Maintaining a positive attitude is essential when working with ESL students. Mentoring programs are typically run by a specialist teacher who helps new English speakers assimilate into the English-speaking community. However, these programs can be difficult to manage if set up incorrectly. Here are some things that mentoring programs should do right to succeed.
Most successful mentoring programs match up volunteers with new English speakers. This is an effective way to help new students learn English. It’s also a good way to pair up mentors and mentees since it helps students get connected with social groups. Responsible tutors will see that new students get plenty of time to practice their language skills and prepare for English classes. This way they’re ready to begin enjoying the benefits of living in an English-speaking country.
Another thing that successful programs do well is to be patient with mentee language barriers. Young students often have little experience interacting with people outside their families and college classes. They may also have little prior exposure to the English language. This can make it difficult for new students to understand and participate in class discussions. Mentors should bear in mind these language barriers before answering their questions or directing them towards relevant resources. Otherwise, it may seem like new students are completely clueless about English grammar rules or cultural references at first.
Mentors must also be ready to help new students navigate college life and extracurricular activities. Many international students find themselves homesick during the semester and wish they knew more about their campus’s culture. Others wish they knew how to approach their classmates and professors about difficulties they’re having with class assignments or study habits. This type of mentorship is very helpful when applying for university courses or applying for internships with company personnel. Finally, program mentors can help new students prepare for job interviews by teaching them basic interview skills such as how to prepare a resume and answer interview questions in English.
These tips outline what makes a successful ESL mentor program great; regular meetings, patient mentorship, and clear goals for each session. Essentially, good programs understand the struggles international students face; which is why they’re set up in the first place. As long as responsible tutors keep these things in mind, any program will run smoothly and successfully help new students learn English!