Teaching English as a second language is a tough job as you are dealing with many students whose first language is not English. Since it is a course designed for non-native speakers, it is important for ESL teachers to know at least some part of the native language that their students excel at. Of course, ESL teachers often require help with this work as handling 15 or 20 students at a time is not easy. An ESL aide is usually hired to assist an ESL teacher in preparing and imparting language lessons.
In essence, an ESL aide’s work is not much different from that of a paraprofessional in a regular school. The difference is perhaps the curriculum which is not based on teaching many subjects but one. ESL aides usually help teachers in imparting English lessons – from beginner level to advanced levels. They observe students to ensure that they are working on target and make sure that any modified or alternate mainstream programs.
Since ESL aides work in a multicultural environment, they have to make sure that their actions are based on respect for all cultures. Typically, they have to make sure that students are on par with English learning objectives and that appropriate materials are available to the lead teacher so that she can impart instruction properly.
• Understand the objective of an ESL class by comprehending learning levels
• Assist lead ESL teachers in devising ESL programs according to each students’ individual learning capability
• Gather teaching materials appropriate to the level and type of lesson in question and distribute them amongst students
• Assist students in grasping concepts of the English language and help them with their assignments
• Praise and reinforce achievements of students with a view to encourage their efforts
• Ascertain that students understand the social and cultural context of activities performed in class
• Supervise students during lessons and activities
• Monitor student behavior constantly and ensure that any misbehavior is addressed immediately
• Check and report attendance and ensure that student data is properly recorded
• Promote students’ self-esteem through positive instruction and encouragement
• Teach citizenship, social skills and respect in accordance to the language
• Report discipline problems to lead teachers when they get escalated
• Mark papers and provide grades according to set procedures and highlight problems with learning concepts
• Ascertain student safety and wellbeing during class by ensuring that no hazardous materials are left around