4 things ESL students can do to make learning English easier this fall
Lots of students are learning English as a second language and whether they are in elementary school or part of an adult education program, learning English fluently is essential to a student’s ability to do well in school and excel in the career of their choice. Many students are starting an English language program this fall, and there are several things they can do to make their experience more pleasant and learn English faster and more efficiently. Whether students are primarily focusing on speaking and conversation skills or reading and writing, there are some things that every ESL student can do right now to become more proficient – our San Diego ESL tutors are here to help.
1. Speaking and listening
Learning English becomes easier when students speak and hear it on a daily basis. Adult students living in the US should take every chance they get to get out of their home and be around people who are speaking English. They can go to a coffee shop and listen to other customers or practice speaking with other classmates. If two students speak the same first language, it can be tempting to change the conversation back into that native language, so one thing students can do is converse with classmates who speak a different first language, essentially forcing them to speak only in English. ESL students are also encouraged to have conversations with native English speakers so they can pick up on abbreviations, slang, tone, and humor.
2. Reading comprehension
In addition to reading material provided by the teacher, ESL students should pick up a few different reading materials to keep around the house. English language magazines are a great tool for learning English because the articles are shorter and come with pictures that clue the student into what the article is about. More advanced students can start reading chapter books, especially ones that they have read in their native language already. It’ll be easier to pick up on important plot points and character development if the students are already familiar with the story. There are lots of free educational materials available online where students can read short news articles or entertainment blogs suitable for whatever their current reading level may be (READ: 5 Ways ESL Students Can Improve Their Everyday English).
Sometimes students of the English language struggle greatly with writing and find it much easier to have a conversation while other students are more comfortable with writing but prefer not to speak in a second language if possible. For students who do struggle with writing, it can be one of the things that hold them back from fluency. Students are starting with a blank page and often don’t know where to start. ESL students should be reassured that they’ll have lots of opportunities to practice their writing and that practice, indeed, makes perfect. Students are encouraged to write summaries of their favorite TV shows or novels that they have watched or read in English. They can also prepare dialogue conversations that they might encounter in the future or just describe different objects in the room. The plan is for students to start putting words on paper so they can work with their teacher or supplemental tutor to make corrections and get closer to fluency.
One of the best ways for students to improve fluency in English is to gain confidence. They may go out and experience social situations with a tutor or teacher, so they have someone to help out if the conversation goes faster than they’re used to. Students can also go out with other classmates and help each other out with individual strengths and weaknesses. Younger students can look to the encouragement of their classroom teacher to determine how much they have improved over the months since they started their ESL program and started conversing with both other ESL students and native English speakers with more confidence and comfort.
Our private Orange County ESL tutoring will help you succeed. Call us today to learn more.