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How to Deal with the Common ESL Classroom Problems

To become a successful ESL teacher at Birmy International English School in China, you must be able to adapt to the needs of your students. Of course, there are certain classroom problems that all ESL teachers have to deal with when teaching learners whose native tongue is not English. This post will talk about those issues so that you can better prepare yourself for your classes.

a. Learners tend to be too dependent on their teacher.

It’s common for students to ask for help from their teacher every time they need to answer. They do this instead of trying to answer on their own. This can be a problem if you let your students form this habit. Instead, you should encourage them to speak their minds and make them understand that it’s not wrong to make mistakes as long as they’re trying.

b. Persistent use of the Chinese language.

Students at Birmy English School also have the bad habit of using Chinese during their English class. As a teacher, you can control this by setting class rules and implementing a penalty system for those who speak their native language.

c. Students go too far off the topic.

When you teach ESL, you should expect your students to frequently stray off the topic. Although this is a good sign that they are interested in making conversations in English, you need to be in control of the discussion to make sure the class remains on the topic. Be careful not to humiliate your students and be creative in diverting the discussion back to what you were talking about.

d. Different personalities in the class clash.

It’s important that you understand how stressful an English class for students can be. There are many also who would feel insecure with their skills, and there will also be those who seem overconfident with their speaking ability. Thus, you need to be aware of possible tensions among your students to avoid bigger conflicts.

e. Students do things incorrectly due to unclear instructions.

This happens often in ESL classrooms. Teachers give instructions for activities and students don’t have a clear understanding of what they’re supposed to do. As a teacher, it’s important that you be sensitive to your students’ needs. You need to sense when some of them don’t get what you’re trying to make them do. Give clear instructions also and repeat several times to make sure everyone gets you.

Indeed, teaching English to non-speakers comes with a lot of challenges, but the good thing about teaching at Birmy English is that teachers get the help they need. You will be provided with the materials you will need in the classroom, and should you need advice, you can easily approach other teachers or the head office to get some tips on how to be more effective in teaching.