The Emotional Combat and Burnout of Immigrant Teachers
If you have limited English proficiency, you may find that giving students the opportunity to work through problems is especially challenging. When you observe non-native speakers on the job, you can often see the result of our resistance: students who stop short and reach for a light or a question and then either leave the conversation or decide not to look at the speaker or question again. This may be an example of the small, predictable actions that lead to group failure.
One student teacher at MindShift, Jennifer Sanders, sent me this advice:
I created a series of email assignments that included specific questions, followed by check boxes for self-assessment or feedback. Students worked through the check boxes to get the answer they had asked for. Check boxes encourage inquiry and reinforce their need to get to the “explanation” more quickly. Use check boxes to follow along with students who need to provide different answers for different questions.
She also suggests the use of more general articles to teach communication and to help students build autonomy and competency in English. Jennifer wrote:
These articles are not only to teach students how to read, write, speak and listen but also to teach confidence. Of course, there are articles for math and science and many technical assignments, but for English you want to speak slowly, choose a word carefully, phrase your sentence carefully and then describe your answer carefully. Show students that English is not so hard if they work hard and they do not get frustrated easily.