Student Engagement in an ESL Classroom.

Since I started at the TTC in September, I have included many Australian teaching strategies in my classroom. One important strategy I use and focus on daily is Student Engagement. By creating a welcoming, colourful, exciting and fun space for children, they are motivated and engaged to learn.

There are many ways that I engage students; firstly I plan ahead my lessons and try to involve student’s interests and prior knowledge into the lessons, if I engage my students they remember what I am teaching them because they were interested in it. I use whole class teaching time at the start of the lesson to teach new grammar and vocabulary through games, pictures, songs and posters to involve all children with different learning styles. I engage students by making connections to the current unit of work; I let students guide the conversation by asking questions and sharing their understanding and knowledge of grammar and vocabulary.

Students love to share their life with you and the excitement on their faces when at have a turn speaking is just wonderful! I always involve hands on learning, which is when students learn though repeated practice of activities and movement to develop their skills, I like to include hands on learning once a week as it allows students to experience through trial and error, they learn from their mistakes and understand the gaps between theory and practice. I really focus on speaking slowly and clearly, using lots of emotions and movements in my face and body and lots of non-verbal cues such as thumbs up, thumbs down, listening ears and silent lips while on the floor.

In my room I have a seating plan for the floor and the tables, I have purposely placed the students that need more involvement and who become distracted quickly closer to me at the front; this way they can see my facial expressions, actions, modelling and verbal instructions more clearly. I use fun and appropriate language that is suitable for the level of English, student and age of class, sometimes this means I adjust instruction from using longer sentences to using short simple words they know. Student engagement grows weekly and I can see the growth and change in children’s eagerness to attend classes.