Oct 17 2011
Whether you are a new teacher or a well experience TEFL teacher, challenges always arises when putting what you have learned into practise. Especially if you are in a country where you don’t speak their native tongue and they don’t speak English. Once you have set the ground for teaching, using tried and tested methods will help you achieve your targets better. Reading out of books and listening alone is not sufficient to grasp any subject material; this stands true when your group tries to grasp – English – a new language for them.
The best is to use pair or group activities as much as possible. This encourages even the people who are timid to speak out in a large group to contribute within the small group. Encourage a lessons learnt sharing session after pair and group activities to share the experience and points they put together as a pair or small group. Always encourage new people to be nominated to do the sharing so that the same person will not always speak and everyone will get a chance to get over their fear of speaking out aloud.
Encourage them to speak within themselves also in English. Many are timid because they are afraid they will be laughed at for any mistakes they make; you need to get them to work around it, till they understand that they are all learning and its okay to make mistakes.
Getting the students to guess answers is also a good way to get them to participate, rather than reading out of the book – change it into a question and ask “can anyone guess the answer for this?” If no one comes up, call a few by name and others will automatically follow.
A key point is to know when to stop an activity. It has to be stopped before it gets boring but time should also be given so that every student was given a chance to contribute, when the excitement is still their – Stop. This will make them look forward to the next activity.
Another key tip is to get them to check their neighbours work – they learn to catch their own errors thorough this method. Encourage the use of dictionaries at all times to better understand meanings of words in their own language. Translate is required.
These are few tips to get the group moving in the right direction. Many more tips can be found shared by other TEFL qualified teachers who have learned what works best and what tactics to use at what time. There is no barrier to learn from others mistakes