What do ESL students generally have the most difficulty with in an elementary classroom? What are some effective strategies for helping them acheive academically and socially that any teachers out there have found helpful? Thanks!!!
Hi Perry,
I find that elementary ESL students generally have problems with listening (as maj said) and depending on the country, the pronunciation. A lot of students have no problem reading when they start, but when it comes to speaking, that's another story. Usually they are afraid of making mistakes especially in front of others.
To help students acheive their best, they should know that when you are learning it is totally natural to make mistakes and that from these you mistakes you normally learn the most. I find that adding humour and fun to the class helps them a lot. It relaxs them and gives them a bit more confidence when it comes to speaking. They should remember that learning English takes time, there is no instant English available on the market. It's a long but fascinating process.
I would say monolingual students living in a non-English speaking country would find listenings the most difficult part at this level. One way to help them is by playing easy songs that everybody knows.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
 Woodward's reply was promoted to an answer.
beautifully explained! Do you think the process a child undergoes to learn its mother tongue is similar to the process the foreign learner experiences when learning a foreing language? Am I making myself understood?
It is similar though children have less inhibitions and are less afraid of asking questions.
Foreign language learners usually have a tendency to want to translate everything into their native language, especially at the beginning, which can often confuse them more.
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You are probably right but let's not forget that a child doesn't speak properly until he/she is about two. He/she has been listening to his/her parents for about two years before he/she actually speaks.