Published 19th September 2017
As a teacher teaching English as a foreign language, you will be required to speak in front of large groups of people on a daily basis – from children and teens to adults and businessmen and women. You will be expected to be in charge of your classroom and your lessons, which means you will need to feel comfortable in a position of authority. If you have had no experience with public speaking, this can be quite a daunting prospect.
People often have a fear of public speaking and are anxious about being in front of a whole class of English language learners. They worry that they will not have enough confidence to act with authority or that they won’t know what to say. Rest assured, being an English as a foreign language teacher will help cure you of any phobias you may have about public speaking and soon you will be speaking in front of large crowds with ease, but to get to that stage, follow these simple tips:
Being yourself will give you more confidence in your speaking. While it is vital to have a solid lesson plan, you should not write a script for what you are going to say. Rather, you should try be as natural as you can be in the situation, no matter how nervous you are feeling!
Organisation is key. You need to take a lesson plan with you into each lesson but also have at hand any props or extras you may need to teach. Using visuals or music in your lessons will take the attention away from you when you are speaking, as well as reinforce what you are saying. Plus it can prompt you if you are not sure what you need to say next!
Get to Know Your Students
Getting to know your students is a definite must in the EFL classroom. Being familiar with your students’ interests and personalities will automatically help you relax when you are with them. Regardless of their age or background, all your students want to enjoy their lessons and so will naturally be open to making friends in the classroom. Take advantage of this and create a warm, friendly environment in which everyone will feel comfortable.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Teaching English is a serious job but the more relaxed you can be in the classroom the better your lessons will be. Your learners need to enjoy your lessons in order to maintain their motivation and the easiest way to get your learners to enjoy your lessons is for you to enjoy your lessons.
Of course there’s no magic pill you can take to get rid of that nervous feeling in your stomach, but have faith that it will get better with time. The longer you teach, the more comfortable you will feel in the classroom and the more confidence you will have as a teacher. The more comfortable you feel and the more confidence you have, the easier it’ll be for you to speak in public.