5 COMMON MISTAKES MADE BY TEFL TEACHERS
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If you’re just starting out as an EFL teacher or even if you’re more experienced, there are a few mistakes that you are likely to be making in the classroom. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have, sometimes we all fall back into bad habits. These mistakes could be jeopardising the success of your lessons. Here are five common mistakes made by TEFL teachers. Are you guilty of making them?
Five common mistakes made by TEFL teachers
Talking too much
It’s very common to be scared of silence in the classroom. Many teachers will fill any silences by talking which can be a mistake. They tell their students exactly what is going on in their heads as they are thinking it. This is known as train-of-thought talking. Besides the fact that this doesn’t give any space to your students to speak, it also puts an extra burden on the students to try to understand everything you’re saying.
Instead, try to embrace the silence, even if you feel awkward. By not talking all the time you are giving your students time to think and process and reflect – all very necessary for language learning. Plus, you will probably find your students fill the silence anyway.
This is important even if you know your class very well and they are familiar with your classroom activities. Your students may not remember exactly how to do the activity or they may not know it by the name you call it. The problem this can cause is that any activity, no matter how well planned, will fail if your students don’t know what they should be doing.
Make sure you repeat your instructions at least twice. Demonstrate the activity and check the understanding of the instructions by asking checking questions.
Focusing on form
When teaching language it is easy to focus on the language structure. However, it is necessary for learners to understand the meaning of the language first, or else it won’t be memorable. Only once they have understood the context of use of the structure and are capable of using it appropriately and effectively should you spend time on the form of the structure.
We’re not saying you should neglect a focus on the form of the target language. But rather make sure you spend time looking at the context of use before breaking it down into its constituent parts.
Sticking to your plan
Lesson planning is important, no doubt. However, lesson plans were not made to be set in stone. Lesson plans are there to act as guidelines for your lesson. Your students should be the ones dictating the direction of the lesson, because they are the ones who know the best way they can learn and what they need to understand what you are teaching them.
Always have a plan, but try to follow your students more than the plan. Look out for teaching moments and tangents that may lead to more exciting lessons and more opportunities for learning. Don’t feel guilty about deviating from your plan.
Letting errors slide
We get it. You don’t want to be the one who is always pointing out your students’ mistakes. Especially if you teach lower level students it can feel like that’s all you do all lesson. But mistakes are important. Your students want you to point out their mistakes – that’s why they’re there.
Don’t feel that you’re being too negative by pointing out your students’ mistakes. Be smart and deal with error correction effectively but respectfully.
So now you know the five most common mistakes that TEFL teachers can make and how to avoid them.
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LAST UPDATED: 6th June 2022
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We collect and use personal information to offer people information, products and services. This policy will apply in all locations where we operate to all forms of information and to all systems used to collect, store, process or transfer information.
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We will provide adequate and appropriate resources to implement this policy and will ensure it is communicated and understood.
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We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message, online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We do this because we have a legitimate business interest in keeping you up to date with our products and services. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt-out.
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- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by Everything TEFL Ltd but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that Everything TEFL Ltd securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to Everything TEFL Ltd collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think Everything TEFL Ltd has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the Everything TEFL Ltd processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the Everything TEFL Ltd has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, Everything TEFL Ltd is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the Everything TEFL Ltd.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to Everything TEFL Ltd, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
Everything TEFL Ltd
28 – 32 Pembroke Street,
Republic of Ireland
Telephone: +353 (1) 554 6227
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Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.