HOW TO USE NEW ACTIVITIES IN THE EFL CLASSROOM

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As teachers we always strive to plan lessons which are fun and entertaining. Sometimes we find activities and materials which work every single time we use them, no matter the class. But sometimes we can feel like we want to try something new and bring fresh material into our classrooms.

The thing is, trying out new resources and activities in the classroom can be a bit of a gamble because you never know how it’s going to go down. Even if it works like a dream in your head it could just as easily go down like a ton of bricks with your students.

The last thing we want in our classrooms is for our lessons to flop, so this may be a reason many teachers are hesitant to deviate from what they know, especially if they are thinking of coming up with their own materials.

We shouldn’t let this stand in the way, though. When you think about it, all materials, activities and resources need to be trialled in some classroom at some point in time. Chances are, the activities you fall back on when you need an activity in a hurry probably didn’t work too well the first time they ever saw the light of day.

Following this train of thought, here are a few ideas for how you can use new activities in the classroom without worrying that they will destroy your reputation as a teacher:

1. Start small

Start with an activity. There’s no need to devote an entire lesson to something that’s completely new. Surround your new activity with a lesson that you know works. This way, if the activity flops you can quickly move on.

2. Get feedback

Before you do the activity, ask your fellow teachers for feedback. Run them through your plan and see if they agree with what you are proposing. They will be able to help you troubleshoot potential problems which you can then hopefully avoid.

3. Have back up

Don’t expect your materials to be perfect the first time you use them. There is a very good chance that things won’t go according to plan. This does not mean they are a failure, but just that they might need some tweaking. Some things you cannot anticipate until you are in the classroom. Having a backup plan will give you the confidence to continue testing out your materials until they are perfect.

Creating your own materials for your lessons is a great way to ensure that your materials are relevant and appropriate for your learners. Just remember: creating materials can take time and involves trial and error, so don’t get disheartened if your materials don’t turn out the first time the way you hoped they would.

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