Speak My Language: Resources for Teaching English as a Foreign Language – Part 2
For some English language teachers, working with younger children or lower level learners may instill overwhelming thoughts. “Will I spend more time corralling children rather than teaching them?” and “Is this rudimentary content truly worth teaching?” are some questions which may breeze by one’s mind. Have no fear, my EFL teacher friend, there are many online resources available from which to garner ideas on engaging ways to connect with and teach younger students, or those simply at a lower comprehension level.
Many young children learn well when interacting directly with their learning. One tactic to use with less advanced learners is to play games, each one focusing on one learning goal only. Goals can include learning colors, numbers, time, nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. Many games allow for skill building, such as listening or following directions, as well. The ESL page of About.com displays a plethora of teaching resources, some of which are focused on teaching younger children.
If you are looking for diverse resources with which to tap into varied learning styles including kinesthetic, visual or auditory learning, Boggles World can serve as a reservoir of information from which to find these sorts of varied resources. Content crafted as puzzles, role-play activities and songs are just a few of the available teaching tools.
Another well-developed language learning resource is the BBC’s Learning English page, consisting of many writing, reading and listening exercises based off of UK-specific life experiences and situations. Considering the influx of worldwide immigrants to the UK over the past decade or so, it shouldn’t be surprising that such an assorted and adapted resource exists. The BBC page is also a great tool for teachers who want to focus on teaching British English language and culture specifically.
Finally, don’t forget to swap stories and resources with any fellow teachers you know. Or, visit local libraries or learning centers specifically recommended for language teachers. This always helps to deepen your pool of resources. You can also ask your students what they want to learn about.
When entrusted to teach English to young or less advanced students, or those with dynamic learning styles, EFL teachers should be able to find an array of resources at their disposal with a bit of research.