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Children learning to speak English as a second language present a special challenge for teachers. However, children are impressive when it comes to learning a second (or third) language. They absorb information and language quickly, as long as they don’t become frustrated and discouraged.
It is especially important to make learning fun for the multilingual language learners. Use games and puzzles to make learning less tedious and to break topics down into segments that are easily absorbed. Games can also be used to encourage cooperative learning. Cooperative learning allows students to learn from each other while learning to converse in English. Exercises involving Q&A sessions, role-playing and creative problem solving between students are examples of cooperative learning.
Because children pick up language easily, some of the best ways of teaching it are through other subjects. Math word problems, short science experiments, art projects and current events all incorporate language to help ESL and ELL students learn both the language and subject.
Multilingual language learners present a unique situation for teachers. Thankfully, a variety of educational games and activities, where children interact with each other, makes learning fun and rewarding for teachers and students alike.