Top Five Tips for Teaching International Students

They’re the ones who make your classes diverse and colorful.

We’re talking, of course, about international students.

Teaching them, though, seems to be an impossible mission for many teachers.

But in fact, you don’t need “extraordinary” skills and knowledge to teach international students effectively, just reliable steps. Steps you can follow to up your teaching game with your students and save them from feeling isolated.

Here are six practical, applicable and well-researched tips for dealing with foreign students.

Outline lessons and lectures

The primary goal of teaching is explaining topics for students the right way.

Take the time to produce an outline for each lecture, presentation or lesson you teach. This way, non-native English students will keep pace with the subject matter they learn. Dennis G. Jerz, an associate professor of English at Stetot Hill University in Greensburg, PA, says in his blog post titled, “Outlines: How They Can Improve Your Writing” that writing using an outline leads to better work, in less time. Also, outlines might be useful in case a foreign student’s English listening level is low, which leads us to the next tip.

Promote English comprehension

Most of international students who are enrolled in an ESL English program find difficulties in terms of comprehension. According to a research conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, the percentage of public undergraduate ESL students in the 2013-14 school year was 8.3 percent. You, as a teacher, must help those students overcome their language challenges by speaking in an appropriate way to their level of competence, and writing any crucial point ESL students must know. You also must be attentive to use of idioms and speed of speech.

Get them involved in discussions

Asking foreign students on how the issues you discuss are tackled and perceived in their home countries will ease their integration into the American community and allow them to communicate. And as a result of feeling less isolated, they will perform better in your class.

Check in with international students

Principally, as international students adapt their new environment, they need somebody to hold their hands in their first year abroad. The best thing you can do to help them is shedding light on all your expectations, including participation, homework, deadlines, attendance, etc.

Plus, provide a sample of a successful paper or presentation whenever you assign a homework so your students will understand what qualifies an “A” work.

Provide one-on-one support

Unlike Americans, people in many countries expect others to be sensitive and offer help. Therefore, declaring that you expect students to take the initiative to ask for help is crucial.

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