Published 11th March 2019
Not all of us are wired for routine. While some people thrive off doing the same thing every day, many of us find it boring and monotonous. Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and this may even be the reason you chose to pursue a TEFL job, but structure and routine in the classroom is beneficial to students. It allows them to become familiar with the way activities and exercises are carried out in your class, giving you more time to focus on teaching.
It’s great to mix your lessons up to keep your students on their toes, but there are three important things you should strive to do with your EFL class each week.
Three things to incorporate into your EFL class
1. Incorporate real life into your lessons
Everyone comes to class to learn English but when they leave for the day, it’s sometimes easy to forget that they all have lives where they leave English behind until the next lesson. It’s important to bridge the gap and bring the outside world into the classroom.
A great way to incorporate real life into your classroom is to spend time discussing current events on a global scale. Class discussions about what the students did on their weekend are a great way to encourage conversational learning and looking at things to do and see within your community can help bring English home.
2. Revision, revision, revision
As we all know, English isn’t an easy language to learn and there is a lot to take in during lessons, from vocabulary and spelling to grammar and punctuation. It’s important to ensure your students are processing and understanding everything they learn so that they can apply it to what they already know. Revision is a great way to ensure students retain and remember important information.
Revision doesn’t have to use dull and boring methods like tests or quizzes. Instead, use games and fun activities to revise. It’s likely to receive a warmer response from the class and is often a more effective way of learning, rather than studying for a pop quiz.
Add a game once a week to your class that is purely focused on revision on topics such as vocabulary or anything else that has been learnt throughout the week. This is different from consolidation activities, as there needs to be a delay for it to serve as revision.
Teach the students, not the textbook
When teaching and getting through a syllabus, we all know it’s important to stay on top of the schedule and finish textbook units in a timely manner but it’s also important to consider what your class really needs. Take time each week to think about specific topics or lessons that your class may have found more challenging than others or ask students if there is a specific area they would like to focus on.
Once you’ve identified what topic your class finds problematic or what your students really need, you can devise fun activities to help guide them through these tricky areas. It’s fun to follow the book, but it’s even more fun to spice up your lessons with practical games and activities that frame the lesson in a more accessible way.
There is a lot to think about when planning your lessons every week but bear these three points in mind and try your best to incorporate them into your teaching. You may just find you create a more interactive and effective learning environment in your classroom.