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Globalization is one of the factors that have brought a great revolution in the modern world. There is an increased interaction of people from different backgrounds with different societal norms across the globe. The boundary that existed between different communities across the globe has been melting away and sooner than is expected, these boundaries will fade away and create a new world that is completely united without any societal or cultural barriers. There are different barriers that are currently being worked on that when eliminated will create a single world that is not divided in any way. Among these barriers is language. This paper therefore will examine strategies that can be employed in teaching English Language Learners and how they can be helped for them to be able to understand clearly this language and increase their level of fluency.
English is one of the most spoken languages in the world. In fact, it is among the top five most used languages across the globe. However, despite this language having a nearly autonomous status in most societies in the world, there are societies that are yet to adopt it as their official language and as a result, it is rarely spoken within their boundaries. As a result, there has been a development of English classes for people with an interest of learning it or for students who find themselves in English speaking countries and therefore have to learn it in order for them to be able to attend their lessons well since these lessons are not taught in their native languages but rather are taught in English. To aid such students, the education systems in these countries have developed English Language Learners’, ELL, classroom that teaches purely the English language alone. However, the creation of English Language Learners’ classroom alone is not enough. There is need for strategies to be developed on how different students can be handled and how skills and knowledge in this language can be enhanced, thus creating an environment whereby these students are able to learn quickly (Krashen & Terrell, 1983).
Instructional Strategies for ELL Classrooms
Whereas the student has a responsibility of developing interest in the English Language Learners’ classroom, the teachers too are mandated with the work of creating an environment that would promote learning of this language. This can be achieved by creating spectacular strategies that enables students to be able not only to develop interest but also to retain that which they are taught. Most of these strategies are based on the instructional approach of teachers (Krashen & Terrell, 1983).
Comprehensive input refers to the ability of teachers to tailor their lessons in such a way that students are able to understand what is being offered to them in terms of words and vocabularies. This requires that the teacher is able to articulate the words well and use different approaches to his lessons that would enable him to be able to pass across the intended message in his lessons easily. It is argued that this does not necessarily mean that these teachers must use words and vocabularies that are only known to students. This is because these students can fail to understand even when the vocabulary that they are familiar with is used. Instead, the approach should allow them to understand the vocabularies that they are familiar with while at the same time integrating new vocabularies into what they already have.
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There are various factors that need to be considered in order for this approach to teaching English Language Learning classroom to succeed. One of these factors is creating an appropriate context. This may be based on example from the students’ lives thus enabling them to understand what is being referred to. Similarly, the teacher must always ensure that he/she is able to use consistent language and vocabulary for that matter through his/her lessons. The use of visual tools may also play a critical role in guaranteeing that students are able to understand and therefore positioned to learn effectively.
On-going, specific, and immediate feedback
Another strategy that can be employed while teaching English Language Learners’ class is an on-going, specific, and immediate feedback. The teacher has the responsibility of giving feedback to student in regard to their learning abilities continuously. Similarly, while giving back these feedbacks, it is important for the teacher to be specific. For example, while some of his/her students may have a high ability in terms of pronunciation of words and vocabularies, their sentence construction may be poor thus limiting their learning abilities. As a result, the teacher is mandated to provide feedback to these types of students in terms of areas where they are performing well and where they need to put more effort. Delaying of these feedbacks should not be encouraged at any particular moment in time. Instead, immediate feedback should be provided to students to encourage correction of mistakes immediately rather than waiting until the learning mistakes have piled up. This would reduce the effects of confusion on the students as they are bound to realize immediately where they need to change. On the other hand, feedback would vary as students continue with their lessons, moving intermediate to advanced levels.
Grouping structures and techniques
Organizing of students into work together groups is one of the strategies that is highly employed in teaching English Language Learners. This is whereby students are divided into different groups and allowed to work on specific issues that arise during the leaning process of English Language. These groups are formed whereby students who are native speakers are grouped together with English Language Learners. Therefore, the teacher will be able to employ the skills that have been gained by the native speakers to develop the skills and knowledge of English of ELL students. On the other hand, teachers should avoid at all costs grouping English Language Learners alone without a native speaker. This will force them to develop their English language skills and thus be able to speed up their learning process.
Building background and vocabulary development
The teaching of English Language Learners should involve the modification of abstract ideas and objects into meaningful learning tools to these students. For example, using the word ‘the’ alone cannot provide meaning. However, when this word is used correctly in a sentence, it has a meaning which can easily change when it is not used. Therefore, the teacher should build a background on a particular word and then finally use it in a way that they are able to understand what it means in a sentence and how a particular word can be used. On the other hand, there should be a systematic development of vocabulary in a consistent way. It is not wise enough for teachers to dwell on the same types of vocabularies. Instead, there should be an introduction of new vocabularies in nearly every lesson, which may always begin by looking at the previous lessons’ vocabularies or rather vocabulary learnt in the previous lesson. It is argued that the use of visual as a teaching technique of English Language Learners can go a long way in helping them to develop their respective skills in this language.
While there have been arguments that students have a responsibility of teaching students, the students too must adopt learning techniques that would enable them to grasp and retain all that they are taught in this type of a class. This is whereby students develop interest that leads to active participation in class work. While in some cases student participation in lessons has been so automatic, there are cases whereby students have to be encouraged to participate in the learning English. In such cases, there are specific models that need to be developed in such a way that students are not only given an opportunity to participate but should also be put in a situation whereby they are unable to avoid participating in the overall classroom activities. As a result, the learning ability of these students would be increased heavily, a factor that ends up shortening the timeframe that one uses in learning. One of the ways of helping students to be able to participate is by creating groups during the learning period who are given certain assignment to complete (Saenz, Fuchs & Fuchs, 2005).
The current global situation has increased interaction between different people from different parts of the world who have varying languages that are spoken as their native language. As a result, there has been an increase in the need for people from these parts of the globe to learn languages such as English that are widely spoken worldwide. The teachings of English Language Learners entail different approaches that are used to ensure that they are able to follow up and grasp what they are taught. In other words, the teacher has a responsibility to develop a teaching strategy that would guarantee that no student is left behind in any particular English class. The teachers therefore need to incorporate certain teaching methods into the overall teaching strategy, without which the students cannot be able to learn effectively thus wasting their time and resources.
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