“Please speak to me……”

I’m trying to get my ESL students to speak English outside of the classroom.  This is a constant battle for most second language students.  They learn about the rules of speaking  and even practice in class but once they’re out of the classroom they don’t speak it.  I can’t say as I blame them but I’m trying to get across to them that you only learn something by practicing it.  They all go home to families that don’t speak English and they stick to their communities where their first language is spoken.

I’ve challenged my students this week to step out of their comfort zone and push themselves to speak English more.  I’ve asked them to go to the grocery store and ask where something is; even though they may already know where it is.  I’ve suggested watching a tv show for 1/2 hour to hear English being spoken.  I mentioned that going to the library might be a good way to speak to English speakers.

Can i ask you a favour?  If someone comes up to you and starts talking to you and you can tell his first language isn’t English can you please show some patience and help him through this encounter?  Please remember that these people are smart, they are brave and they came to this country expecting wonderful things………. let’s give that to them as much as we can, kay?


4 responses to ““Please speak to me……”

  1. Hey Karen-

    Thanks for shooting me this way from our Linked-in ESL discussion group.

    Where are you teaching? Good for you for challenging them to step outside their comfort zone. It’s not always easy, but I know it can be so rewarding.

    I’ve RSSed so I’ll follow you from afar. Cheers, Brad

    • Hi, Brad. I’m teaching in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. Most of my students are refugees or spouses of husbands that are engineers that have been sent to Ontario.

      Where are you teaching?

      Thanks for reading 🙂


  2. You’re welcome. 😉

    Hmm… I’m sure your classes must be an interesting bunch, then. I taught for 3 years in China and the students were great, but there wasn’t nearly as much diversity as what it sounds like from your groups.

    Now, I’m in Paris. Because of visa issues I was only able to find a job within fields that I was “unique” in, and that no other European Union citizen could provide… so, I’m the community manager for an English e-learning company, and I teach private lessons on the side, both with corporate clients and volunteering with a chinese boy that’s having a hard time with his french and english. Here’s my current company: http://www.edulang.com We have a cool free app that helps master english words… check it out here:

    Are you on twitter? Such a great environment, and I’ve developed a wonderful PLN there. A few friends even pushed me to write a blog which’ll be coming out today! First time ever. Would love to see what you think. 🙂

    Cheers, Brad

  3. ‘KAY!!!!! You are a good and wise teacher !

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