Who Faces This Type of Challenge? Students who speak English as a second or even third language do!
How can tutors help these students? What should be the mindset of a tutor?
Tutors should consider: the learner’s background the presentation of content
Consider the learner’s background Know the learner --Personal factors
Personal factor: Motivation Younger students study English to achieve their career goals. Older students want to use English to incorporate into their real life experiences.
Personal factor: The Age of the learner Young learners acquire a second language more easily than older learners. With time and opportunity, these younger students may become bilingual.
Personal factor: Learning Styles The student could be analytical or global. --Analytical learners are attracted to details, rule learning, and structured activities, (listen to lectures, take notes) --Global learners prefer more loosely organized activities, (communicate main ideas rather than details)
Personal factor: Sensory Learning Styles ESL students also differ in sensory learning preferences. --Asian students --Hispanic and Middle Eastern students Most ESL students are hands-on students.
Cultural factors Educational differences: ----Academic setting ----Expectations ----instructional style ----learning style of institution ----semiliterate in L1
Cultural factors Acculturation --Frustration with language --Radical adjustments professionally and personally
Linguistic factors Differences between L1 and L2: Alphabets or writing systems Rhetoric systems Pronunciation, word order, grammar
Tutor tips in light of the learner: Appreciate diversity of cultures while affirming importance of adaptation to U.S. culture Consider the influence of age and motivation of the learner Keep in mind that gestures and touch have different meaning in different cultures
Other suggestions: Remember that learning a language is a process Be aware of how to use the learning style of the learner in a tutoring session
Tutor’s Mindset: Consider the presentation of content Be careful with the use of slang, idioms, and humor. Use a visual aid. Check how well the student understands the content by asking questions After asking questions, allow more time for processing.
Suggestions for Listening Comprehension: Use clear transitions when speaking. Use gestures, facial expressions, posture, and body motions to clarify meaning. Rephrase complex ideas and restate key words and concepts. Use analogies and examples with which ESL students will be familiar. Summarize material discussed in tutoring.
Closing Suggestions: Encourage students in critical thinking and taking responsibility in learning. Be sure to present balanced information on a topic. Give study tips if the appropriate opportunity arises.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE to ESL Students! Continue your investment of time and expertise as tutors and learning specialists!