Teaching Beginner

Teaching beginner level students can be challenging, but in this month’s Teacher’s Corner, you’ll learn strategies for helping these language learners to be successful.
Teaching English to beginner students can seem very challenging. You may wonder where to start and how to make content accessible when students have very limited or no knowledge of the language. However, beginner-level students can advance quite quickly, and therefore they can be very exciting and rewarding to teach.

Week 1 - Routines for Everyday Language

All students need multiple opportunities to practice English in the classroom, but providing opportunities to practice is especially important for beginner-level students who need to grow their confidence with the language. Incorporating a few simple, interactive activities into your daily lessons can help your beginner-level students to learn and use essential basic language structures and vocabulary.

Week 2 - Vocabulary Building Strategies

This week’s Teacher’s Corner will focus on creating a vocabulary chart that can be used to teach new words as well as to review them with beginner-level students. It is suggested that the chart be completed over one or two class sessions, depending on how many words you include and the length of your class sessions. Each of the review activities can be used as a warm-up in a subsequent class. The review activities can also be repeated to provide students with multiple chances to practice the new words.

Week 3 - Scaffolding Part One: Questions and Responses

This week in the Teacher’s Corner, we will discuss how to scaffold questions to help beginning learners become more comfortable with responding to questions. We will also explore several simple response strategies for beginners that help to engage students and to check their understanding.

Week 4: Scaffolding Part Two: Supporting Language Production

This week’s Teacher’s Corner will present scaffolding techniques that are useful for giving beginner-level students the structured practice they need to produce English in meaningful ways.