Published 29th December 2015
As a TEFL teacher how you wrap things up and draw your class to a conclusion is really important. You want your students to learn, but also to have enjoyed the lesson and leave feeling contented and happy. This is especially true if you are working for a language centre as student retention is important as the school is when all said and done a business.
There should always be two focuses when closing a lesson, to review something that you have learned in the lesson, and to have a little fun with an activity. Depending on your student demographic games are a fantastic way to do this. Some popular games that work really well for reviewing vocabulary are board races, charades and the classic teacher favourite…a pop quiz.
If you don’t want to play games, which might be the case with older or more serious students, then reverting from formalised work to a causal discussion is a nice way to close the lesson. If you have been learning emotive vocabulary, then simply sit down and ask them to describe something they feel passionate about, but it’s important to keep it more casual and relaxed here and avoid it seeming too much like a regular classroom activity.
When giving homework it is always advisable not to do this at the very end of the lesson. If you leave it until the last moment and shout it across the class there’s always a chance that not everybody will be clear on the task. When setting the homework it’s always good to check that everybody is clear and give them the opportunity to ask questions. Also homework should not be the last thing you say to them before they leave as it doesn’t promote a positive final impression.
After a class of course everybody wants to get home, or perhaps you have another lesson, but if you can it’s important not to run out of the classroom before the students. Not only does it give the impression that you can’t wait to get away, but if they want to ask a question in private promptly scooting off doesn’t provide them with the opportunity to do so.
The life of a TEFL teacher can be stressful and your lessons won’t always go without a hitch, but while the first impression is important, the last impression is the one that will linger. So even if you’ve had a rough day, end class with a smile and a burst of energy and fun and you and your students will leave looking forward to the next meeting.