No matter whom your students are the fact remains that they want or need to succeed at learning English. Here is some of the best advice for students, to lead them towards success, while completing their English course:
1) Remember Why you are Learning English
Motivation is a key factor when learning a new language and often students start to feel overwhelmed by the amount of practise they need to do in and out of the classroom. It these moments it is important for leaners to look at the big picture and remember that improving their English skills will open the doors to many opportunities in the future. Every student has a reason for learning English and it is crucial to never lose sight of what it is.
2) Nourish Your Brain and Your Body
Students who are tired or hungry have trouble concentrating in class. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting enough rest and balanced meals when studying at any English language school. Their performance will improve by leaps and bounds if they take proper care of themselves.
3) Do the Work!
There is one essential piece of information that students often forget. The teacher is not solely responsible for student learning. Students must do their share of the work after class, and this means not only doing homework but also reading extra material, listening to audio, watching videos, writing emails, and working on whatever skills they need to improve.
4) Talk to Native English Speakers
Having normal conversations with native English speakers will do wonders for students’ confidence and speaking skills. Many of the learners at Oxford English Academy opt to live with an English speaking host family but all too often I find students forming friendship circles with people who speak their native language and spending the bulk of their time in Cape Town communicating in languages other than English. I recently discovered an app called Meetup, whereby users can easily join various social groups in their city, and was intrigued to discover that there are multiple groups for adults who want to practise speaking English. Also, participating in the school’s social programme activities is a great way to be exposed to real, functional, everyday English.
5) Never Give Up
There are students who have been studying English for years, and always end up in the same place, not advancing to a higher level. Some take international examinations several times with no success. The best thing you can do for your students is to tell them they should never give up! If a student feels that they have reached a plateau, quitting will mean that they will probably forget and lose most of what they’ve learned. Quitting is not an option. They must stick to it until they meet their goal, or at the very least redefine a goal that may be a little too unrealistic.