General Teaching Advice

By Trevor Jones
Trevor has been teaching General and Business English, ESP and Teacher Training for the past 7 years in the UK, Spain and France to a wide range of students, following an extensive career in business management.

Tips for teaching English online

By techsrc2371 (Flickr: Student using Laptop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In this article I will relate my experiences with teaching English online after 7 years classroom teaching. It will cover in my opinion the important points and discuss links to classroom teaching. I still teach in the classroom and I have found that teaching online has helped my classroom skills and I will discuss this further.

However I would really appreciate your views about online teaching to help me improve my teaching. Please add any comments below the article.

One does not have to be a computer “geek” to enjoy teaching online, just have enough confidence to operate a computer, adapt to speaking and listening over a computer voice network and using a few simple computer programmes. What has been more challenging is the focus I have had to make on my teaching style.

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By Yolande Deane
DELTA qualified EFL teacher with 5 years’ teaching experience

The TEFL Dream

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Trunk Bay Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There are many reasons why people choose to teach English abroad, and the adverts enticing teachers away from home all plug more or less the same thing; cheaper cost of living, fun, enhance your career, beautiful beaches, the best time in your life and a chance to travel.

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Put Some Fun Into Your English Classes and Help Your Students

There are so many different ways of adding some fun to the English classes you run that it seems a shame not to take advantage of at least one of them. You might teach them some jokes or some interesting proverbs or maybe listen to some music or watch a film together. Let’s see how this could help.

Help Them Relax

Most students need to relax in order to learn as well as they want to. This can be tough for some people to do, and not doing it well often results in students getting too nervous and stumbling over their words or not listening to you properly. One of your priorities as an English teacher should be help them to relax at the start of each lesson. Sometimes this might just take the form of some fun introductions but at other times you might want to get everyone to settle down and relax with a long game or some other sort of interesting learning method.

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By Yolande Deane
DELTA qualified EFL teacher with 5 years’ teaching experience

Exploiting kindergarten material

The situation

I am now teaching kindergarten in the north of China, which I am enjoying, but what I have had to get used to is teaching to quite a strict syllabus. In London I was teaching adults and I was given free reign as to when I taught my students, particular language points and for how long.  In kindergarten we spend a week teaching one learning point, for example, I may teach the letters J, K and L for one week along with actions and chants, or, we may just repeat a dialogue.

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By Neil Root
Neil Root is a writer and London based English Language teacher with 10 years experience.

Class Management in Mono-Lingual Classes

Teaching a mono-lingual class is always challenging as you are the odd one out in the classroom (unless you can speak their language well), and most importantly it’s natural for students to revert to their own language as a default position. This is fine in brief spurts to elucidate points, but if it is allowed to go unchecked, it can lead to you losing the thread of your class and make it very hard to deliver your material. Remember that the students are there to learn English, and they should be immersed in the target learning language!

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By Yolande Deane
DELTA qualified EFL teacher with 5 years’ teaching experience

I always think that images are an essential speaking stimulus in the language classroom, and they are often more interesting than just a list of discussion questions.  I have a folder, which is now bulging with pictures and images taken from magazines and newspapers. Students are bound to have pictures on their mobile phones, which can be used as talking points. You can also start taking pictures of unusual images or objects you see around you on your phone, and use them as talking points as a warmer or a filler during a lesson. The great thing is that images can be found anywhere.

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by Clara Harland

The discovery of Hot Potato Syndrome during my first summer school eight years ago was one of a number of lessons I learned while I was grappling with my own attempts at teaching those of the regular grammar variety to my students. Finding myself dropped at the end of the season when the hordes of teenagers went home was a shock and spurred me into a belated job-hunt that should have started months earlier. With more than a modicum of relief, I wound up working for a year in Italy with all the excitement that a first EFL job abroad entails. But what happens if you decide, as I did, to return to the UK after your time abroad? What are the opportunities for EFL teachers back under the familiarity of the unpredictable weather?

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by Amy Harris

Being a teacher today is not easy for anyone, but teaching English as a foreign language comes with challenges all of its own.  Having said that, TEFL teachers have an incredibly rewarding job, as their students tend to be adults who are either paying for the course themselves, or their employers are, resulting in them being highly motivated and eager to learn.

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