Saturday, August 25, 2007

ESL Students and Self-Confidence

As a private tutor of adult ESL students, I think the most important thing that English language learners get from our sessions is increased self-confidence. Most of my advanced students have excellent grammar skills, a pretty good vocabulary and fairly decent pronunciation.

The thing that ESL students are lacking is self-confidence. They're afraid of making mistakes out in the world. Just by providing a safe place for them to have conversations and practice their English speaking skills, their self-confidence improves immensely. I've noticed that it only takes three to four months of regular practice with me for their self-confidence and speaking skills to significantly improve.

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2 comments:

karen said...

Confidence is indeed an important quality that each ESL learner must possess. I am glad to see my former ESL student to turn from a serious-low confident-looking girl into a talkative-smiling gal. She really speaks only a little and with poor English on our first few days together. Teaching her for almost 6 months, I am really happy to see how much she has changed. She is still not that proficient in English, though.But she talks a lot now than she used to be! To see her become open about some of her personal life, to laugh and most of all to have fellowship with her are good indicators that she is getting out of her box which I consider as one of my accomplishments as a teacher. I believe that through that confidence she has gained in speaking English, it will help her a lot to learn more and become better in using the English language.

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled across your site while surfing around, and I'm enjoying looking through the old posts. I'm rather new to teaching adult ESL students (and in an extremely large group, no less, which precludes having as much direct practice with conversation as I'd like). I wonder if you have any suggestions on how to address confidence issues head-on--like apart from longer-term encouragement and positive feedback.

Thanks