Challenges of teaching ESL to university students

Hello everyone!I need your ideas on teaching university level students English as a second language. What are the main difficulties? I'm thinking about grammatical differences in L1 and L2, cultural differences... I also think that being in a new environment for university students is very influential. They might be disoriented and their attention span might be shorter than other adults.Please share your ideas. Thanks...

fatihyalcin's picture

Hi,In my opinion, one of the difficulty for the university students is the level they are. Some of them may have already studied till intermediate level, some of them may not have any idea except basic information question and answers. In such a various level class, the first thing is to determine, or balance what level you are going to teach. Most of the institutions do placement tests, which are welcomed in this case, but they don't necessarily show the level. We can encounter the same problem in an intermediate group, in which one can easily communicate with others and some of them still have got no idea, for instance, where to use present perfect tense. For this reason, we should prepare materials in view of this difficulty. If we get them just right the level they are, weak ones will be lost and vice versa. It is really difficult to carry out your lesson in such a group, but once being succeeded, it would be beneficial for both parties.Another point is students' needs. It varies. Depending on their learning style and past language learning experiences, they seek for more communication or grammar knowledge. Furthermore, for the university students, they are supposed to have average knowledge on academic writing. In my opinion, at the very beginning, the grammar problems must be solved in parallel with communicative approaches. Just as an example, we can teach obligations (must, have to, not have to, should, ought to, etc.) according to the rules of the institution they are studying or, if it is a cosmopolitan group, it would be nice to teach it through religions. They both bring some ideas and get students know eachother and other cultures, religions. Doing that, you would keep the communication which above level students may be keen on and teach the grammar to the students who have first seen it as well.I admit that it seems hard but it deserves trying. We should always keep in mind that variety is the spice of life, and young university students look for it.   

othman khamis's picture
othman khamis

hello , if any one wants to have knowlodge in english must read english literature to improve his expressions and vocabulary , and to feel that he is in love with english language to create motivation to learn how to speak english fluently >