Teach English in Jingtouwei Zhen - Yongzhou Shi

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Attempting to learn a new language is very challenging undertaking. There are many obstacles and difficulties that an ESL student will face not only when they are a beginner, but also throughout their entire English education. There are so many unique rules and intricacies to the English language that it can be very daunting at times trying to remember everything. Issues ranging from grammar, to spelling, to pronunciation; all of them can add to a student’s stress level. That is why it is so important for teachers to be aware of this when working with students. How a teacher speaks, acts, the actual words that are used, and many other things can impact students in either a positive way that helps with their learning or in a negative way that only adds to the stress. A student’s initial decision to learn English is stressful. It can also be joyful and exciting, but taking on such a challenge is intimidating. There may be very good reasons a student decides to study English. They may decide to do so for work, school, or to build better relationships with friends and family. But, taking that first step is a stressful situation on its own. This is why it is very important for teachers to create a good first impression and to also welcome students with a positive first day in class. If an ESL student who has recently made the decision to learn English has an overwhelming introduction to the class, their stress level will be very high. So much so that they may decide to quit before they have even begun. Having to practice English in front of others may add to a student’s stress level as well. Depending on their skill level, it may be difficult for them to form correct sentences or to think of the correct vocabulary. It can be easy to get lost in the details of English grammar, and doing so in front of a group of peers can be extremely stressful. Public speaking is a great fear for a large amount of people in this world. Teachers need to be able to guide students through these situations and to offer help when needed. Otherwise students may never want to use the language skills they are learning outside of the classroom. Tests and exams are a source of stress for ESL students. Just the thought of having to take a test is stressful for some ESL students. All of the studying and anxiety from what is unknown creates stress. The act of taking the test or exam itself is stressful. And if a student’s results are poor, they will become even more stressed. Preparing students correctly, and responding compassionately to less than desirable results is important. This will help lower the stress levels going into an exam and also help mitigate an increase in stress after a bad test. One of the worst ways an ESL student could experience a stressful situation is if it is caused by the teacher. If a teacher is acting inappropriately or is not conscientious of certain cultural differences it would dramatically increase stress levels. Not just for one student in the classroom, but for all of the students in the classroom. Correcting every mistake students make will create a tense learning environment where no students want to participate. Yelling or shouting will cause any student to feel stress. Acting in ways that are counter to the local culture will not only cause stress, but it may be very disrespectful as well. All teachers must be very aware of how their actions and their words may affect the classroom. Even though there are many examples of when a student may experience a stressful situation in the classroom, a good teacher is able to navigate away from these most of the time. With a good awareness and a focus on a healthy classroom environment, all teachers are able to provide a positive learning space for their students.