Experiences with ESL Students
Each student has a different learning process. Some students learn easier with illustrations, while others understand everything much easier through explanations, and some learn by connecting previous knowledge with an actual situation. It has been really useful for students practicing grammar exercises online because it is a fun way to learn, feeling the process learning as a game instead as a pain. However, my goal with students is helping them to improve and to make English enjoyable. I know this is not easy at all, but I am trying to use my knowledge to achieve these goals. Even though some students feel frustrated because they cannot get an "A" in Writing or Grammar class, I just tell them, "This is a process of practice and more practice." Honestly, I can explain and give them the tools to improve, but I cannot study for them. Learning a language requires endless effort, much commitment, and continued motivation on the part of the students to master it.
I completed English for Academic Purpose courses just last semester and earned excellent grades. Of course, I still have my accent which is quite natural for any adult having acquired the language after secondary development. Naturally, I have been feeling frustrated because some students have the wrong idea that I cannot help them because of my accent. These students do not realize that they too have an accent. They sometimes prefer a native speaker for tutoring rather than accepting my help. For Americans, English comes naturally because they have learned the language as a small child. Sometimes, not all native tutors are suited to help foreign speakers, for they do not always have tolerance and patience for students of other languages. Besides, they do not understand the frustrations of second-language learners, and the obstacles they have to go through. As a bilingual person, I share the same frustrations, fears, insecurities, and worries that most second-language students had to go through one time or another. Thus, I can understand their needs and sacrifices because most of them are facing a new language and a different culture, which is difficult for some students to adapt. I am just trying to say "I too had been learning a new language only a short while ago while I also had to assimilate in the American culture like you, in order to succeed as an active member of this society.”