ESL English Teaching: Other Sources

For achieving language acquisition goals, one or a combination of outside “speakers” – language tapes, guest speakers, music lyrics, and books – fill an important need in the ESL classroom.

For one, these other sources of English will introduce language different from your own. Your students understand your English because it is purposeful and direct; you edit and simplify your English because your goal is for your students to understand it. Your students get used to your English, but as is often the case, they are unable to understand any other native speaker’s English. Other speakers speak more quickly, use varied vocabularies, idiomatic expressions, different grammar, and include pauses, gestures, and expressions to which your students are not accustomed. Other English sources will help students broaden their comprehension of the language.

It’s a good idea to start using tapes of general dialogues and to bring in guest speakers when your students are high beginners. Tapes and guest speakers should be a staple of your ESL classroom from that point on. It is important that your students understand the communication context and its goals prior to listening to the tapes, reading the passage, or listening to a guest speaker. Understanding context is always important.

Sign up for our newsletter!