lesson plan can actually take different forms that depended on the time frame, the personal style and experience of the individual teacher (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97).
Despite the variety of formats a lesson plan may be, the important thing is for it to provide for a script for presenting materials in interacting with the students and the actual instruction for the activities in the ESL program (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 97). It can also serve as the link that connects the curriculum goals of the teachers with the students as well as the step-by-step chronology of the classroom activities (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 98). Lesson plans are practical and dynamic tools for meeting the student needs and achieving the instruction objectives (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p.
98). The important thing to see is the flexibility of the lesson plan. ESL classes are more customized and mapping out the complete instruction for the class can be futile since the teacher needs to get to know the students first to make the program adaptable (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 98). Knowing the Students To design a syllabus for a specific class, the teacher would have to assess the student’s needs first. This is so the teacher is enabled to identify and validate the needs so that priorities may be established.
Factors like diverse background features, different skills, schemata and expectations from ESL students are important factors when it comes to planning the lesson for the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). It is very important to know what the prior educational experience of the Korean students has (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 77). The teacher must know if the Korean students had prior experience in studying with foreign schools or if it was the first time they have studied in school that speaks English as a native language.
International students may find contrasting training instructions from the previous language training programs they have undergone (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 78). Information about the students’ educational history is valuable for the teacher. Aside from such educational background, teachers must also consider the current language proficiency and literacy (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 79). This can assess what areas they need to focus on and what areas they just need to review on.
The immigration status of the students should also be considered as the international students generally intend to return to their own countries after they have completed their studies in Australia (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80). This tells how much of the primary language environments they have been exposed to as well as how exposed they are to English because of staying in the country long enough (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80). There is also such a thing as learner preferences, strategies and styles.
The learner’s disposition towards classroom instruction and independent learning must be considered as it can be a determining factor as to brining out the best performance from the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 84). Language Needs The educational programs need to cover and address what the students bring with them (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is a need for teachers to carry on what the students have instead of focusing on what they lack (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116).
The key is banking on the students own experiences that involves their language and their culture and mix that with the new principle and concepts offered in the present class (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). This is because the teacher is merely connecting the constructs from the past experiences and stimulates the learning to make them comfortable with the new environment they are in (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Second language learning is a difficult process because learning the first language had been a process that has been done since the first day of the child.
It is quite harder to acquire a second language because of the difference of the language and the culture from what the person has already been used to (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is often much reservation when it comes to having to begin to learn language skills. It is very important to consider how the students may feel inferior because of such circumstance. Fluency, then, does not end inside the classroom. It must be developed even after the class and do so in basic conversations.
Errors may actually indicate progress. They can be replaced with the appropriate forms even without teacher intervention when done in an informal atmosphere (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Unit Plan Free Conversation A quarter of the time, in the first part, middle, or the end, should be devoted to free-flowing conversation. Conversation versus classroom instruction can build relationship between students and teachers that would enable them to work together trustingly and more efficiently throughout the course.
Actual body languages, facial expressions, gestures, intonation, and other things serve as cues that help the student in understanding the context of speaking in English (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Academic English can actually provide less contextual cues (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Conversation builds relationships between the students and the teachers. Once the conversation gets going, they get to find out each other’s interests and preferences (Drucker 2003, p. 22).
Especially in the beginning of the course when the Koreans would feel reserved and inferior to have to learn a second language, it is important to gain their trust and their confidence for them to be able to perform well in whatever activity the curriculum may require. When the teacher is able to get the trust of the students, they are then made more comfortable to open up and use the English language to converse. This also makes them more open to commit errors and be open to the corrections of the teachers.
Teachers can actually start by just conversing about their lives as individuals. Some teachers relate to male students who enjoy video games by translating and analyzing the words in the context of the games they are both familiar with. If the students love music, it can be in terms of the lyrics of their favorite songs. The teachers can provide the context for the student when they begin reading a specific text and challenge them by talking with them about it (Drucker 2003, p. 22).
The teachers can start by relating selected reading passages that would be discussed with something that is relevant to the students in terms of their interests and skills (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Part of getting students to converse with each other is posing a question about the text or about a specific topic that would engage the students to provide their opinions about the topic in the English languages (Drucker 2003, p. 22). The teachers can also direct the students into discussing and looking for particular information and analyzing it. Another way of starting conversation is banking on pop culture.
It has been known to provide for a rich and powerful classroom resource to show relevance between the students and the teachers (Duff 2002, p. 482). This makes the discussion more interesting, relevant and appealing to the students especially despite the language barrier and coping mechanism the students have in using the English language (Duff 2002, p. 482). This also builds the rapport between the teachers and the students. Discussion about current events can help the students’ voice out their opinions, only they are using the English language (Duff 2002, p.
482). Despite the fact that the teachers and the students may not share the same socio-cultural and psycholinguistic repertoires, practices and abilities and need assistance from others, this can be a standpoint wherein they can connect with their students and help them be more vocal (Duff 2002, p. 482). However, teachers must be aware that some of their students are not familiar with other pop culture icons because of the difference of their backgrounds. This can confuse them more.
However, it is also useful to introduce such icons for them to gain the confidence in speaking the language, knowing that they are now more aware of Western icons (Duff 2002, p. 482). Elements of Instructional Conversation The theme is very important to serve as the focal point for the discussion (Williams 2001, p. 750). This can be viewed as the general plan as to how the conversation within the class would take place. There is a need to use the background or the relevant schemata of the student by activation or by providing background knowledge that is necessary to form a connection between the students and the teachers (Williams 2001, p.
750). Such knowledge is interwoven into the discussion. When necessary, the teacher provides the actual conventional teaching of the lesson to the students, as much as possible this is not applied too much to avoid disconnection and boredom (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher also promotes for the students to use more complex language and expression (Williams 2001, p. 750). They encourage them to elaborate on their answers in the discussion by elicitation techniques to would invite them to explain further like asking them to tell more about what they have said or to ask what they meant by it.
It is also effective to have them restate their phrases saying “in other words” and phrases like that (Williams 2001, p. 750). Other elicitation techniques include the promotion of the use of different texts, pictures and reasoning to support the arguments made by the students without overwhelming them the teacher may gently probe for the student’s sentiments by saying “what made you say that ”or“ how you came to that conclusion (Williams 2001, p. 750)? ” It is also important to assure the students that there are more than once correct answers (Williams 2001, p.
750). This would encourage the students to try and try to provide more answers and not be pressured to provide the correct one. The teacher while being focused on the flow of discussion and maintaining the coherence of the discussion to the lesson as well as keeping track of the time, the teacher must also be responsive to the statements of the students and to watch out for the opportunities they provide. There must be discussion that has “multiple, interactive, connected turns; succeeding utterances build upon and extend previous ones” (Williams 2001, p.
750). Students must remain challenged so as not to feel like they are limited as well as not feel threatened by the teachers (Williams 2001, p. 750). The atmosphere must remain balanced and effective for improvement (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher must act as a collaborator rather than an evaluator (Williams 2001, p. 750). The atmosphere the teacher creates allows the students to negotiate and construct their own sentences as well as be subjected to training as well (Williams 2001, p. 750). There must be general participation amongst the students.
The size of the class must be carefully considered in terms of the level of proficiency and skills of the students (Williams 2001, p. 750). By doing this, the students can each have their chance to participate in class and be trained to speak out statements in English. Students must be encouraged to volunteer to speak out (Williams 2001, p. 750). Those who are more reserved must be the ones the teacher would call upon. The important thing is for everyone to have their own turn to speak up (Williams 2001, p. 750). Correction and Interaction
Students in the early stages of acquisition must be expected to commit errors in communication (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teachers must be sensitive enough to correct in a gentle fashion as Koreans may feel threatened by harsh criticisms from the highly academic backgrounds they have in Korea. This must be considered more so when it comes to vocabulary. The teachers would not want to the students to have negative experiences with learning English that they would be afraid to try the next time. This can discourage the students from attempting to use the second language and can hinder their efforts from developing (Slavit et al.
2002, p. 116). Rather than correction, modeling the correct form would be more efficient for the students (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Language can develop when placed in a variety of setting that promotes informal talk and interaction (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). When there is talking and listening involved, activities involving reading and writing can actually help the learners develop a higher facility for the language and have control over social interaction (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Literacy is part of language; it goes along the lines of reading and writing (Slavit et al.
2002, p. 116). The language learners must have the competence for oral language and learn the language as it is needed for new functions (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). The role of the teachers it to teacher the learners to use the resources they need for the new language. The best performance for ESL students in classrooms comes when they are able to speak and listen as part of the integral “process of negotiating knowledge, exchanging personal experiences and thoughts, and the development of language and literacy abilities (Slavit et al.
2002, p. 116). ” This comes from a demonstration of cultural diversity and a provision for equal opportunities for the students in the ESL classrooms (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Proper implementation would fall upon the supportive nature of the school staff and the recognition of diversity as “an asset and not a handicap” (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Games Most of the time teachers start every day’s session with a three to five minute game to get the lesson started. They are not merely icebreakers; they also tie into the lesson for the day.
Aside from conversational way of training the students, the teachers find using games as effective ways to train the Korean students excel in English. The level of difficulty language learning has on the students are so high that the teachers wanted to provide easier methods for them by using games (Wright 1984, p. 1). Games actually help the students and encourage them to participate as well as sustain their interest (Wright 1984, p. 1). They help create contexts that are much more meaningful for the students that make them want to take part in the lesson (Wright 1984, p. 1).
Games make way for students to practice their language skills and to practice different types of communication in a lighter environment (Ersoz 2000). This provides an effort to lessen the difficulty of language learning for the students (Ersoz 2000). It gives the students a chance to take a break from the conventional lessons and provide high motivation at the same time challenge and amuse the students (Ersoz 2000). It deviates from the principle that learning has to be serious and solemn (Kim 1995, p. 35). Games are used to practice the skills of speaking, writing, listening, and reading (Kim 1995, p.
35). At the same time, they can use games for vocabulary presentation and revision (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Some scholars even say that games should be treated as a central instead of merely a peripheral to teaching foreign language to students (Uberman 1998, p. 20). They give the students new experiences with the foreign languages that could not have been easily calculated by conventional learning (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Games actually promote fluency with the students because of constant and pressure-free use (Uberman 1998, p. 20). Ideal games are those that involve pictures.
The students are made to pronounce the nouns that are in the pictures. They are then asked to describe the pictures using adjectives in forms of sentences and nor merely phrases. Whoever gets to describe the picture more wins the game. There are also games that would encourage the students to complete each other’s stories by taking turns in giving sentences. They take turns in filling in what can happen next in the story and the students would have to do it fast otherwise they would loose the game. This enables them to be creative as well as explore more vocabulary to be developed in the students.
Lessons Sentence, Phrase and Text Construction. The sentence structure for the English language is very easy because of the rigid word order (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Sometimes, it’s only a matter of proper translation that comes from understanding the rules of English sentence construction. Koreans usually directly translate their sentences to English that becomes their pitfall when it comes to the English grammar. Their sentence construction is different from English construction and that is where they need to be trained so that it can be adjusted.
Although there are different kinds of structure that can be possible for the English sentences, there is still a pattern that can be easily identified and mastered through practice (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). For instance, when it comes to prepositional phrases, it cannot perform what a subject can do (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Only noun phrases can act as a subject and a verb must be present in sentences for it to be grammatically correct (Hinkel 2004, p. 65). Generally, the English sentence can be broken down to see how they are ordered and sequenced in slots found in a sentence.
There are certain basic principles that the learner must learn in order to fully understand sentence construction. The first principle would be the sentence units cannot be isolated from one another. They are in relationship with the other elements of the sentence even though they serve different functions and are labeled as different units (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). In most sentences, the subject goes before the verb. The context of the sentence elements determines the variation of the elements under the second principle (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). This is where we see that singular nouns use singular verbs.
Although the sentence structures are dynamic they still follow predictable patterns that can easily be explained to the students (Hinkel 2004, p. 66). There are the subjects and object slots that can only be filled by words or phrases that are under the class of nouns or pronouns like proper and common nouns (e. g. Nancy, house or Australia); abstract and concrete nouns (e. g. love, book); gerunds (e. g. dancing, walking); compound phrases (e. g. corn soup, coffee table); pronouns (e. g. I, you, they); or sets of parallel nouns (e. g. shirts, shoes, and bags) (Hinkel 2004, p. 67).
This is the basic core structure of a sentence, when this is mastered, the teachers can go into more complicated structures that are basically adhering to the same order of element (Hinkel 2004, p. 67). According to the third principle, the sentence states how the sentence elements are arranged and it is according to a hierarchy of importance for the sentence to be grammatical (Hinkel 2004, p. 68). The most important elements for a sentence would be the subject and the verb. Elements like the adverbs and prepositional phrases are more mobile and can appear in other locations (Hinkel 2004, p 68).
To simplify the identification of core elements it is very helpful to identify the “subject, predicate verb phrase, and importance of subject-verb agreement” (Hinkel 2004, p. 69). The organization of the sentences accounts for the fluidity of the sentence construction and itself stylistic variation (Hinkel 2004, p. 69). Sentence Elements. The teachers must also run through the parts of the sentence. Even though, most Koreans have a strong background in the theories and rules involved in Basic English grammar, it is different when it is presented and emphasized in ESL classes.
It is also helpful to present them in tables and other visual presentations in these manners: S – V Time Place Manner Reson (He eats/He ate… ) (When) (Where) (How) (Why) Adverbs yesterday there quickly last night here sloppily Prepositional at 7:00 in the house with a fork For fun Phrase Adverbial Clause when he wherever he can as a good because he’s finishes work boy should hungry Other to get fat (infinitive) Table 1 Sentence Elements (ESLgold. com 2007). S – V Duration Frequency Contrast Condition (He works/worked/ (How long) (How often) (To show a (Under what
has worked… ) difference) conditions) Adverb forever sometimes anyway always Prepositional for two hours on Thursdays despite his for pay only Phrase illness Adverbial Clause as long as whenever he although he if he feels good he can has time doesn’t get paid Table 2 Sentence Elements (ESLgold. com 2007). Practical Techniques for Reading and Grammar Depending on the capability of the students, there must be essential elements that can design a flexible curriculum depending the reading and grammar proficiency of the students (Hinkel 2004, p.
33). Most lessons focus on sentence and phrase structure, nouns, pronouns, verbs, verb tenses, vocabulary and spelling. Activities must be created to develop the learners’ conversational fluency (Hinkel 2004, p. 34). Teachers must always check the level of reading comprehension of the students (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teachers must approach this with caution as sometimes the students can decode a text but can understand little from what he or she has read (Williams 2001, p. 750). Decoding is different from comprehension.
The teacher should not always assume that the student can understand what goes on in the classroom conversations (Williams 2001, p. 750). The teacher must always test to see if the students are catching up, some may be getting what the flow of conversation may be but others are not. The teachers should have reading time wherein the students can actually hear how the words are pronounced and in what intonations sentence structures call for (Williams 2001, p. 750). This actually supports language development, therefore goes on to be literacy development (Williams 2001, p. 750).
When it comes to introducing a reading text, the teachers must first start with discussing the importance when establishing a new topic (Hinkel 2004, p. 36). The students must be prepared and have already understood foundations that would let them study a new text (Hinkel 2004, p. 36). Using Other Tools Computer In the light of growing technology, students are expectant for the teachers to make use of such information and communication technology. The teachers must consider whether or not their students would develop faster with computers as a tool for their learning (Shin 2006, pp.
65+). Computer-mediated communication or using computers to communicate with each other is a new and innovative way of teaching ESL. Gauging the students’ skills in using the computer like typing skills and other language proficiencies must be prioritized as the teachers would not want to make the students feel more inferior in not knowing another area in the course (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Class size is a critical point to consider when evaluating the efficiency of this tool.
If the class is too big, a large group of chatters proves to be more confusing and frustrating than ever (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). According to research, the teachers should limit the number of students using CMC to an average of five (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Using CMC is an option to use as a learning activity for the students. It is critical for the teachers to examine how relevant such a tool can be for the purpose of the activity and for the capabilities of the students for the planned learning task (Shin 2006, pp. 65+). Computer and Reading
There are also studies that pertain to the integration of reading and computers to improve the reading skills of ESL students (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). There are a large range of computer applications that can be used for ESL student classes. This is to boost the skills of the ESL students with limited English application skills. Schools must make sure that the ESL students have access to educational programs and applications that can help them individually acquire the level of proficiency in the language (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98).
Even though there is technology available, computers are seldom used in ESL settings (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Since constant exposure to English creates the best environment for students to learn the language, the teacher must be aware of different techniques to make this possible and to provide more sensitivity in issue facing the ESL instruction (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). English must not be limited to classroom instruction but should be integrated in other subject areas where English can be used (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98).
Studies have shown that an integrated approach of reading and writing with the computer has been more effective than traditional modes of instruction of lecture-type approaches (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). The students find interest in having such variety in instruction and improve on their logic and organizational skills of constructing sentences, one of their greatest weaknesses in learning the language (Williams and Williams 2000, p. 98). Reading Preparation is the most effective way to ensure the students can comprehend any reading assigned (Drucker 2002, p. 22).
According to Drucker (2002), “Comprehensible input is spoken or written language that is delivered at a level the child can understand. ” However, it is also important for the teacher to provide challenges that is a bit higher than the students’ current abilities (Drucker 2002, p. 22). Choral reading was seen to be a means of providing such comprehensible input for the students. Students can recite a poem, a short text together as well as be provided with gestures and motions that would enable them to understand what are reading more efficiently (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+).
Repetitions of the reading selection give them the chance to recycle the language they have learned (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). Contextual clues are also given through the motions and gestures taught by the teachers in reading the selection (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). However, considering the individualize approach for ESL programs, it is important to note that teachers can only apply such technique for students who are in kindergarten to sixth grade (Drucker 2002, pp. 22+). If the students are much older or more mature, there are reading selections that can be provided and analyzed.
For example, the teacher can provide a more sophisticated text like an article to be discussed in class like American Art in Delaware: Henry Francis du Pont (1880-1969) was an heir to Delaware’s DuPont Company fortune. He was one of the first serious collectors of American decorative art objects –furniture, textiles, paintings, and other objects made in the United States between 1640 and 1840. American furniture and household objects had been considered inferior to those from Europe. But du Pont helped develop a new appreciation for American decorative arts.
He created a legendary showplace for these objects on his family’s estate just outside of Wilmington, Delaware. In 1951 it was opened to the public as the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) Museum. Du Pont assembled objects from his collection into 175 “period rooms,” each with examples of American antiques and decorative arts that followed a certain theme or period in early American history. For example, the du Pont Dining Room has furniture dating from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
And, because this was the time when the United States became a new nation, there is a patriotic theme in the room. Another example is the Chinese Parlor, which has furnishings that reflect Americans’ fascination with Asian culture during the 18th century. In these period rooms du Pont believed he could tell the story of the early United States through furniture and other decorative arts (America’s Library 2007). In the case of the article, American Art in Delaware, a warm-up question may be “You have probably heard of the DuPont Company, which was founded by a family of the same name.
But do you know about the museum that one of the family members began (ESLgold. com 2007)? ” There are also vocabulary words that can be taken out of the article that the students can learn in class, either through homework activity or drills within the classroom time. Words that can be taken out of this article are: “antique, assemble, century, decorative, estate, fortune, heir, inferior, patriotic, textile” (ESLgold. com 2007). The teachers can provide pre-reading questions that can enhance the interest of the students.
Such questions can be, “What types of things do you like to collect or if you had some valuable artwork, what would do with it (ESLgold. com 2007)? ” When the group is finished reading the text, silently or aloud, there are post-reading questions that are very important to determine the student’s comprehension. It can be in forms of true or false, or multiple choice questions. The important thing is to gauge the capability of the students. A set of post-reading questions may be in the form of the following; True or False: “Henry Francis du Pont’s art collection is displayed in a museum i
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