Why are some students better at learning languages than others?
Students who are better at English language learning tend to have four common characteristics.
Practice is the most essential part of becoming a better language speaker.
Students who practice unrehearsed language in the classroom are better prepared for speaking English outside of the classroom.
Building confidence and not giving up is important for a language learner.
Students need to understand that they may not know every word being said. They should not focus on the words they do not know, but on the words they do know to understand the general meaning.
It is important that students have a desire to learn a language, other than just to pass a test or fulfill a requirement. When students are intrinsically motivated, they enjoy the classes more and become better at the language.
Students in Asia tend to lack intrinsic motivation. They study a lot, but their motivation is generally to pass an exam or to please their parents.
As a teacher, it is important to remind the students of the benefits of studying English to encourage intrinsic motivation.
Benefits of Learning English
It is important for the students to set achievable goals, so they can monitor their progress. Goals give students direction and purpose for learning a language. They help students know if they are on track or not.
Students should be encouraged to set personal goals. On the first day of class, ask the students what they would like to get out of the class other than just a grade.
From there, the students can write a goal they would like to set for themselves. Goals should be achievable by the end of the semester, so the students can have a sense of accomplishment by the end of the course.
Students who practice English outside the classroom, build confidence, develop intrinsic motivation, and set personal goals tend to be better at English language learning.
As teachers, we can incorporate these skills into our lessons and assist our students in becoming better language learners.
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