TAKING LEARNING OUTSIDE THE EFL CLASSROOM

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No, we’re not talking about taking your students on excursions (though that can work really well sometimes). We’re talking about your students learning English not only in the classroom during your lessons but outside the classroom too.

Learning a language takes time. There is a fair amount of debate around exactly just how much time but 10,000 hours is recognised as the number of hours you need to become an expert in a field. If your students have 90 minutes of English a week or even 10 hours of English a week, it’ll still take them a long time to get to 10,000.

What are we trying to say? Well, when you think about it, your students don’t actually spend a lot of time in your classroom, listening, reading, writing and speaking English. Which means that they spend a lot of time outside the classroom.

So in order to help our students get to that magical number, we need to encourage independent learning and provide our students with strategies for learning when they are not in class.

Here are our favourite strategies for you to pass on to your students:

  • Change your phone into English
  • Change your Google to English
  • Choose a time with your friends when you will only speak English to each other – every day 3 to 5 pm, for example
  • Watch, read or listen to the news in English
  • If you’re in an English-speaking environment, talk to waiters and shop assistants
  • Use a language learning app
  • Read the English version of your favourite magazine
  • Read an English book for just 5 minutes a day
  • Do crosswords
  • Watch your favourite TV series in English without subtitles

There are so many ways our students can add a little bit more English to their daily lives, and each little bit of exposure will add up. Encourage your students to integrate English into their lives outside the classroom and they will be surprised at the change it will make.

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