Published 23rd January 2019
Being a successful language learner requires tons of motivation, loads of dedication and a splash of talent. It takes hard work and many hours immersing yourself in the language. This can mean spending hours in the classroom, as well as committing to time studying independently. A large part of language learning, then, depends on the learner. However, another aspect of language learning which can help or hinder a learner’s language learning journey is the teacher. As teachers of English as a Foreign Language, you no doubt want to be as effective as possible to ensure your students get the most help they can from you in the classroom.
Top six techniques for teachers to be successful
1 Keep a notebook
There is a heavy mental load on teachers, but there’s no need to keep everything in your head. Keep a notebook to jot down ideas and activities, as well as a record of your lessons so that you can keep track of your classes. This will help you remember which classes love football and which classes hate grammar exercises.
2 Play games
There is no question that teaching is a serious business but there should always be room for something a bit more lighthearted. After all, learning through play is one of the best ways of learning. Plus, playing games will keep your students motivated and interested. Teachers must make sure they are educational!
3 Live mark
There’s nothing like a mountain of marking to kill a teacher’s motivation! Rather than spend your time trying to get out from the avalanche of marking, use that time to plan your lessons or source amazing materials. To be able to do this, try your hand at live marking during your lessons. Walk around with a pen while your students are doing writing exercises and mark as you walk, or mark grammar and vocabulary exercises as a class or in pairs.
4 Be surprising
Routine can be good in general (especially for Young Learners) but starting off your lesson a little differently can do wonders for motivation and interest levels. You don’t need to do anything incredible or anything which requires tons of preparation, but try starting or ending your lesson a little differently – with a song, game or video clip.
5 Get personal
Get to know your students. Make notes of their birthdays, family lives and interests – be sure to write it down so your memory is correct! You can use this information to start conversations or tailor your lessons to your students.
6 Use technology
Many people bemoan the use of technology in our classrooms but the fact is that it can make our lives as teachers a whole lot easier. There are websites you can use to source materials or ideas for activities, even whole lesson plans. You can use the internet to show video clips or music videos, or there are websites where you can play interactive games.
Being a teacher is not an easy task and it’s a big responsibility. If you remember these simple tips you will be the best teacher you can be.