Effective tools for second language learning
The English Language Essentials series offers a wide range of resources for ESOL teachers and teacher aides – it is especially helpful for teachers who are new to ESOL or don’t have time to plan a lesson. Teachers with English-speaking students who are less confident with English grammar will also find many of the activities helpful.
The activities can be used as part of a unit to work in with the classroom curriculum and are easy to upscale or downscale to suit the individual level of the student who has a first language other than English. Aimed at 5-12 years olds, it focuses on language for interaction, seasons, feelings, text structure and organisation, and
expressing and developing ideas.
The activities emphasise visual learning and scaffolding for both oral and written learning. Many require students to use their imagination and encourage them to talk about their own experiences. During these activities and in any follow-up, provide many opportunities for discussion, which is so important when learning a new language. Also, remember to model what you are teaching.
Using pictures, actions and drawings help make meaning for the student. A helpful time to use realia (real-life objects in the classroom) is at the start of a lesson, before introducing any text. Don’t rush through a lesson; move on only once the student is ready.