HOW TO TEACH NUMBERS IN THE TEFL CLASSROOM

Join a global community of over 200,000 TEFL teachers working throughout the world! Enrol me!

When we think about teaching numbers in the TEFL classroom, you probably think about teaching the numbers 1 to 100. In fact, learning numbers is more complicated than we usually think. While numbers themselves are not difficult, what can be challenging is the way we naturally talk about numbers outside the EFL classroom. Basically, there are many instances when we talk about numbers without using the actual numbers, but instead we talk around them. So it’s important for our EFL learners to not only be able to recognise and use numbers themselves, but also be familiar with any language related to using numbers.

Why are numbers important for EFL learners?

Numbers are everywhere. We use numbers in times, phone numbers, addresses, costs, weights, distances, speeds – the list is endless. For our EFL learners, learning numbers means being able to say the number and also to be able to recognise the number when it is heard or when it is said or seen. Because the use of numbers is so widespread in our daily lives, being able to use numbers is a fundamental part of being able to speak a language. Just think about how many times you use a number in your daily life and you’ll realise how important numbers can be.

How do I teach numbers in the EFL classroom?

Start with the basics – whole numbers. Focus on the pronunciation of the numbers and ensure comprehension with visual aids. Then you can let your learners practise the numbers by using games. Bingo, Chinese whispers and chain games are all fun ways to practise the pronunciation of numbers. These are especially useful to deal with the common problem of the pronunciation of teen (nineteen) and ty (ninety).

Once the basic numbers are familiar, it’s time to move on to more complex numbers: fractions, percentages, negative numbers and very high numbers. A quiz is a good way for students to practise such numbers. You can find many quizzes relating to numbers in coursebooks or online. By using number relating to factual information, you increase the level of interest in the topic.

More complex language

When your students have got to grips with complex numbers, focus on language related to numbers. It is useful to be able to refer to numbers in both a general and a specific sense, yet often students are at a loss as to how to do this. One activity which works well for this language is to come up with a set of questions with impossible answers – such as, How much does Tom Cruise earn? How far away do you live from school? Your students will struggle to explain the answer because they won’t be able to use an exact number, so they will be forced to use other language.

Numbers can be a fun topic for your students, just remember that teaching numbers is more than teaching numerals.

Get Social

Follow us on social networks, join our newsletter - get the latest news and early discounts

Sign up to our newsletter

Follow us on social networks, sign up to our e-newsletters – get the latest news and early discounts

Accreditation Partners

The TEFL Academy was the world’s first TEFL course provider to receive official recognition from government regulated awarding bodies in both the USA and UK. This means when you graduate you’ll hold a globally recognised Level 3 (120hr) Certificate or Level 5 (168hr) Diploma, meaning you can find work anywhere and apply for jobs immediately.

Product added to your cart

You have added to your cart:

Request call back

    Please leave your details below and one of our TEFL experts will get back to you ASAP:

    captcha Type characters on the left:

    Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

    Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

    Thank you! Your message has been sent!

    Download the TEFL World Factbook

      Please enter your details in order to download the latest TEFL World Factbook.

      Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

      Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

      Thank you for downloading the TEFL World Factbook!


      If the TEFL World Factbook did not download
      > Click Here To Download <

      Download the Online Teaching Guide

        Please enter your details in order to download our Online Teaching Guide.

        Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

        Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

        Thank you for downloading our Online Teaching Guide!


        If the Online Teaching Guide did not download
        > Click Here To Download <

        Download Prospectus

          Please enter your details in order to download our latest prospectus.

          Would you like us to update you on TEFL opportunities, jobs and related products & services?

          Yes, keep me updatedNo, but thanks anyway!

          Thank you for downloading our prospectus!


          We hope you enjoy reading our prospectus, we have tried to make it as useful as possible! Please get in touch if you have any questions.


          If the prospectus did not download automatically
          > Click Here To Download <

          $
          $