Here are 10 helpful tips to help your student learn the language:
Be patient and encouraging. Speak slowly (not loudly), and listen. It’s hard work to learn a new language.
Be persistent. Don’t switch to the student’s mother language at the first sign of trouble in understanding. Encourage the student to work through the difficulties instead of giving up.
Focus on progress over perfection. It’s okay if their pronunciation isn’t perfect. It might never be. Focus on their weekly progress and the meaning behind what they are saying.
Prioritize the local language. You and the student may already have a shared foreign language, or you may be interested in learning the student’s mother tongue. Put that on hold to avoid confusing the student, and focus on helping them learn your language first.
Rephrase. Try to find different words or synonyms while your student gets used to the regional accent and colloquialisms. Although it’s hard, try to limit the use of slang at the beginning.
Use multiple forms of communication. Don’t be afraid to write things down so that your student can process the language in a different way. Give them a journal and encourage them to write down any words or phrases they have questions about.
Make it fun. Write down some “words of the week'' and practice them often. Come up with new words the following week.
Make it tangible. Take your student to the supermarket and review the most common food items together (vegetables, fruit, beverages, etc.).
Have a movie night! Watch your favorite family movie or TV series with them. Make sure they understand what’s going on during the film or check for understanding afterwards.
Encourage intentional interaction with others. Encourage your student to get involved in an after school activity, such as sports, theatre, student organizations, etc. Or arrange for your student to interact with host siblings (if applicable) or family friends. Maybe they can go for a walk, play a sport, or play a game together.