How to teach a language to a class of students

In this article, you will find several tips for motivating language learners in a classroom.

If you apply these tips, there is a good chance that students will be more attentive and therefore your teaching will be much more enjoyable.

Use the target language during class

It is good to expose your students to the target language as often as possible. You may have to say a few words in another language during your classes, but most of the time it is not really necessary.
By immersing your students in the target language, you help them to approach the language more independently, increase their confidence, and enrich their vocabulary.

Encourage students with practical exercises

Students need to participate in activities that interest them in an environment that encourages participation.
The more they are interested in what they do, the more progress they make. Competitions and quizzes are an important motivator. By rewarding them when they succeed, you offer them opportunities to improve. The slightest practical exercise, the association of images and words for example, or even the search for hidden words, can turn into contests: race against the clock, the first to finish, competitions between classes, etc.
Prizes and rewards are great ways to motivate students.
Here are some ideas:
- Give them rewards, for example, pens and stickers of the country where the language is spoken,
- Use photos and accessories to talk to them about everyday life in the country,
- Display on the class walls graphs representing progress and rewards.

Never forget that grammar is the starting point for all language skills

Grammar is an element of language just as fundamental as communication. One cannot exist without the other. It is important to maintain a balance between grammar and communication to ensure that students learn with pleasure while making progress.

Grammar is the basis of all language skills. Knowledge of grammar allows students to speak better, write correctly, and gain more confidence.

Ask a student to explain a grammar rule to another student or to the whole class. This is an opportunity to check which grammar points need to be reviewed.

Adopt games, activities and video clips to illustrate the grammar rules you teach students.

Learning a language must be pursued outside the class

The more you learn and the more you practice a language, the more you can speak it fluently. In many areas, skills are assimilated by repetition and training.
This is especially true for the acquisition of a language. To reinforce learning in class you have to constantly review grammar and vocabulary and work on pronunciation.
Recreational activities such as singing, replacing missing words, or using memory to associate words and pictures, are all useful exercises. During the practical exercises, always repeat what you say so that the students can listen to the pronunciation several times.
As the learning of a language proceeds by accumulation, it must continue outside the class.
You can give the students revision tests to do at home or in language clubs.
Language clubs are informal places where students can practice speaking and understanding, do homework, or discuss the culture of the countries where the target language is used.
Those clubs are generally organized in public places in the form of a language exchange. For example, an English / French language exchange will bring together French and English speakers. Each will teach and learn in turn French and English.
Here is a list of polyglot language clubs near you.

Also, give your students home exercises to help them remember what they learned during class. Many students like to teach their parents what they have learned.

Live the language and its culture in class

Focusing on cultural as well as linguistic differences promotes learning a language.
This develops students' interest and encourages them to take an active part in their learning.
Do not just teach them the language but give them some information about the countries where it is practiced.
Ask them what they already know about the culture of the country.
By introducing the language and culture of these countries into the classroom, you will motivate your students even more.
Organize an exchange program with foreign correspondents.
Use the Polyglot Club site to find foreign students all over the world.
Once the foreign student is found, the two students will be able to practice together, writing or speaking.

To make the language event more real, you can organize cultural outings to the cinema or a trip to the country where the language is practiced.

As for you, do you have tips to share to effectively teach languages?

Please, feel free to leave a comment below :)

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