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Teaching Shy ESL Students

 
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rm3476



Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:54 am    Post subject: Teaching Shy ESL Students Reply with quote

I am currently a teacher in Philadelphia. I have 1 ELL student that speaks little English. I partnered her up with a buddy that speaks her native language. I am having trouble getting her to practice her speaking skills. What are some strategies that I could use to help her practice if she is hesitant?
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go easy on her. Shy people often clam up when pressured. Does she speak a lot in her own language? No? Then she won't speak much in English.
If she has to explain things to her partner she might speak a bit more so questionnaires and asking her to explain games or procedures such as how to do something works usually.
Are you sensitive to the politics of where she comes from and whether the partner is really someone she can talk to or just speaks her language? It may be dangerous for her to speak.
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rm3476



Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 12:43 pm    Post subject: Shy ELL student Reply with quote

She does speak with others in the classroom in her native language. The first time she was in my class her now buddy asked me if they could pair up and sit next to each other so she could help her. I am very sensitive and she really feels comfortable in my classroom except for speaking.
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Sally Olsen



Joined: 08 Apr 2004
Posts: 1322
Location: Canada,France, Brazil, Japan, Mongolia, Greenland, Canada, Mongolia, Ethiopia next

PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds ideal then.
I used to make sure I structured the pairs activities so they had to explain something to each other - the instruction for a game, the way to a certain store, a recipe, depending on the theme for the lesson. If she is explaining in her own language then have her partner coach her on the English equivalent until she can say it in English.
Some people spend a longer time on the listening side of learning so you may have to wait. I think some people call it the silent period.
Is she comfortable speaking to men?
Never ask her a yes or no question, just open-ended questions. Wait extra long for her answer without looking impatient or worried she won't answer. Some people need a little time to process what you asked and then to formulate an answer.
Jazz chants help to make it easier to practice questions and answers.
Think of 5 ways to ask a question that she will hear frequently and she can give the same answer each time, for example, "will that be cash or charge? Do you want to put that on your card?"
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rm3476



Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 1:27 am    Post subject: Shy ELL student Reply with quote

Yes she had definitely been in the silent period! I am not trying to rush her but I am try to encourage her. She also speaks to other men who speak her native language in the class.
Thank you so much for the input! I will definitely use your strategies! I can have her buddy go over my directions in her native tongue and in English. I usually give her lots of wait time for responding to questions. I can also make sure not ask open ended questions and give her the practice that she would use in everyday situations. Thanks a bunch!
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lip420



Joined: 13 Mar 2011
Posts: 34

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Partnering her up is a good idea. Pair work is good. You can also start sentences and have her finish them. You can try role play and dialogue too.
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samn



Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to be one of those quiet student myself. In my case, I get really shy with people I don't know at first in my native language, too, so I don't know if it was the same case...Pairing her up with someone she feels comfortable is a great start. Once you can see she feels much better about speaking in English, you can scaffold by pairing her with someone else. I learned, especially in the States, you need to speak up to he heard or understood. Now I'm one of the eloquent ones in the class.
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