Published 6th December 2019
So you’ve done the TEFL course and got your certificate – now what? Well, before you pack your bags and jump on a plane, you need to make sure you have everything you need before you step into the classroom. We’re not talking about whiteboard markers and stickers – we all know about those – but what are the real essential teaching materials that you need as a TEFL teacher to make sure you teach to the best of your ability?
You might just have finished your TEFL course, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t upskill yourself even further with a top-up course. The TEFL certificate is enough to get you in front of a class teaching, but tit doesn’t specialize at all. The TEFL Academy offers top-up courses in teaching Business English, teaching Young Learners and teaching online and 1-to-1. They are a fantastic way to specialize in a certain aspect of EFL and they look great on your CV.
Books, books, books! There are so many TEFL books out there, how on earth do you know which ones you should buy? Let’s just say we’ve been around the TEFL block a few times so we’ll happily point you in the right direction of which TEFL books are worth your hard-earned dollars:
Teaching Unplugged by Scott Thornbury and Luke Meddings is a book packed full of teaching ideas which don’t require materials.
Learning Teaching by Jim Scrivener is an oldie but a goodie. As a teaching guide it works well for new teachers but it will help more experienced teachers develop their skills too.
An A-Z of TEFL by Scott Thornbury is great for when you need to brush up on a certain concept or theory. Simply look it up and be amazed by the clarity with which it is explained.
English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy is the only grammar resource book you’ll need – perfect for those moments your students ask you grammar questions you can’t quite answer!
Mother Tongue: the Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson is not specifically focused on EFL but it provides an easily accessible and fascinating insight into the history of the English language.
Teaching English as a Foreign Language is as old as the hills so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel – if you’re doing it in the TEFL classroom, chances are it’s been done before. This is why the internet is such a valuable source of materials for us teachers. But you can’t simply Google present perfect lesson plan and hope for the best; you’ll be overwhelmed with choices and could get stuck down a serious rabbit hole!
Here are a few of our favourites you should bookmark to go back to anytime you need help with lesson plans, activities or general teaching ideas:
OneStopEnglish – your one-stop shop for CPD articles, lesson plans and activities.
The British Council Learning English and Teaching English – as you can imagine, both websites are a wealth of information on all things EFL, the former for learners and the latter for teachers. We won’t tell anybody if you use the student’s website for your classes!
Film English – film is an awesome way to bring authentic language into the classroom in a way your students will love. Film English is a website with EFL lessons around short films. It’s run by award-winning EFL teacher Kieran Donaghy, it’s a wealth of resources and it’s free! (and totally worth a donation).
The TEFL Academy blog – obviously a site to be bookmarked! Honestly, though, the TEFL Academy blog is jam-packed with articles on all things TEFL, from lesson plans and last-minute activities to the average teaching salaries around the world and great ideas for your next trip.
So while we all know about the highlighters and blu-tak we’ll need to take with us into the classroom, there are a load of other materials we need to be able to plan the most effective lesson plans for our classes. Rest assured, if you have these materials, you’re more than prepared for your EFL lessons.