Published 22nd December 2015
Last Updated on
Starting out in any job can be tough, but becoming a teacher has its own unique challenges. Maybe you are shy and not accustomed to speaking in front of large groups, maybe you’re not that comfortable explaining English grammar, or maybe you’re not entirely sure how to entertain a group of learners for a whole lesson. Well, don’t worry if any of these sound like you – we all have our own worries and insecurities. The best way to get better at teaching is to, well, teach so even if you feel like a fish out of water in the beginning, give it some time and soon it’ll be second nature to you. But to help you get to that place, here are a few of our top tips for new EFL teachers:
Do your homework
Be prepared. Make sure you are familiar with the language you are about to teach. This could mean that you need to look up a grammar point in a reference book, but this is not something to be embarrassed about. The majority of teachers have their own grammar reference book and use it to help them understand grammar points and be able to explain them simply and clearly to their learners.
This also means you need to make sure you are familiar with all the materials and activities that you will be covering in the lesson. Having a look at the exercises before the lesson will ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Learners are very clever and find it very easy to determine whether you are being genuine or not. Being yourself and letting your personality shine through in your lessons is one way to make friends with your learners. Once they get to know you, they will respond to you better and so your lessons will be more enjoyable both for you and your learners.
Rather start off strict with a class and then become more lenient, because becoming stricter usually doesn’t happen once you have established yourself as a lenient teacher. Being strict means having rules and boundaries which everyone is aware of and understands. Though this may seem old-fashioned, it will help your lessons be more focused and ultimately more effective.
…But have fun
Learning English shouldn’t be boring, and neither should teaching English. If you are bored, it probably means your students are bored and besides, why would you want to be in a boring job? Bring fun and excitement into your lessons by incorporating games, music and other fun activities to supplement the language focus.
Being a TEFL teacher can be challenging and rewarding in equal measures. As a new TEFL teacher, you will probably feel nervous and unsure of yourself, but if you remember these guidelines and give yourself some time; soon you’ll feel like you’ve been teaching all your life.