What are your opinions about a strict "English-only" language policy in the classroom? I teach ESL classes to Spanish speakers and find that they constantly talk in their first language to one and other. What are some ways to enforce such a policy? Thanks.
Say little . Give them subects to talk about. Have them write on the board. Be firm. Speak nothing but English. Let them do most of the work.
well, I speak English as my first language, but took spanish for my credit. How our teacher managed us was strict- yes, but also fun. She spoke nothing but spanish too us, and forced us to listen to her by not writing the instructions on our papers that we had to do. She would give us the chance to pass notes- as long as they were in Spanish. And simple things like that. Just make the language a little more fun, and soon they will all want to speak it because it is more... entertaining than their first one.
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I enforce English only in the classroom, even at low levels. I think it's important to hear the target language and to at least try to speak it whenever possible.

Sometimes, I use post-it notes to "ticket" people who speak in their native tongue. My students get a kick out of it. Usually it takes no more than 2 notes on a person for the native language to stop.

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brookeeWhat are your opinions about a strict "English-only" language policy in the classroom?

It's necessary. Otherwise, they wouldn't think that English was important.

When I began teaching in Russia I had a problem in that I didn't understand the Russian language, so the students had no choice but to speak only English. It worked out rather well, even for five year old beginners. On the other hand was my Russian wife teaching English, and yes whatever she said in English, she was answered back in Russian on many occasions.

Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?