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bhudkins - 5/21/2014 1:34:43 PM
Associating Psychology with ESL
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
-Maya Angelou

We do not often associate psychology with ESL, but understanding socio-affective factors is important in our field. Building rapport with students is essential in creating an environment conducive to learning. One of the ways to assist students in feeling safe is to model building relationships with them. It is also important to demonstrate a genuine interest in your students as unique persons. When students feel safe, they are more willing to experiment with language. Many studies indicate that a student’s potential is impeded if he or she is anxious. Ensure that your students know that there is no such thing as a “stupid” question in your lesson time.
In addition, encourage students to express their own opinions about issues. In many cultures, critical and independent thinking is not accepted. We have the opportunity to instill the belief that we have as Canadians that we have the right to express our opinions. Design a simple poster or cue cards with the expressions “I think…,” “I believe….,” “I agree….,” “I disagree….,” and “In my opinion….” Students can practise using these expressions when communicating in lessons. As their confidence increases, they will transfer the ability to use such expressions to their everyday lives!

Summited by Luisa Toteda, ESL Rural Routes Regional Consultant
Barb Hudkins BEd
Project Manager, Rural Routes Initiative
Centre for Intercultural Education
T 780.644.6758