Published 30th April 2018

EFL Classroom

When you first start teaching, you find yourself spending loads of time thinking of ideas for games, activities and other resources which can enhance your classroom. You come up with ways of making the coursebook content more interesting and your lessons more relevant and appropriate. You take your time planning your lessons and cut and paste and copy until the sun goes down.

Then at some point it all becomes too much. Your planning time has been reduced to as-quick-as-possible and you’ve discovered the extra resources of your coursebook and the stash of photocopiable books in your staffroom. Besides, who has the time to make their own worksheets?

Well, even though making your own materials does take time and effort, the benefits far outweigh the hassle. Not convinced? Here are 5 reasons you should be making your own worksheets:

The coursebook is not enough

There are so many reasons the coursebook is not enough. Coursebooks can be outdated, inappropriate or just irrelevant for your class. You may find yourself adapting, replacing or even leaving out coursebook activities. This can result in a lot less classroom material than you need for your lessons. Creating your own worksheets can fill the gap exactly as you need them to.

Coursebooks are same-y

For the majority of your lessons you will be using the coursebook. No doubt you will find using the coursebook for an entire lesson frustrating and unsatisfying. Following the coursebook will mean you end up doing exercises and activities which are very similar but have different language points. Doing this day in and day out is a sure way to kill motivation in the classroom.

Self-made worksheets are personal

If you spend time making your own worksheets, you can personalise them according to your class. Instead of using materials which make use of random information, you can put in details specific to your class – names, places, interests. This will make your worksheets much more interesting for your students.

Self-made worksheets are always relevant

Because you have total control over the content and format of the worksheets, you can make sure they are totally appropriate for your classes. You will know what your class enjoys in terms of interests and activities and you can tailor your worksheets accordingly.

Students appreciate your work

Ok, not all of the time but a lot of the time your students will appreciate the extra work you put in to make your own worksheets. Younger learners will show their appreciation in their enjoyment of the activity while older students will value the fact that you’re deviating from the coursebook.

If making your own worksheets sounds like a lot of work, it is and it isn’t. It will most certainly take you time to create your worksheets but you can keep them and adapt them slightly so they can be used with future classes – all in all, considering the benefits, a worthwhile investment.