Personalising Activities for ESL/EFL Students
Personalising teaching activities has many benefits to students learning English. It allows ESL/EFL students to communicate real information about themselves, which makes the learning of English more relevant to the students. Personalising activities also helps the learner to remember vocabulary and grammar more effectively, and it provides them with the chance to use English in meaningful communication.
Personalisation is a significant part of the communicative approach, which is used by many ESL/EFL teachers today. Interaction and the use of real information to communicate is a key part of this teaching method. Personalisation can be used at any stage of a lesson. You should use activities that get your students talking about themselves and using the target language. In this way, your students can relate the language to their own experiences and express their opinions, ideas, thoughts and feelings.
Adapting materials to make them more relevant to the students is an important part of personalisation. For example, EFL students studying English in Thailand, who read a text about what John did in New York last week, will have little to no interest, because the context is so far removed from what they know. The students will have a hard time identifying with the text. This will then interfere with their acquisition of the target language.
By simply changing the context and situation to fit the students, they will be more engaged in the learning process. This will give the target language real meaning. Use words like 'You' or 'I', and change information to be relevant to where the students live. So, instead of the Thai students reading a text about what John did in New York last week. You might change it to what I did in Bangkok last week. Many textbooks fail to personalise, which makes them unrealistic to the students using them. Try to make it a routine to personalise your teaching materials, so your students get the most out of learning English.
Adapting materials can produce excellent results, and provide your students with a successful and dynamic learning experience. Try to think about your ESL/EFL students, their motivations for learning English, how they think, what they are interested in, and what they can do. This will help you better adapt your materials.