Why teach Synthetic Phonics to ESL students?


There’s one or more ways to skin a cat can be an idiom which means there are many ways to achieve something. In many cases, it’s definitely true, there’s usually one or more solution to an issue and various ways to approach most jobs. When speaking about teaching reading, there are various strategies which have been reviewed and debated. The aforementioned idiom also implies that the issue might be approached in several ways, but the final result may be the same. The mode of teaching is just as significant, perhaps more so, as what’s instructed, and it substantially affects the results.

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Explicit phonics, additionally referred to as synthetic phonics, constructs from part to entire. It begins with the education of the letters with their related sounds. Next, explicit phonics teaches combining and assembling, starting with mixing the sounds into syllables and after that into words. Explicit phonics is clinically proven and research based. Implicit phonics, also referred to as analytic phonics, moves from the entire to the tiniest part. Phonemes associated with specific graphemes aren’t pronounced in isolation. ESL students examine words plus look for the common phoneme in some words. Through assessment, they deduce which grapheme to write or which phoneme to read.

Blending and assembling are not generally taught, and ESL students need to identify new words by their condition, starting and ending letters, and context clues. This evaluation of the entire word to its components is needed only when a young child can’t read it as an entire word. Research continues to be decisive that specific phonics instruction is the most efficient. The National Reading Panel’s report on its quantitative clinical tests on regions of reading education was published in 2000. The panel reported that many reading techniques are crucial to become good readers: phonics, fluency, language, and text understanding. Scientific research has clearly shown that specific phonics instruction is the single most efficient strategy for all ESL students.

If anyone has any comments or Synthetic Phonics teaching strategies please put them in the comment box below. Happy Teaching!

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Top 3 reasons why teaching complete sentences is super Important for teaching English online to kids


First, I believe this is important mainly because low level learners spend a lot of time asking and responding to questions. The main avenue they have to produce meaningful non-question sentences is when they are responding to questions. They need to practice giving answers in complete sentences. This will help them learn the vocabulary as well. An example of this is: Do you like apples? Yes. But this would be a better answer. Do you like apples? Yes, I like apples. Furthermore, ESL students need to practice the questions.

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Secondly, sentences make it easier for students to learn English because they can start to associate words and this is going to improve their vocabulary much faster than just trying to teach them individual words or phrases. Getting younger students to go beyond Yes and No answers will help them with writing and reading as well.

Thirdly, by teaching complete sentences you can start to exclude a word from the sentence to see if they know what the word is. This is a great exercise for faster learning. Speaking in complete sentences give the ESL student the chance to show the student variations in the way they can say the same thing in a completely different way.

Lastly, they need practice. I constantly ask students questions throughout the class. This is so important to make sure they understand what they are learning but I make sure they speak in complete sentences.

Teachers need to set the expectations from the first class. Always get them speaking in sentences. If they can only do short sentences then that is OK. You have be consistent and correct them all the time.

Here is a video on getting student to answer questions.

Teaching Kids How to Speak in Complete Sentences

If you have any other strategies to get students to speak in complete sentences please post them below. Happy Teaching!

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The most effective way to teach the Letter L sound to Chinese students when teaching ESL online

The letter L sound is hard for some ESL students in Asia. It is easier to teach than most people think when teaching students in China. Tell them to say the musical note “LA” or to sing the words la, la, la, la. Once they have a grasp of that sound, tell them to hold the “L”, by now they will know how the tongue has to be placed at the top of your mouth close to their teeth. It can take time, but this is a very effective way to teach it.

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Also, imitation is the key when teaching ESL students online. A student needs to see it modeled first. Model it slowly and make sure you have the correct placement of the tongue. Here is a fun video teaching the Letter L sound.

Letter L Sound Video

Furthermore, find some fun tongue twisters that you can practice with the student near the end of the lesson. It’s fun and you’re helping them practice a sound that might be hard for them.


If anyone has other ideas on how to teach the Letter L sound effectively please post it in the comments section below. Happy Teaching!

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Stupid things to avoid when teaching English online from home


The process of teaching online is a bit different from teaching ESL students who are in the same room as you are. There are some mistakes that many online teachers make that can be easily avoided. In this article, we are going to give you some details on the things that you need to keep in mind when teaching ESL online.

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Bad microphone placement: Your students might not be hearing you properly if your microphone is not placed in the right place at the right angle. Always do a quick check and ask the online student or students if they can hear you clearly.

Bad camera placement: Just like it happens with the microphone, your camera could be at a bad angle that is not optimal for students to see you. Sometimes it is too high or low. If the camera is placed too high then it might look like you are always falling asleep when teaching.

Optimal lighting: If you don’t have the right light setup then the students will see shadows. This might make it difficult for the student to see your face when you’re trying to correct them and show them how to pronounce certain words.

 Not giving students time to talk: Avoid over talking and always ask your students questions after you say a few important things. Take your time and give them a chance to respond or ask questions. If it is a low-level student write on the slide and show them pictures so they can understand what you are saying. This is what I do for the lower level students.

Making sure you have the best equipment. You don’t want a student not booking your lesson because of technical problems. Remember teaching online is your small business and treat it as one. That way you can become successful and leave the rat race behind you.

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Tips for Teaching Online English

ipad-1126136_1920English as a Second Language instructors are in great demand all over the world. It is possible to have to face particular challenges while educating students that are not native English speakers.

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Barack Obama has offered a pattern to alter No Child Left Behind, the law of the United States that establishes performance standards for all students. His suggestion does not offer any specific guidance on evaluating pupils who are not fluent in English. If schools cannot get these students analyzed on grade level rapidly, they must provide free tutoring and permit transports outside the attendance zone. Schools are always in search of skilled ESL teachers who might help them meet government literacy targets.

Being very sensitive to cultural nuances is an integral part of teaching ESL. I feel that the trend will be to teach these students online to get them grade level ready. But the high demand for online ESL teachers is in China. If the US won’t pay its teacher’s good money well China will. I made $75,000 last year teaching Chinese students online. Here is an article about my experience.


Here are several tips for online ESL teachers-. If you cannot speak the language of the country you’re teaching English in, a great ESL online tutor-student relationship is valuable. Make learning fun for the students, using games in order to get them to relax. Another way of getting your students to open up is requesting them to teach you something. Let them be the teacher.

Become familiar with the school’s curriculum and utilize it. You need to instruct your students so they can do well in the school exams, besides learning English. Reading up on the culture of the nation you’ll be educating in can serve as conversation starters with the pupils along with other teachers wherever you work. Get involved in some of the online ESL discussion groups. They can be there for support and answer your questions. Also, find out the age of the kids you’ll be teaching. You need to be ready to teach additional courses so extra prep time will be needed at first.

Keep in mind that you can only work within the existing system. Trying to change the system will probably alienate you. Don’t stress about things that are out of your control.  Accept it, and don’t feel uncomfortable should you make mistakes. Just learn from it and move on. Don’t dwell on it. Furthermore, a positive attitude may earn you the respect of your company as well as students. ESL instructors will need to apply their knowledge of individuals wherever they teach.

Good luck teaching and may this year be the year that you take control of your job and not let it control you. Teach ESL online and set your own hours around your family’s schedule.

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