Monday, June 25, 2012
5 tips for ESP teachers
Dealing with the techinal jargon that refers to complex concepts is probably the worst part.
If you're facing this situation, here are some ideas based on my own experience:
1. Be clear about your role as a facilitator:Students must be aware that you're a language teacher and not a specialist in the area. This can help you to avoid creating wrong expectations or future frustrations.
2. Look at yourself as a permanent learner:Teaching ESP can make even experienced EFL teachers stop and study (more than we usually do) while preparing classes. This can help the teacher to understand what kind of difficulties the students are about to face.
3. Try to establish a partnership with other teachers or professionals:Having someone you can rely on and help you to understand the concepts of their area of study can make your life a lot easier and give you more confidence about the subjects that you're teaching and also clarify the real needs of the students.
4. Have good online resources and strategies:As for everything else in this digital world, Google is a very useful tool. Looking for images of machinery, for instance, has helped a lot to understand what they do and how they work. Another useful procedure is bookmarking the websites you found interesting. Do this on a regular basis and soon you'll have a good reference list.
5. Be persistent:It might drive you crazy in the very beggining, but it's just a matter of time until you have created your activities or designed your course. Once you have done it for the first time, things won't be that difficult anymore.
(Do you have anything to add to this list? Leave a comment!)