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Опубликован: 18.11.2015 | Уровень: для всех | Доступ: платный
Лекция 5:

Overview of ESOL issues

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During your TESOL career you will often hear L.T.T.T. - Limit Teacher Talking Time. This is important in keeping the students interested and motivated.

You will keep their interest by ensuring that they are allowed to produce a lot of language in lessons. They will not learn how to speak English if you do all the speaking. And if you are talking a lot they will not be following everything you say, as they are being passive and not interacting with you or the task.

Poor students. If they tell the teacher they do not understand then there is the danger that Mr. A. Bore will try to say it all over again.

If they say they do understand then Mr. A. Bore may launch into another long explanation on the next topic. They are trapped!

In Unit 4 Module 1 you will learn more about this aspect of classrooms.


Here are some tips to remember if you find yourself launching into yet another long and complicated explanation……

  • Don’t rely on spoken explanations of grammar. Students need to see patterns as well as hear them. Long aurally received explanations are difficult to follow because there is no interaction between the teacher and the student so use the white board and activities that involve physical movement to get your point across.
  • Use deductive grammar methods letting the students work things out for themselves.
  • Get all the students’ attention before you begin an instruction and use your hands and gestures to make it clear. Use as few words as possible. With any luck you won’t have to repeat it.
  • Set up group and pairwork activities where the focus is not on you.
  • Involve the students in an activity right from its beginning.

Here is Mr. A. Bore trying to give instructions for an activity - the first paragraph is what he actually says but the second is what the students probably hear - our guess is that the students are going to be confused. KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Ok, here’s what we are going to do now. Get yourselves into pairs: boy girl, boy girl. I’ve got a bunch of cards here and I’m going to give you one each. Each card is a sort of a character - you know what that is? No? A person, person and that’s all. Question answer, question answer. It’s like the one in the course book. It’s a travel agency and one of you - A - has come to book a holiday.

Ok, hswowegonadnw. Get ysws into PAIRS, boy girl, boy girl. Ivgorrabunchvcds here and imgna give-y ONE EACH. Each cardsasorrovakaractr- you know whths? no? A person, person and thasoour. Question answer, question answer. Islitheoneinthecsbk. IssaTRAVEL AGENCY noneevyou, A, hscomtbkaHOLIDAY.

Don’t get yourself into this situation!


When correcting spoken English remember to be encouraging, even completely incorrect answers need recognition that the student has made the effort (though you must make sure you do not patronise). There are ways of saying that the answer is not right without putting the student off trying again. (More on this in Module 5 and in Unit 4)

When correcting written work, again it is important to acknowledge that the student has tried. It is demotivating to see a page full of red pen, especially when it may have taken the student hours to do it. Choose the most relevant points (ie relevant to the teaching point), do not correct every mistake.

It is important that the students can read and understand the corrections which you make on their work. A chart showing the abbreviations which you use are a good idea. You might also suggest that they write on alternate lines so that your corrections can be seen. It is really up to you what method of correction and abbreviation you use but it is essential that this is understood between you and the students and that once a method has been established that you stick to it. (More on correction of work in Module 5 Error)


Here is a teacher trying to correct a student. But it is not working. Why?

Henri is at the front of the class telling a story .

Henri: And then I goed to the cinema and it is really funny because very special thing happened-

Teacher: Went to the cinema, Henri, went.

Henri: Yes yes and there is there a lady with a-

Teacher: there was, Henri, past tense.

Henri- hat like a bread, (class giggle) very large and it was so funny and Francine said: ‘You are to take off your hat please.’ (class laughing very loudly)

Teacher: (across noise) Can you, can you take off your hat.

Henri: It was so funny.


It is quite clear that the student has no interest in being corrected - he is currently a star turn in the class! He is thinking about his story, not about speaking perfectly.


Don't become the school magician - something different to pull out of the hat every day, and a lesson built around it. Aids aid your lesson, they are not the lesson! If you are a technical whizz-kid, good for you, but you are not there to impress your students with your technical know-how, you are there to teach and as such you should use aids to assist you in your task. (More about this in Module 4 Visual Aids.) Begin now making a collection of different things that you might be able to use in your lessons - interesting pictures, clips from movies or programmes from the TV, articles from the Internet or even interesting objects.


Classes should, in theory be made up of students who are at exactly the same level of language learning. Those levels are as follows:





As you can see this in itself would cause problems for a very small school which can only offer 2 or 3 levels. But you would think that these problems can be overcome through clever timetabling and you should not be faced with mixed levels in your class. Not so.

If you look at the following, more extensive list, you will see that there could be a need for a much larger number of classes and a greater variety of students than you may at first think:

true beginners

false beginners


post elementary/lower intermediate


post intermediate


repeat students (any level) who are ‘fossilised’ and are not improving

You will rarely see the number of students' levels taken account of in this way, so it is obvious that you will, to a certain extent, have mixed levels in your classes.

You will, of course, also have mixed abilities. You will always have students studying for the same level whose language aptitude is far from the same. You must take account of this and closely monitor those who need extra help. (More about this later in this module.) It is most obvious at beginner level where in the same class you may have:

  • True beginners who can’t even count to 10
  • False beginners who have a lot of ‘words’ but perhaps little grammar
  • People who have never had the chance to speak even though their knowledge of written grammar is more advanced
  • People who can chat but have no knowledge of how to write at all because their language has another script, such as Arabic.


Most classes of ESOL students are working towards exams. They use these qualifications to further their studies and/or their careers so they are very important to them.

The most prestigious, and widely known examination board is The University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate otherwise known as U.C.L.E.S. These exams are of great importance in a large part of the world and are administered by The British Council. The following is a list of these exams and the approximate level at which students are being examined:-

Preliminary English Test (P.E.T) - upper elementary

First Certificate English (F.C.E. for short) - intermediate

Certificate in Advanced English (C.A.E. for short) - advanced

Certificate of Proficiency in English (C.P.E. or Proficiency for short) - post advanced

F.C.E. tests quite a high level of language competence for a first exam. Some schools therefore use a lower level exam of a different board such as Pitman to give their students exam practice.

C.A.E. is a recent innovation of U.C.L.E.S. brought in because the gap between F.C.E. and C.P.E. was thought to be too wide and the reason for such a high failure rate. In some schools this is a post intermediate class.

C.P.E. requires a high level of language competence and is tested 'within a rigorous framework', hence the high failure rate. Most teachers must prepare very well for this level of teaching.

The University of Cambridge and the British Council also administer the IELTS exam (International English Language Testing System). This is not a pass or fail test but one that is used to judge the language proficiency of adults wishing to do a number of diverse things such as: -enter university in the UK or Canada or Australia.

  • enter a multi-national company
  • emigrate to certain countries
  • prove language proficiency for any other reason

There is also the TOEFL examination administered from the USA which is used in similar situations, including for entry to American university.

As teachers we must have an understanding of the stress which exam entry exerts on many students, especially those who need to pass in order to further their careers. In the case of IELTS, it may also determine where they can live, so the stakes are high.

It is your job as a new teacher to get to know the exam you are teaching towards, its requirements and which skills are tested. TOEFL for example is a very idiosyncratic test that you yourself would not do well on if you had never done it before! Use the Internet, including the websites of the examinations themselves, course books and senior colleagues for information to make sure you are giving your students the practice they need.


One of the most frequently asked questions posed by those considering a career in TESOL is - 'Do I have to speak their language?' The stock answer is 'Only for your personal life and to get about in the country'. But it is important to show respect for your students. We also believe that learning your students' mother tongue when you are in their country shows that you are serious about living and teaching there. Most of all, you should not expect everyone to speak your mother tongue whilst making no attempt to learn theirs.

In class however you do not need to speak the students' language. This would, in fact, be an impossibility if you were teaching a mixed nationality class at a summer school for example, in which you might have 10 or more different nationalities.

Having said that, if you are teaching higher levels and you are finding it difficult to get the meaning of a word across to your students, why waste time miming, drawing pictures etc? If you know the word in their language tell them, it's quicker!

Sharing conversation about your language and theirs is invaluable for learning and creates a bridge between you and the cultures of the people you are teaching. If you ask your students what they think the translation of a word might be then you can get involved in a good discussion about vocabulary use and how words have different connotations and coverage. Think about words like ‘classy’ or ‘bling’. They don’t translate easily as they are inside a culture. Similarly people from the Middle East might wish to discuss the English options for the Arabic expression ‘hijab’. Translating ‘saudade’ causes problems for Portuguese speakers. The expression ‘ganbatte’ in Japanese is used in all sorts of situations. Sharing information on words helps students to greater understanding of meaning and culture related to English.


Research on the internet to find out why these words (hijab, ganbatte and saudade) might be hard to translate into English.

Think of three words that directly relate to British culture, if you are British, (or your own culture) that might be difficult to translate into another language.

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Вадим Бондарь
Вадим Бондарь
Как найти и выбрать тьютора?
Ирина Суханова
Ирина Суханова
здравствуйте! я прохожу курс учитель англ. языка. я отправила тест №1, как долго его будут проверять.
Павел Плахотник
Павел Плахотник
Украина, Днепропетровск
Анатолий Федоров
Анатолий Федоров
Россия, Москва, Московский государственный университет им. М. В. Ломоносова, 1989