If you are an English tutor, or if you are preparing to be one, you may have heard of these questions before.

"Are you familiar with the current examination syllabus for SPM/IGCSE?"
"How do you plan your lessons?" 

Most of you would be familiar with SPM English, but why don't you try exploring another tutoring option for IGCSE students?

In fact, there are many Malaysian students who are studying the IGCSE English as Second Language at international schools or homeschooling institutions.

The syllabus is tailored for students whose first language is not English and equips students to master the four language-learning skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Continue reading this article to have a guideline on how to start teaching English for Speakers Of Other Languages (ESOL) and ideas on how to plan your lessons.

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What Is The Format And Overview of IGCSE English As A Second Language?

It is best to know the format of the exam before you explain it to your students and guide them accordingly during your lessons.

For this article, we will be discussing the assessment format using the extended syllabus (candidates are eligible for Grades A* to E).

Reading and Writing [Paper 2]

  • Duration is 2 hours
  • The total mark is 80 (weightage 70%)
  • Candidates will be tested through 6 exercises
  • External assessment

Listening [Paper 4]

  • Duration is around 50 minutes
  • The total mark is 40 (weightage 30%)
  • Candidates will listen to tracks of various lengths and answer short subjective and objective questions
  • External assessment

Speaking [Component 5] 

  • Duration is around 10 to 15 minutes
  •  The total mark is 30
  • Candidates will engage in a 6 to 9-minute discussion with the examiner after a warm-up conversation
  • Internal assessment (separately endorsed)
esol kursus in english
Most students would week ESOL tutoring to prepare for their exams.
Source: Xframe

What Should You Take Note Of When Planning English Speaking Courses For Beginners?

We often say that you have to practice a lot to be fluent in English. But most of the time, it is not a straightforward process.

One of the main reasons why students hesitate to speak more in a bigger group is due to their lack of confidence and also the lack of clarity on what to speak in different settings.

Here are a few steps that you can practice as an ESOL tutor while guiding your students to speak better.

Let your student knows the appropriate vocabulary and grammar for simple sentences beforehand

Let's face it. The main reason why we are afraid or reluctant to speak a new language is simply that we do not know what to say. We also do not know many words of the language, to begin with.

It could also be we are not sure whether we are speaking with the right pronunciation or how a proper sentence actually works, in terms of the subject and predicate.

Yes, it boils down to the very basic formation of words and sentences.

For instance, someone whose first language is Mandarin Chinese might say "Now go." instead of "Go now."

That's because they tend to directly translate the phrase from their mother tongue, where the verb is normally placed at the end instead of the beginning of a sentence.

Hence, it is important to teach your students the related vocabulary and grammar before letting them try out a speaking role-play.

Make sure you let them know the vocabulary that they will encounter during the process and the sentence structure/tenses that they will need to use during the conversations.

Set a task by giving a direct context for a role-play

When it comes to any role-play, you have to assign the character and give a brief description of what is expected of the character.

Let's say, you are planning to let them try out a role-play on buying a movie ticket.

There would be a character for someone who wants to watch a movie and also another character who is working at the cinema counter.

From there, both of you can then discuss and design the conversation using the WH questions.

  • [Who]  Who is going to the cinema, and who is at the counter? 
  • [What]  What movie is the person going to watch?
  • [Where] Where is the cinema hall? 
  • [When] When is the movie starting? 
  • [Why]  Why did you choose to watch the movie?
  • [How] How did you buy the ticket? How much was the ticket? 
english speaking course
Having role-playing during your lessons will enhance your students' confidence to converse more in English.
Source: Xframe

Perform an easy demonstration on how the role-playing is expected to go

Your students may feel shy if it is their first time trying out this activity.

What you can do is play two roles with the sample conversations that you have initially worked out.

Allow your students to observe how the conversation can take place naturally using the taught vocabulary and sentence structures. You can either print them out or use flashcards as a reminder.

Some examples that you can refer to are as follows:

Vocabulary:
Movie ticket, counter, screening time, earliest, payment method

Sentence structure/tenses:
Can I have two movie tickets, please?
May I know what is the screening time for No Time To Die?
The price of the tickets is RM20.

Record the role-play/conversation and review it together with your students

After your demonstration, you can officially let your student engage in the role play with you.

While both of you carry out the conversations, it is best to record the whole session so that both of you can review them together.

Remind your students that it serves as a good feedback system to see how the conversation goes and review where his/her strengths and weaknesses lie.

For instance, your student may notice that he/she has no difficulty using the correct tenses or he/she may be hesitant to pronounce a certain word during the conversation. From there, you can then point out where he/she went wrong exactly and correct him/her effectively.

Learn more about how much you should set your rate as an ESOL tutor in Malaysia.

What Are Some Teaching Materials and Methods That You Can Apply During Your ESOL Classes?

You don't have to worry about your qualifications when you are preparing to be an ESOL tutor.

As long as you are passionate about teaching and well versed with the subject syllabus and available teaching materials, you can be an amazing ESOL tutor!

To allow your students to have a comprehensive learning experience, it is best to categorize your teaching materials according to the language learning components.

This helps you to be more systematic and specific when it comes to setting learning expectations and learning outcomes.

Reading and Writing

Reading is often cited as one of the most beneficial hobbies that one can have to improve our knowledge and language skills.

In this context for ESOL teaching, you can use storybooks, newspaper or magazine articles to do a simple test on your student's reading comprehension level.

If your student is a child, you can start with the Lady Bird Peter and Jane Key Word Books and even move on to different age-level books such as the Reader Picture Books by Scholastic.

For adult learners, you can introduce to them short stories or let them read short passages for their assigned work every week.

The key is to cultivate the practice of reading naturally and enable them to learn as many new words as possible to enhance their vocabulary and confidence.

esol kelas online
You can encourage your students to write better through extensive reading, Source: Photo by Annushka Ahuja from Pexels

"Reading is the finest teacher of how to write." - Annie Proulx

When does writing come in?

When your student is familiarized with different words, ideas, and the right grammar from different resources it will be easier for them to write down their thoughts on various topics.

You can then use the examples of their readings to teach them how to start a story, connect different points with persuasion and how to write a convincing conclusion.

Listening and Speaking

The listening component is pretty straightforward. Encourage your students to listen to as many conversations as possible, be it at their home or when they are in school or work.

What you can do during lessons is to allocate time for your student to listen attentively to a recorded audio online and write down the basic idea of the recording.

It could be a TED talk on YouTube, a podcast on Spotify about football, or an interview between a celebrity and a deejay on the radio.

From there, your students will slowly pick up the pace of conversation, the keywords or underlying meaning between the speakers and increase their listening skills.

Speaking is another skill that is greatly linked to listening. This is because you have to understand in order to reply and hold an engaging conversation.

As mentioned earlier, role-playing is an effective and fun way to teach your students to speak well.

Encourage your students to speak without worrying about making a mistake or whether they are speaking too slowly.

Remind them that as long as they know the right words that are linked to the context of the conversation, they can gradually improve their pronunciation and grammar.

How To Connect With New Students As An Online ESOL Tutor At Superprof?

You may think that it takes a lot of your time to start becoming an online ESOL tutor.

Well, that is certainly not the case when you kickstart your tutoring journey with Superprof!

Superprof is a platform that allows you to become a tutor even if you are a student, retired educator or even someone who is currently working in a related industry.

It is super easy to advertise your service as an ESOL tutor. All it takes is less than 10 minutes!

  1. Start by creating a tutor profile (it's FOC!)
  2. Add in the details of your schedule, teaching methodology and rate (it's flexible and tutor-friendly!)
  3. Connect with passionate students and learners once your profile is published!

Starting with Superprof gives you an advantage as an online ESOL tutor, especially if you are a beginner!

You also get to set a flexible cancellation policy and offer online tutoring around the world, not just in Malaysia.

‘The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.’ ― William Arthur Ward

We hope you have gained some insights on how to plan your ESOL lessons effectively from this article.

Start your ESOL tutoring journey today with Superprof! We promise that it will be worth it!

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An avid reader and writer, Joycelyn loves the art of communication and is passionate about all kinds of media.