Would you like to be an incredible English teacher? That’s fantastic! Working to be the best English teacher you can is not only a great investment in your career but will help all the students you teach.
Nobody forgets a great teacher. So whether you want to be a general English teacher, teach other subjects in English to university level or be creative with younger learners, make sure you’ve got all the skills you need.
The following 10 ESL classroom tips will aid you to become a better teacher to students who have a limited English language understanding.
1. Connect With Your Students
Picture the following scenario: you’re a student sitting in a class with a stranger at the front of the classroom who speaks a foreign language you can barely understand. It can be intimidating when the teacher launches right into their lesson without an ice breaker.
Begin by introducing yourself. Pose a question or engage in an icebreaker activity. Get to know your students before you get started; Learn and address your students by name, greet each student and make a genuine effort to get to know them.
Building a rapport will go a long way in creating strong relationships with your students and will help them learn better.
2. Speak Slowly And Enunciate Words
Slow down! You’re going to want to reduce your talking speed so that everyone in the class has a chance to hear every word you say. A lot of language learners will agree that fluent speakers speak too fast. It can be hard to understand the whole message when you didn’t catch all of it. Try to be mindful of the speed of your voice. And try to speak as clearly as possible by enunciating your voice.
Speak louder than you usually would! It’s really important that your students can learn how to pronounce vocabulary and hear all the nuances of a word.
3. Use Non-Verbal Communication
TPR stands for Total physical response, a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to react to verbal input. So get creative and use your body language to express an action during a lesson.
A great example of group singing with a total physical response is the grade school classic, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”. This song is not only enjoyable to sing, but it also includes movements that students will remember even if they don’t understand all of the words. This makes it easier for students to recall the words after they’ve practiced them, as well as reinforcing their meaning.
4. Comprehension Check
Most language learners get shy about admitting to the whole class they didn’t understand something. You’d be surprised how many students pretend they understood when they have no idea what you’re talking about. That’s why you should remember to pause after you say something or give instructions to check for understanding. Keep them on track, ask a few more questions or explain the context a little more before you move on to make sure they took it in.
Engaging with content helps students to learn faster, and this is where visual content excels. Visuals draw the attention of the learner and enhance engagement.
5. Incorporate Technology
In today’s environment, everything is digital. Today’s children are growing up in a world dominated by technological tools and applications. Incorporating digital tools and technologies into your curriculum and lesson plans is an excellent approach to reach and engage technologically savvy students in new and innovative ways.
So, what can you do to improve your own and your students’ digital skills?
Teacher Ami is passionate about the world of education and helping students thrive. He has been in the field for more than a decade and is always looking for ways to grow.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Technology from Bar-Ilan University, a certified TEFL, and a teaching certification in English.