A lot of people are now recognizing the advantages of learning foreign languages. We live in a time of globalization when everyone has somehow become connected, whether through education, business, or arts. We have reached a period where learning and speaking one language is not sufficient. With people understanding the impact of learning and speaking second languages, people of different ages are starting to get formal language education.
If you are teaching foreign languages, then you can encounter some difficulties. Most of the students who are language learners would come from different ages and backgrounds. You would have to deal with these differences to make the experience rewarding and productive. How to do it? Here are some tips that could help you when teaching.
• Some tips and tricks could help in making the class interesting. Make use of different teaching methods that would make the class interesting. According to studies, children can easily acquire language, especially from ages 0 to 7. The ability to learn a language easily decreases when they reach puberty. That is why most adults would find it more difficult to learn new languages than children.
a. Role playing is one of the great teaching methods and activities for language learners. You could lay out simple situations and ask them to converse using the language that they are learning. Those involved in the role play will, of course, learn the language. But the other students who are watching will also be able to pick up the words in a very entertaining manner.
b. Pictionary is a great game when teaching new words or expanding vocabulary. Flashcards would also be great, but for more interaction, you could use Pictionary.
• When drilling students or asking them to answer questions, make sure they are given enough time to answer. Some beginners or anybody who is learning a second language would first think of the answer in their native language before translating it into the second language that they are learning. So give them ample time to answer. As you progress in your classes, teach them the importance of thinking in the second language to execute and speak better in the language they are learning.
• Some language programs boast about how many words they could teach an individual learning a second language. As a teacher, you do not only teach them words and meanings, pronunciations, and grammar usage. It would be most important that the words you are teaching them are something that they would utilize in real-life situations. Studies show that 15-20% of students cannot remember what was taught three to four weeks before. You have to know when to slow down and increase the pace. This will be based on your students’ reactions in classes.
• Because of the nature of students forgetting what is taught. The teacher must do reviews. After a lesson is taught, review it by doing different methods like an open conversation, games, songs, chants, and other activities. Introduce the new lesson afterward. This would help those students who are lagging or having problems catching up. This would also help those who can catch up to retain what they know.
Teaching, in general, can be very rewarding and challenging. When teaching languages, nothing is more rewarding than hearing your students converse in a language that they do not even know how to speak before your classes start. You have to realize that learning is a process. Some would take a long time before they can reach the desired level. You have to understand these differences so you would be able to handle them well.