Ways to Help ESL Students Succeed in Middle School

August 07, 2019

kids photoIf you have ESL students in the classroom, there are a number of things that may interfere with their ability to learn. However, by utilizing certain strategies the ESL students in your classroom can benefit from the lessons as well as the non-ESL students. It is important to speak clearly and in standard English and refrain from using slang. Speaking with clear pronunciation and diction will help ESL students to understand more clearly what is being said. It is also important to look for ways students demonstrate comprehension and do not ask students “do you understand”? When asked, the student will typically say yes simply to avoid embarrassment and keep in mind that speaking louder does not help with their comprehension. Also, remember that if you speak in a slow, exaggerated fashion it will only embarrass the ESL student. Here are a few more tips to help ESL students succeed in middle school.

Make Yourself Visible to the Student

ESL students often rely on both verbal and nonverbal cues, so it is important to make sure you are visible to the student while you are speaking. They will want to see your mouth while you are speaking so they can watch how the words are formed with your mouth. Many ESL students also rely on your facial movements and body language while you are speaking to help with learning the words being spoken and their meaning.

Use Visualization as Often as Possible

While speaking in clear, concise English is beneficial for an ESL student, it is even better if you are able to use a picture or other visual aid, such as flip cards when you are speaking. This will help to reinforce what you are saying. Encourage the student to also use online flip cards and online study guides as at home learning aids. Make sure to direct the student to a website that features online similar aids that you are using in the classroom.

Middle school ESL students may struggle with making friends at their new school, so a great way to encourage learning as well as introduce them to friends is to assign a class buddy. Their class buddy should be a student that is familiar with the classroom and the school and they should be strong learners. It is best to initially seat the class buddy and ESL student in side by side seats


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Also see Top Test Taking Strategies For Middle Students

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