9 Ways to Make Learning Easier for Our EFL Students
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As teachers, it is our job to teach our learners to the best of our ability. The problem is, teaching is not the same as learning. Just because we teach something doesn’t mean that our learners will learn it. The learning is up to them. But while we may not be able to directly transfer the English language into their brains, we can help them as best we can by creating an environment that is conducive to learning.
Here are a few ways we can make learning easier for our learners.
Take it easy
Being relaxed and comfortable in the classroom is essential to learning. We all have an effective filter that stays high if we are stressed or unhappy. Learning cannot take place if this filter is up, so we need to make sure our learners’ affective filter is low. We can do this by being relaxed. By showing that we enjoy our lessons, our learners will relax and enjoy the lessons too.
It might not always seem like it but learning should be fun. If learning is an enjoyable experience, it will be more memorable. Learners of all ages enjoy having a laugh and having fun so be sure to include games in your lessons. Not all games are suitable for the EFL classroom but many childhood games can be reworked to include a language learning element. When in doubt, turn any activity into a competition and watch your learners’ motivation hit the roof!
Read more: 5 Games for Adult Learners of English
While learning should be fun, this doesn’t mean it should be easy. On the contrary, a certain level of challenge needs to be involved in order for learning to take place. If a certain level of cognitive effort is incorporated into their lessons, input is more likely to be converted into uptake. As a teacher you are always aware of the level of your learners, so you will know what they know and what they need to know. Use this knowledge and plan lessons that push them to more effective learning.
Give them space
Help your learners learn by giving them space. Your learners need to put in the work in order to learn; you cannot do it for them. Practically speaking, don’t spoonfeed them everything. Give them time and space to think and question. Don’t give them all the answers and explanations immediately. Wait for them to discover the questions and ask them themselves. Even better, let them use their own resources and find the answers themselves!
Use their knowledge
Our learners are not blank slates, no matter how young they might be. Build on their established knowledge. This will help them relate the new information to the knowledge they already have. It is a well-known fact that our brains organise information in a particular way so that having a connection between pieces of information makes it more memorable. Use this to your advantage by finding out what your students know about the topic or the language before teaching it to them.
Read more: 5 Ways to Make Language Learning Meaningful
Break it down
Information is more accessible when we break it down into chunks. This is especially true when it comes to language learning and, specifically, learning vocabulary. Rather than trying to teach your learners fifty new vocabulary items in one lesson, teach five and make sure your students really know them. Actively knowing the language and passively knowing language are two very different things and we want our students to work towards active use of the language they know.
Rinse and repeat
Repetition is key in learning. You can’t expect your learners to pick up the target language after an encounter with it in one lesson. You will need to revisit that language and revise it a number of times before it will be adopted by your learners. Techniques like spaced repetition are especially useful in aiding retention, as are revision games and activities.
Use brain breaks
Often EFL lessons are about 45 minutes long. Sometimes they can be even longer. This is a long time for anyone to concentrate, let alone learn. Mix it up a bit by incorporating short brain breaks into your lessons. These are five-minute activities that help learners relax, reset and refocus. They can be as simple as a breathing exercise, a song or a short game.
The one thing we know about our learners is that they are learning English to use it in a real-world context. To make the language more relevant to our learners you need to ensure the language you are teaching them is useful for their lives outside the classroom. No matter the language or the topic, consider the real-world applications of the language and get your students to practise it in that context. Then they will remember your lessons when they are in that particular situation.
As teachers, there is only so much we can do to help our students learn. Learning to speak a language is challenging, but there are ways we can make it easier for our students.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.