When you first join your class I know it is sometimes terrifying to ask a question, but questions are really important to help you learn and to help your teacher understand how you learn. Here are a few things you can say to your teacher and they will understand.
- “When you ask me a question, please give me some extra time to answer.”
When you are learning English often you need to listen carefully, understand the words, decide on the answer then make sure you have the right English to communicate your answer. You are not like other students, you need time, and your teacher sometimes needs to be reminded of this.
- “Sometimes the work is overwhelming. Can I get help from a partner or group?”
When you have a lot to answer, you often feel that doing it by yourself can be very time consuming. So suggesting to your teacher that you would like to work with a partner is a good idea. It will help your partner too. Sharing your information helps you understand the information, and if your partner is not from your native country, then that’s even more chance to practice your English too.
- “If we have to take notes, can I copy yours?”
Though this might seem unfair, actually you will learn a lot from this. Your teacher has prepared some notes, so copying hers can be really helpful for you to remember what she was talking about. Usually your teacher will understand your problem and let you. Also after a while try to see if you can do it by yourself too, by then you will have so much experience, and your teacher will be quite impressed with you.
- “I am hearing so many new words and many I don’t understand. Can I use some pictures and native language translations help me.”
Your teacher wants you to learn whichever way you feel most comfortable. They know you are an ESL student and are going to use many different methods to remember things. Go ahead and ask them, they will probably enjoy seeing your funny drawings.
- “Making eye contact sometimes makes me uncomfortable”
This is an interesting thing to tell your teacher. Sometimes in some cultures to show respect for the person talking is to not look at them. Often your teacher may see this as the opposite. If your culture has something special about it that is different to the one your teacher comes from, let her know and she will be very understanding.
So always remember, your teacher doesn’t know everything about you and how you learn, so it is always good to ask your teacher in a polite way so that you are both going to feel comfortable in the class and you will learn the best and your teacher will know exactly how to help you.
What questions would you really have liked to have asked your teacher?
DID YOU KNOW: In the some Islamic cultures, men are not allowed to make direct eye contact with women, so they look down. This is often seen by western women as being uninterested or disobedient. In fact he is showing your more respect than you think.
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