When it comes to teaching English, absolute beginners are a tough nut to crack as they do not have any previous experience or knowledge of the language and have a limited vocabulary. Usually, these beginners are pre-schoolers who are still learning their ABC’s and numbers, who have no idea how to write, read or spell words, let alone the difference between a question and a statement.
So, if you are an English tutor, it is essential to diagnose your student’s language proficiency level and provide beginner materials that work based on their learning needs. Here are some recommended steps on how you can teach English to beginners like a pro.
Keep it simple
Many newbie teachers and tutors make the mistake of providing too much information to beginners. However, for these young kids, you need to start with the basics, like teaching them how to read simple words or the meaning of different words. It is important to give as many examples as possible to make it more likely that they will retain the lessons you are teaching them.
Always check for understanding
When teaching English to pre-schoolers or total beginners, you need to read your student’s body language and gauge whether they understood the lesson. You can check by asking them directly. Your student will let you know subtly or directly if they got it or not.
Give them lots of time to practice
Don’t expect your student to get it immediately; you will need to provide lots of examples and give them time to practice. This will ensure that they learn all the sounds and letters and become proficient in using the language, both in written and oral communication.
Also, you must let them know that it is okay to mess up during the practice, so they won’t feel pressured and keep trying despite the errors.
Show, don’t tell
Sometimes it is more effective to use visual cause rather than spilling many words in their direction. So, instead of saying, “Let’s learn verbs and adverbs,” you can give clear examples with simple pictures, drawings, and exaggerated gestures.
Always use positive reinforcement
A teacher and tutor must never embarrass a student even if that is a one-on-one tuition or in front of the entire class. Be gentle when they give you an incorrect answer. An abrupt gesture may scar your student for life, and they may subsequently hate this subject forever.
Create a friendly atmosphere by praising your student often, especially if they give you the right answer, and correct them in calm to encourage them to learn more about the English language.