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  • Selling textbooks after you’ve finished using them? Here’s some advice February 28, 2012
    These days, being a student is in many ways more demanding than ever. In other ways, though, those attending university have never had it better. The advent of the internet has brought a wealth of information to the modern learner’s fingertips. The advent of sites like Wikipedia has made conducting research and building up […]
  • Want to employ the best teachers? Test them! February 22, 2012
    Are you looking for new teachers? Make sure you do into the process with a clear strategy for how you ensure you end up with the best candidate. Employee assessment tests are extremely important in enabling you as a recruiter of teachers to be able to make measured and well-informed decisions about the type […]
  • Online learning: Do you have the right personality? February 13, 2012
    Research has shown that online learning is better suited to people who are verbally oriented, rather than those who have visual or kinesthetic skills. For this reason, notes Jonathan Ginsburg, whether or not a student is successful in an e-learning course can depend considerably on their personality and their learning type. Before taking an […]
  • Alternative careers: Operations management February 13, 2012
    Tired of the hoi polloi of everyday life as a language teacher? Why not train to become an operations manager instead? An mba in healthcare management is an absolutely indispensable industry qualification which enables those who take it to hone their decision making abilities. The importance of a healthcare mba In today’s bloodthirsty world, […]
  • Can we use dreams to teach English? January 11, 2012
    Dogme ELT is rooted in the experiences of the learner and what they bring with them to the classroom. Our unconscious mind regularly sends us communication in the form of dreams: it is an advantage to understand the meaning of these messages. As our subconscious sends us only constructive information about our existence, it […]
  • Types of Professional Evaluation in Language Education January 3, 2012
    Introduction Curriculum evaluation has become of increasing interest to educators and curriculum planners since the 1960s (Richards 200 I), and since then it has embraced various aspects of language programs. Evaluation has not only been defined in terms of the purposes it serves, but it has also been given a central role by professionals […]
  • Careers for Graduates of Online TESOL Courses January 3, 2012
    Many exciting opportunities await a qualified TESOL or Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages, notes David Alexander. As the English language gains more and more prominence in the global community, the ability to communicate using it becomes more important. Expect that the demand for individuals with TESOL diploma courses to be greater […]
  • Alternative Careers: Health Care Administration January 3, 2012
    The modern health care business is a viable alternative for tired TEFLers: full of doctors, nurses, as well as technicians who all have to work in an efficiently running workplace. Consequently, health care administrators center their work on the decision making aspects of medical facilities. Online colleges which deliver a health care administration degree […]
  • Alternative careers: public administration December 22, 2011
    The alternative careers series continue with an investigation into public administration. For disillusioned TEFLers, the career option of public administration is a realistic alternative. Public administration is concerned with the accomplishment and the regulation of public policy throughout the diverse branches of government. Public administrators oversee […]
  • Promoting EFL Speaking Activities in the Class: Teacher’s Roles December 9, 2011
    What Is “Teaching Speaking”? What is meant by “teaching speaking” is to teach EFL learners to: Produce the English speech sounds and sound patterns Use word and sentence stress, intonation patterns and the rhythm of the foreign language. Select appropriate words and sentences according to the proper social setting, audience, situation and subject matter. Org […]

Teaching Beginners

June on the TEFL Times has been set aside for a series of articles from Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa, the creator and writer for TEFL Tips.

As teachers it can be frustrating to teach beginners, everything seems to go painstakingly slow. But think how difficult it would be for you to learn a completely different language. Below are some tips to help you out when teaching beginners.

Explain things again and again. Most people aren’t going to grasp a concept on the first try. Be patient and be prepared to explain it again, but in a different manner.

Provide lots of review activities. Try reviewing a little bit each day. Also allow for different situations in order to practise what was learnt. Think of different grouping, such as individual, pairs, small groups, and whole class.

Be patient and don’t pressure students. While some students are ready to make mistakes and start talking, others are perfectionist who want to make sure they can say something perfectly before they say it.

Give students more time. Wait and then wait some more. Don’t worry if you have to wait 30 seconds or a minute to have someone respond. It’s not because they’re not interested. It’s simply because they’re thinking of how to say it.

Give homework. It sounds bad, but if you give homework, the students will open their books and be forced to review what they’ve learnt in class. The majority of students won’t open their books unless they have to.

Forget the slang. Learn to speak properly and enunciate your words. Say something and stop, don’t keep rephrasing what you’ve said. It will only confuse your students.

Give compliments. Let your students know that they are doing well. Have them save their past work so that they can see the progress they’ve made.

Make learning fun. Let’s face it, most of us would rather do something fun than boring, so apply this concept to your classes. There are plenty of websites and material out there to make your class a blast.

Use technology. There are websites that allow students to practise their English online. From games to online tests, there’s loads to choose from. Try assigning an online test or game for homework and you’ll see that most of your students will do it.

Enroll in a language course. This is the best way to empathize with your students. You’ll know how they feel if you feel the same way. You’ll understand that learning a language requires a lot of time and effort.

About the author

Sharon K Couzens de Hinojosa is the creator and writer for TEFL Tips, The LA Job List, and The Ultimate Peru List. She enjoys answering people’s questions about TEFLing and Peru.

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