Do you get the impression that some of your students don’t do a tap of self-study outside the classroom, relying solely on your expertise and brain transmitting powers to get them to where they want/need to be?Do they then wonder why they’re not progressing while they watch their classmates move to a higher level before them?
I’m not sure if its indolence or whether students genuinely don’t know how to study – maybe it’s a bit of both!
Below are some useful tips that you can give them or hang up on your classroom noticeboard to help them self-study and take charge of their own learning to become autonomous learners outside the classroom.
Empower your students to use their time effectively to take responsibility and ownership of their learning and not depend too heavily on you as a teacher to wave your magic progress wand!
Tips to Help Students Self-Study
Talk to Yourself!
You might look crazy if you do this in public but when you’re alone and doing daily tasks. Say to yourself ‘I’m having a shower’ or ‘I’m making breakfast’. When looking out the window, tell yourself what you see. ‘I see a woman cycling with her son.’ It helps you to think in English and be more spontaneous with your language. If you can’t think of a word, find another way to say it, use different language and later you can check your dictionary for the word you needed and use it next time.
Keep a small notebook with you at all times and record new vocabulary that you meet during the day. Write full
expressions and phrases, e.g. write ‘afraid of’ and not only ‘afraid’, write ‘to make a mistake’ and not only ‘mistake’. Revise your vocabulary regularly and try to use the language
in class or with people you meet.
Watch online videos on topics that you’re interested in. If you play tennis, watch a video with tips and techniques on how to improve your game or watch TED talks without the script, just listening and then afterwards watch it again with the script. Do it again and again until you’re comfortable that you understand the main ideas. (You don’t have to understand every word)
Read, Read, Read! (and Speak)
If books in English are too difficult at first, start with blogs. Find a blog on a topic you enjoy and start reading something short every day. Why not start a ‘blog club’ with your friends. Meet once a week and tell them about an interesting blog post you have read and have a discussion about the topic. Bring some new words/phrases with you to share with the others so that they can start using them too!
When you’re out walking, listen to a podcast on a topic you’re interested in. Don’t worry that you don’t know every word. Focus on getting an understanding of the overall meaning. Listening will also help you with your pronunciation and you’ll be surprised how much you actually pick up from exposing yourself to the language as much as possible.
Do you have any more self-study tips that you give your students?