Teaching monolingual vs multi-lingual groupsEnglish has become the global language, and there is no doubt that many find that learning english
is a necessity to succeed in the future. english
language learners are everywhere, and teaching approaches vary to cater to these students. In countries where english
is the native language, it is common to find classes in which students come from a variety of countries and do not share languages with others. These students make up multilingual groups. Monolingual groups are found in their own home country, thus they speak the same language. Teaching approaches between monolingual and multilingual classes vary due to differences in motivation. Careful selection of activities is required to provide effective lessons for each type of group.
Generally, intrinsic motivation for learning english
in monolingual groups is low. Since these students are typically found in countries whose educational system mandate english
classes, they do not find much benefit in learning it. For example, from my experience in Korea, about half of the 5th and 6th grade students disliked the idea of learning english
. Our elementary is located in a somewhat rural area of Korea, and there are not many english
-speaking foreigners. Many do not find the need to learn the language, and the lack of motivation in class is evident in their attitudes.
Activities should be designed around fluency as opposed to accuracy. Since these students live in their own country, where english
is not the native language, the exposure to the language is very low outside of the classroom. Activities should also play to their interests and skill level and have a clear and compelling objective. Students should not feel discouraged to participate in these activities or else they will revert to their native language. It is important to generate intrinsic motivation from students through properly designed activities. Extrinsic motivation can be used, though sometimes it may be the only option, but, students tend not to retain the language in the long run.
Multilingual groups are typically found in countries where english
is the native language. Students in these classes typically have higher motivation than their monolingual counterparts. Most students have immigrated to these countries, and english
is needed in their daily lives. A proficient level of the language is vital to assimilate and function in their new culture. In addition, because they are immersed in the english
outside of the classroom, students have more opportunities to use the language, and they see immediate results and thus feel rewarded.
Selecting activities take a different approach than that of monolingual groups. Students of multilingual groups come from different cultures, and they become a natural resource for activities. Students may interview each other about their respective countries. Students may discuss similarities and differences in their cultures. Because they speak different languages, these students are forced to communicate in english
. Task-based solving activities are very effective in multilingual classes as students must come to a solution by only using the language. Activities should be centered on improving accuracy as opposed to fluency because students have many opportunities to use the language in and out of the classroom.