mw 15 teaching English

Teaching English as a Second Language

  1. Ideas from KA, 2003
  • Many parents are so eager to have a native speaker teach their children English, they don’t care what you teach them. So teach bible stories in English. (interview with Professor Found).
    • Sometimes it may be hard to decipher whether the national has a reading problem or an English problem (Karen B. video)
    • Sometimes it may not work to have adults and children in the same class. Yet, this will work more often if they are all of the same learning level (Karen B. video)
    • It’s not necessary to have training to teach ESL, although it does help (Karen B. video)
    • Effective strategies for teaching ESL
      • Oral
      • Repetition
      • Take-home worksheets
    • English is the mother tongue of about 377 million people (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 33)
    • “Statistics on the elusive number of speakers of English as a second and foreign language range between 400 million and 1.1 billion” (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 33)
    • “Teaching English may well be the 21st century’s most promising way to take the gospel to the world” (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 33)
      • “Start an evangelical church in Poland, and no one will come. Start an English school, and you’ll make many friends”
      • Teaching ESL from a Christian prospective is part of a movement that has grown and matured in the last 30 years
    • A large number of English teachers minister to refugees, immigrants, and even the deaf here in North America – it’s not just an overseas movement (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 33)
    • ESL teachers teach grammar and vocabulary, but more importantly they try to engage students’ hearts. Daily conversational English and Bible reading times – with topics such as relationships, death, good works, Jesus’ uniqueness, abortion – bring students’ passions and convictions to the surface. Eastern Europeans relish these debates, and as a result some get curious about God (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 34)
    • “The need to express firm convictions is a key incentive in language learning” (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 34)
    • Some critics ask if it’s ethical to use English to evangelize people (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 34-5)
      • Some teachers view their teaching work as no more than a necessary expedient so that they can engage in their real evangelistic work
      • Certain groups take pride that English teaching is just the means to an evangelistic end
      • An ESL teacher’s best witness is professionalism. A teacher can do the most by being diligent, by preparing lessons, by listening to what the students’ needs are.
      • There’s always the risk that some student may become Christian just to please the teacher.
    • One tensions some ESL teachers face is the stereotype of the “Ugly American” (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 37)
      • Some countries resent the dominant role played by Great Britain and the U.S.
      • Some ESL teachers teach only those who can afford it –which widens the gap between the rich and the poor
      • Some ESL teachers defy the stereotype by learning the language of the host culture. It’s a disarming way to show respect.
    • “You don’t go in as a prophet, you go in as a servant” (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 38)
    • A good way to teach is to start with your students’ strengths. One ESL teacher noticed that his Chinese students were very good at preparing for class, memorizing material, and taking tests. Rather than saying that that’s antithetical to becoming communicative in a language, he tries to put that to good use. (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 38)
    • Teaching English is not just about reconciling people to God (evangelism). It’s also about: (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 38)
      • Reconciling people to people
      • Witnessing through language learning
      • Ministry to the needs of students and the disadvantaged
      • Peacemaking
      • Building intercultural understanding between churches and countries
    • It’s not necessary to have extensive training to teach ESL (The Ultimate Language Lesson, 38)
    • Becky Olinger’s husband teaches middle school conversational English. He has no training or materials. He’s just “winging it.” Methods he uses include playing games and writing sentences (Interview with Becky Olinger)
    • Realize that as they are learning English, they are leaving a part of their culture behind (interview with Dr. Carter)
    • Some ESL teaching may be using a curriculum, other material you as the teacher may have to create (interview with Sarah Loewe)
    • Not all ESL teaching will consist of teaching Christianity, it depends on your site (interview with Sarah Loewe)

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