Classroom management tips for online classes
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When it comes to teaching English to foreign students, there are two most common abbreviations related to this situation: EFL and ESL.
In this article, we are going to look at both EFL and ESL classrooms and analyse how teaching ESL is similar and different from that of EFL.
ESL (English as a second language) refers to the situation when foreign students learn English in an English-speaking country, such as the UK or the USA. In most cases, such students are immigrants and come from various national and cultural backgrounds. While learning ESL, students are found in the English-speaking environment and they speak English not only during the lessons, but also with their classmates and teachers after the classes.
English may also be the medium of instruction. Although ESL students are likely to speak their native language with the family, they have more exposure to English. ESL students should be able to communicate with people in English outside the school, and overall, they have practical needs for English, e.g., shopping, filling in the forms, looking for a job.
EFL (English as a foreign language) is taught to students in a foreign non-English speaking country. In most cases, it is a monolingual class where all the students speak one language. Although English is a medium of communication in many European countries, it is still not the native language.
Therefore, such countries refer to the situation of EFL. EFL students normally speak English during their lessons while the rest of the time, they can speak their native language with classmates, teachers, parents and friends. As a rule, the only exposure to English outside the school is books, films, or TV programmes in English.
Since we are speaking about teaching the same areas of language, for example, grammar or lexis, using the same approaches and methods, there will not be any dramatic distinctions.
However, due to the differences in the country of living, the local community and learning environment, there will be some differences. What is more, for the reasons above mentioned, the students in each case will have different needs which have to be addressed in the learning process.
As the students are exposed to English outside the classroom and have real-life practical needs for English, the teacher should take into account the following points:
E.g., filling in the application form or writing a job application letter. Therefore, task-based activities or role plays will be suitable for this classroom because students will be equipped with practical knowledge of solving their daily problems.
In other words, the students should be able to apply what they have learned in the classroom straight away in real-life situations, such as shopping, buying a ticket, ordering food.
Since an ESL classroom usually consists of students of various nationalities, it may be of great interest to discuss and discover the differences between their cultures and traditions.
As students come from different backgrounds, the lessons of English can also provide them with the necessary information about the local standards of culture and behaviour.
This point especially refers to newly arrived immigrants who are likely to experience certain difficulties with adaptation. In this case, the teacher of English may be the source of necessary information.
As we have mentioned earlier, an EFL classroom is mainly monolingual and consists of the students from the same country and similar cultural and traditional context. Therefore, a teacher should consider the following peculiarities:
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