As a teacher at an International School, many of my students are English Language Learners. Even my native English speakers are living in a non-English speaking country. Due to my unique teaching position, I have had some readers ask for tips on teaching English Language Learners. Here is this week’s Tuesday TESOL Teaching Tip:
ELL Teaching Tip #41: Teach Positional Words
Have your students ever asked you “Can I go in the toilet?” Mine always do in the beginning of the year. Of course they mean “Can I go to the toilet?”, but those positional words, which give us so much meaning, are challenging for language learners. For this reason, we must take time to address positional words in our lessons and in the real world situations where they come up.
One way to do this is to teach specific lessons on positional words. I recently used this box lesson, where you place positional words on and around this box, that you can download free from Google Docs. We should also address issues when they come up for students. For my students, they think of toilet as in the French word for bathroom, which is toilet. So, to help them to to ask them to go “to” the toilet, we talk about what would happen if we went “in” the toilet. It’s also important to address the oddball positional word situations. For example, we get “in” bed, not on it.
How do you deal with positional words for your language learning students?
Do you enjoy the weekly TESOL Teaching Tips? Would you like to view an hour long presentation on this topic? I recently presented on Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners at the Everything’s Intermediate Expo. Now you can grab the presentation for just $3.95 from Teacher’s Notebook.
Find more TESOL Teaching Tips here, and come back every Tuesday for a new tip!