4 Language challenges and how to solve them
- Posted by: Shannon Amaadar
- Category: teaching techniques
Learning a new language can be a really difficult thing to accomplish, especially if you don’t have the proper support. It’s important to have guidance; a good teacher is necessary. When learning as part of a large class, it can be difficult to address all issues students face. Unless the rest of the class is having a similar problem, it can be tempting to let the student try to figure it out themself. These 4 language challenges and solutions will help you get through it.
Problem: Can’t seem to remember the vocabulary
Solution: teach words in small groups and repeat them as much as possible until they become familiar. This can include writing the vocabulary over and over again, practising in groups or performing short skits. It’s always better to learn words in context, rather than trying to memorise lists. Memorisation doesn’t give the words any meaning and therefore the brain doesn’t give them any importance.
Problem: Can’t keep up with natural speech
Solution: build up slowly. It can be very frustrating for students to watch clips and not be able to follow along because the speech is too fast. There is a great feature on YouTube that lets you build up your listening skills slowly. Change the video speed. By slowing down the video students will be better able to hear what is being said. You can gradually increase the speed until you reach a natural pace.
Problem: Getting stuck making the same mistake over and over.
Solution: Common language challenges how common it is for students to get into the habit of making the same mistake over and over. Once it’s a habit it can be very difficult to break. In this case, it’s very important students catch the mistake themself and correct it each time. Sound difficult? After all, if they could hear it they wouldn’t make the mistake, right? Well, once they can identify mistakes, focus on one at a time. Correct the mistake and have the student pay attention to it. In time they’ll begin to use the correct word or phrase.
Problem: Not having a practice partner
Solution: This is really common. Students attend a class then have no other contact with the language they’re learning until the next lesson. It’s important to practice a lot, but if there isn’t anyone to practice with it can be difficult to stay focused. Encourage students to use social media platforms like discord or Instagram to chat with other English speakers. This way students will get the practice they need without the help of a partner and will be able to reach their goals faster.
I hope these tips were helpful for you, but remember that the only way to become fluent in a new language is practice…. and time. It takes a lot of time and commitment to learning, so have patience, accept mistakes and you’ll get there.