New ESL teaching methods of 2019
Updated: Apr 26, 2019
We all remember those first few weeks when we started as ESL teachers. The pressure and slight fear of what was to come and how to deal with our students. Questioning ourselves if we knew enough to be confident in front of the class. And now, look at us.
Once you have settled in, teaching becomes so much easier. Those that have completed a full course or year and are now in their second or even third one will probably state that they can do most of their lessons on autopilot. This, however, comes with its own risks.
When teachers lose their edge and their classes become routine, most of them will lose that initial fire, that drive to get all their students engaged. We need to look at ways to switch up our teaching methods and stay current and entertaining.
Spaced learning – a unique ESL teaching method
This approach is built around the work of neuropsychologist R. Douglas Fields and focusses on breaking up learning components into smaller chunks. In between these chunks of learning, you practice with the previously learned knowledge. This is in stark contrast to most ESL curriculums, where you are provided with all knowledge at the start of the lesson and then practice and drill until the class ends.
The big advantage of this approach is that the brain is less overloaded with new information and gets ample time to convert this new knowledge into memory.
Collaborative learning – the ESL teaching method for group work
More and more emphasis is put on collaborative learning, which gets students to interact amongst themselves and learn from each other’s mistakes. When creating a collaborative learning environment, make sure that you put students with different proficiencies together. This way you can have the smart student of every group be a group leader, assuring that all students can learn.
Blog writing – the ESL teaching method for creative writing
The big difference between your classical creative writing assignment and a blog is the way blogs relate much more to your students then creative writing exercises do. Nowadays, most people don’t even write letters anymore, let alone entire essays.
Additionally, blogs offer a whole visual design aspect that simply isn’t part of your classical creative writing assignment. This will engage your students much more and will eventually lead to better end results. These three platforms are ideally suited for blog creation
Skype calls – an ESL teaching method for real conversations
Everyone is familiar with Skype, the app that allows you to call anyone anywhere for free. To make use of Skype in your class, you’ll need to get at least a laptop. Have your class make a call with one of your native speaking friends, or with another ESL teacher.
You can assign skype calls as homework too. Have your students contact each other and record their conversations.