Since English has become the global language, literally everyone who wants to advance above lower middle management must learn to read, speak, and understand it. Writing is the most difficult of the four skills, and many students never master it. Fortunately, there are online editing services.
Clarify my experience
Teaching English just leaked into my blood. To date, I have lived and worked in Nigeria, China, Morocco, Chile, Cambodia and, more recently, online.
I started to see patterns with students, even if there were patterns from different countries, languages, and cultures.
Over the years, I also developed many ESL materials, including an Executive Business English course when I lived in Morocco.
The flip side of teaching English is that I live in South America and study Spanish. I’ve gotten to the point where I can babble in Spanish and people will eventually understand what I want, even if I have to say the same things in four different ways.
The obvious one is “think in English”. Although it may seem logical, many ESL teachers forget to emphasize it with their students. When I was working in Casablanca, I had a lovely student named Laila. I kept encouraging her to think in English. One day I looked at her and said: “Laila, are you thinking in English”. He stopped and said “Yes, but how did you know”.
“I could see it in your eyes.”
He makes mistakes
Many language learners are ashamed of making mistakes. In Casablanca, I had an older student who had been raised in the French school system. There, students don’t open their mouths unless they know the answer is perfect.
“Hajjia”, he used to convince. “Just talk. Then I can correct your mistakes. If you don’t talk, there’s nothing I can work with.” I never won that one.
When I am working with Spanish speaking students, I recite some phrases in Spanish. Inevitably they laugh and then say that my Spanish is very clear and that, even if I made many mistakes, they could still understand me.
Talk like a leader
Many language learners will chatter at a rapid rate. Sometimes they are supposed to sound more like native speakers. I try to stop them from the beginning.
Slow down. Leaders speak clearly. There is no shortage of examples available on the Internet to emphasize the point.
Once they hear the difference between the exceptional leaders and the mob, they generally speak more clearly.
I also try to model the idea of slow, clear and concise when I speak. Many people have told me they understand my English, but not that of other native speakers.
Speaking out loud
When I tell students to sit in front of a mirror and speak out loud, they often protest that people will think they are crazy. My answer? “Then tell them that your teacher told you to do it, so maybe she’s the crazy one.”
This exercise allows students to observe how their mouths move and hear their own words. While it may sound close and personal, it really works. And I know I do it regularly.
Try and keep going
Learning another language is not easy. When I see the ads saying that people can learn English in three weeks if they sign up for an often expensive course, my reaction is to snort. Anyone who believes this statement probably thinks that the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny are also real.
One approach I use is to encourage students to build rewards for themselves. If they pass the test, they go out to lunch. If I study Spanish verbs for half an hour, I drink a glass of wine in front of the mirror.If you starts repeating sentence again and again, it could be good approach for this and you will be able to learn fastly.
Learning to speak English is not very easy. But then, you are not learning to speak Spanish either. Work may be a four letter word, but it is the only way to get things done. Hard work makes a man perfect, so just try the language you want to learn. You will surely succeed for which you will work hard.