First Day Jitters in the ESL Classroom

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking for anyone.  And starting a class with a new group of students can feel much the same.

Will I build a good rapport with them?  Will they be comfortable with each other to complete activities in their new language?  Are they here out of their own interest or are they being pushed into this program by a parent or workplace?

It’s probable that students are just as nervous to starting a class with a new teacher.  For some you could be their first ESL teacher, and others have expectations from knowing previous teachers.  Therefore, it’s important to prepare well for the first class with a new group.

If you will be teaching this class for a while, it would be very beneficial to use the first class to get to know each other before diving right into a lesson.

Initially, it is best to begin with name introductions.  If it’s a higher level class, students may already know the structure of introducing themselves, their professions, their countries.  But it would be useful for lower levels to practice using these structures.  Doing this will help you remember students’ names and for them to remember yours and each others’.

Name games for younger students are a great way to get them comfortable within the group and using the language with new classmates.  It’s also a great way for a teacher to observe students and take note of who is more outgoing, confident, or who is shy and nervous.  This will assist you when creating future teams for group work and what students’ you can go to for assistance.

090401-102829

One example is getting them to say their name and favourite “something” in a proper sentence and to repeat their classmates’ answers as you go around a circle.

In addition, it can be useful to ask students why they are taking an English class, as well as a few hobbies they have outside of your class.  Knowing this information will be helpful when making future lesson plans since using subjects that students will be interested in will make whatever concept you are covering more relevant memorable.

While you are getting to know your students, they will also want to know you. Students enjoy knowing information about their new teacher, so participating in first day activities can be fun for the teacher as well.  It shows your confidence and interest that you have invested in the class.  It is my experience that students respond best to this type of positive attitude.

Overall, the first day of class is a time to create a comfortable, encouraging, and enthusiastic environment and observe any initial strengths and weaknesses of students so that these issues can be addressed in future classes.  Having a good relationship with students will assist in making classes enjoyable and effective.

Creative Commons License photo credit: rosemariekovic

 

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First Day Jitters in the ESL Classroom

Starting a new job can be nerve-wracking for anyone.  And starting a class with a new group of students can feel much the same.

Will I build a good rapport with them?  Will they be comfortable with each other to complete activities in their new language?  Are they here out of their own interest or are they being pushed into this program by a parent or workplace?

It’s probable that students are just as nervous to starting a class with a new teacher.  For some you could be their first ESL teacher, and others have expectations from knowing previous teachers.  Therefore, it’s important to prepare well for the first class with a new group.

If you will be teaching this class for a while, it would be very beneficial to use the first class to get to know each other before diving right into a lesson.

Initially, it is best to begin with name introductions.  If it’s a higher level class, students may already know the structure of introducing themselves, their professions, their countries.  But it would be useful for lower levels to practice using these structures.  Doing this will help you remember students’ names and for them to remember yours and each others’.

Name games for younger students are a great way to get them comfortable within the group and using the language with new classmates.  It’s also a great way for a teacher to observe students and take note of who is more outgoing, confident, or who is shy and nervous.  This will assist you when creating future teams for group work and what students’ you can go to for assistance.

090401-102829

One example is getting them to say their name and favourite “something” in a proper sentence and to repeat their classmates’ answers as you go around a circle.

In addition, it can be useful to ask students why they are taking an English class, as well as a few hobbies they have outside of your class.  Knowing this information will be helpful when making future lesson plans since using subjects that students will be interested in will make whatever concept you are covering more relevant memorable.

While you are getting to know your students, they will also want to know you. Students enjoy knowing information about their new teacher, so participating in first day activities can be fun for the teacher as well.  It shows your confidence and interest that you have invested in the class.  It is my experience that students respond best to this type of positive attitude.

Overall, the first day of class is a time to create a comfortable, encouraging, and enthusiastic environment and observe any initial strengths and weaknesses of students so that these issues can be addressed in future classes.  Having a good relationship with students will assist in making classes enjoyable and effective.

Creative Commons License photo credit: rosemariekovic

 

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
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