Survival Tips For Your First Day In The EFL Classroom – No Experience? No Problem!
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No matter how good your Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification is – (even if you do a TEFL course with The TEFL Academy!) – you are likely to have those butterflies in the pit of your stomach before you walk in the classroom. This is normal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. Here are our top survival tips for your first day in the EFL classroom – even if you don’t have any experience!
Punctuality is key
There is no excuse for being late when you’re the teacher. And by punctuality we mean being early. Basically this means you need to be prepared for all of your lessons. Make sure you know where you are going, who you are teaching and what you need to take to class.
Preparation is half the battle. If you are ready to go when it’s lesson time, you’ll be more prepared to deal with whatever your class throws at you.
Being prepared might seem like a blanket term but when it comes to teaching English as a foreign language, there are few ways you can make sure you are prepared. The obvious one is that you have prepared an adequate and appropriate lesson plan.
Lesson planning is key to successful lessons – even if that means a dogme-style lesson. It doesn’t matter what your lesson plan looks like, as long as you can understand it. Some teachers write their plan on a post-it, others write a full-blown lesson plan for each lesson. Whatever floats your boat, as long as you know exactly what you are doing, with what, why and with who.
One thing you will realise soon enough, is that even in the most serious of contexts, English as a foreign language lessons always have an element of fun in them. TEFL teachers are known to be very relaxed and easy-going, with a big emphasis on communication. This means that games are often the order of the day.
Whether you are looking for a warmer, a cooler, a brain break or an activity to fill the last five minutes of your lesson, games are your friend. If you have no experience in the classroom, don’t worry: soon enough you’ll have an arsenal of teaching games up your sleeve.
Get to know each other
A good rapport both between yourself and your students, as well as between the students themselves, is vital for successful lessons. Did you ever have a teacher you didn’t like or you thought was boring? Did you dread going to those lessons or were you bored for the entire duration of the lesson? That’s exactly what we want to avoid!
The easiest way to increase the motivation of your students so that they will look forward to your lessons and participate fully, is to get to know your students. Your first lesson can include an activity in which your students ask you questions, or you show them photos from your life. You can even make it a guessing game.
By the same token, you need to get to know your students. This can be done by students interviewing each other, while you keep a close ear on them. Another option is to design an activity where the class (including yourself) finds out what, if anything, they have in common.
Exercise your brain
An important part of building rapport and getting to know your students is using their names. Understandably, it is more challenging for the teacher to learn the possibly hundreds of names of their learners, who only have to learn one. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t even try. Research has shown that students respond more favourably to teachers who call them by their names. In fact, students are more likely to engage in these classes and ask for help when needed.
For ideas on easy ways you can train your brain to learn names easily, check out our blog post: The Importance of Learning Names in the Classroom.
Do your homework
Getting to know your students can also entail doing a needs analysis. A needs analysis allows you to get to know the learning strategies and preferences of your students. While the theory of different learning styles has largely been debunked, it is still useful to know why your students are learning English – for what purpose – and how they enjoy learning.
Fake it til you make it
Confidence is a big thing. Teaching English as a foreign language is basically the same as public speaking. You are faced with a classroom of expectant faces waiting on your every move, and you’re not even sure they can understand you!
This is when ‘fake it til you make it’ comes in. Students can smell fear. And it’s often pretty easy to see fear too, when you’re sweating and flustered. Take a breath, remind yourself that you’re fully qualified and totally capable, and never, ever tell your students if it’s your first lesson!
Read more: 7 Awesome Tips for Newbie TEFL Teachers
In a nutshell, relax but make sure you know what you’re going to do. Easy, huh? And remember, every teacher has to have a first day. Every time you walk into a classroom you will feel more comfortable and more confident, so take it easy on yourself on the first day – and know that you will only get better!
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Name of course Duration Combined Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 5 TEFL Course 6 months Online Level 3 TEFL Course 6 months 10hr Online Teaching Practice Course 10 hours Top-up courses 6 weeks Observed Teaching Practice Course 2 years
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Students may test their English level here: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/content.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2023
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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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- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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 ELEARNING FUTURES 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
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
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.