Knowing the Students

To design a syllabus for a specific class, the teacher would have to assess the student’s needs first. This is so the teacher is enabled to identify and validate the needs so that priorities may be established. Factors like diverse background features, different skills, schemata and expectations from ESL students are important factors when it comes to planning the lesson for the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 73). It is very important to know what the prior educational experience of the Korean students has (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 77).

The teacher must know if the Korean students had prior experience in studying with foreign schools or if it was the first time they have studied in school that speaks English as a native language. International students may find contrasting training instructions from the previous language training programs they have undergone (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 78). Information about the students’ educational history is valuable for the teacher. Aside from such educational background, teachers must also consider the current language proficiency and literacy (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p.79).

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This can assess what areas they need to focus on and what areas they just need to review on. The immigration status of the students should also be considered as the international students generally intend to return to their own countries after they have completed their studies in Australia (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80). This tells how much of the primary language environments they have been exposed to as well as how exposed they are to English because of staying in the country long enough (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 80).

There is also such a thing as learner preferences, strategies and styles. The learner’s disposition towards classroom instruction and independent learning must be considered as it can be a determining factor as to brining out the best performance from the students (Ferris and Hedghock 2004, p. 84). Language Needs The educational programs need to cover and address what the students bring with them (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is a need for teachers to carry on what the students have instead of focusing on what they lack (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116).

The key is banking on the students own experiences that involves their language and their culture and mix that with the new principle and concepts offered in the present class (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). This is because the teacher is merely connecting the constructs from the past experiences and stimulates the learning to make them comfortable with the new environment they are in (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Second language learning is a difficult process because learning the first language had been a process that has been done since the first day of the child.

It is quite harder to acquire a second language because of the difference of the language and the culture from what the person has already been used to (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). There is often much reservation when it comes to having to begin to learn language skills. It is very important to consider how the students may feel inferior because of such circumstance. Fluency, then, does not end inside the classroom. It must be developed even after the class and do so in basic conversations.

Errors may actually indicate progress. They can be replaced with the appropriate forms even without teacher intervention when done in an informal atmosphere (Slavit et al. 2002, p. 116). Unit Plan A quarter of the time, in the first part, middle, or the end, should be devoted to free-flowing conversation. Conversation versus classroom instruction can build relationship between students and teachers that would enable them to work together trustingly and more efficiently throughout the course.

Actual body languages, facial expressions, gestures, intonation, and other things serve as cues that help the student in understanding the context of speaking in English (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Academic English can actually provide less contextual cues (Drucker 2003, p. 22). Conversation builds relationships between the students and the teachers. Once the conversation gets going, they get to find out each other’s interests and preferences (Drucker 2003, p. 22).

Especially in the beginning of the course when the Koreans would feel reserved and inferior to have to learn a second language, it is important to gain their trust and their confidence for them to be able to perform well in whatever activity the curriculum may require. When the teacher is able to get the trust of the students, they are then made more comfortable to open up and use the English language to converse. This also makes them more open to commit errors and be open to the corrections of the teachers. Teachers can actually start by just conversing about their lives as individuals.

Some teachers relate to male students who enjoy video games by translating and analyzing the words in the context of the games they are both familiar with. If the students love music, it can be in terms of the lyrics of their favorite songs. The teachers can provide the context for the student when they begin reading a specific text and challenge them by talking with them about it (Drucker 2003, p. 22). The teachers can start by relating selected reading passages that would be discussed with something that is relevant to the students in terms of their interests and skills (Drucker 2003, p. 22).