ESL Works TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
6. Assume rough tune
Rough tuning is the simplification of language, which teachers do in order for students to understand what they are saying. Some of our students have never stepped foot in a classroom. They appreciate a slow speaking pace. Oh! And a lot of repetition.
5. Engage teachable moments
Teachable moments are times when something unexpected occurs in class and a teacher begins to facilitate a spontaneous and productive conversation about that moment. A strange sound. An interruption from a maintenance crew. An off-topic question from a student. Teachable moments create classroom memories and lead to language retention. So, we say 'bring 'em on!'.
4. GIVE clear instructions
30% of our students are not literate in their first language. We keep written instructions simple and use words that our students have seen before. Better yet, we use images (lots of 'em!) as form of written instruction. Giving clear instructions means spending less class time explaining how and more time actually speaking English!
3. INSPIRE SPEAKING confidence
It's vital that students feel good about trying to speak English. Employees are coming to class in order to communicate with their chefs and coworkers, connect with their kids, and immerse themselves in American life. You'll never hear us use the word 'conjugate', because we teach grammar implicitly and English-for-work skills explicitly. Not the reverse.
2. Understand working adults
Most of our students work long days, commute 2 hours to get to and from work, and have kids. As an adult learner, showing up for an English class is an act of bravery. We acknowledge the fact that students have shown up - physically and mentally. Sometimes it's as simple as saying 'Thanks for coming to class.'
1. Be patient, warm, and organized.
Our goal is for students to walk out of class each week being able to immediately use what they've learned. We give that to students by staying organized; we come to class prepared and ready to respond to the needs of students in real time. And we're always on time. We exhibit warmth by rewarding participation, making jokes (and laughing at them). We observe how students react to new terms and make sure they understand. And we remain patient because everyone learns differently. By keeping this spirit in front of us, we stay naturally committed to ESL Works' mission.