In order to learn a language, you must not be afraid to ask for clarification or to say what you need and what problems you are encountering so that the native speaker of English will know what you want them to do. ESL teachers should teach their students how and when to use the following structures. Give a scenario and let the students act the scenes with a classmate or with you using the language structures below. Some of the structures mean the same thing.

1.) I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.
2.) I speak English, but not so well.
3.) Please say that again.
4.) Please repeat.
5.) Please speak slowly.
6.) Your accent is a bit hard to understand.
7.) What do you mean by (spoken word)?
8.) Can you explain to me in simple English?
9.) What is the meaning of (spoken word)?
10.) Please give the meaning of (spoken word).
11.) Please explain it to me in simple English.
12.) What is this/that in English? (You need to show or point to the object or act out an action or feeling.)
13.) How do you say this/that in English? (You need to write the word. This structure can also be used when showing or pointing to an object or a word.)