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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 Young Students

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.

Teaching young children can be challenging just because it’s difficult to get their attention and keep it for an extended period of time. However there are a few things to keep in mind that will make teaching young students easier.

Change Activities Often
If you’re teaching children how to introduce themselves, plan a bunch of shorter activities instead of one long one. Each activity should last about five to fifteen minutes maximum. Young children simply can’t pay attention for a longer period of time and will start fidgeting.

Move Around
TPR, or Total Physical Response, is great for children. Think of Simon Says and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Children love to be active and move around, so if you can add any movement to your class, kids will love it. Try giving rambunctious children leadership roles. Have them hand out papers, collect game pieces, etc. It will keep them busy, quite and make them feel important. And try games, such as Simon Says, or Do What I say, Not What I Do. in order to get their attention

Games Rule
Forget boring fill in the blank activities. Put those same questions on a game board and children will be mesmerised. Card games work well as well. Try Games Galore and Mark’s English for game ideas and templates.

Group Children Differently
Children lean just as much, if not more, from their peers as they do their teacher. High level students can learn from lower students and vice versa. By changing the grouping, children move around, but more importantly work with different people. They learn group work skills in addition to language skills. When you pair students up, they can sit side-by-side, face-to-face, back-to-back, or even have pairs on opposite sides of the room. Small groups work well around a table or sitting on the floor. Larger groups, or splitting the class in half work well for competition, whole-class games.

Rather than punishing students for bad behaviour, try rewarding them for good behaviour. Stickers, stamps, and little gifts are wonderful ways to reward students that behave well. Even praise works wonders. Watch what happens when you compliment one student on sitting properly in his chair, all the others will quickly sit up straight because they want to be praised as well. Or tell the students that at the end of the class, you will give out rewards to the three best behaved children.

Discipline is Key
Discipline can be hard. So try Star Lotto. At the beginning of class, draw three stars on the board. When you want them to be quiet, start counting down from ten, if you reach zero, erase a star. At the end of class, you have a student draw a number. You’ll have to make the number beforehand and should laminate them as well. Numbers need to be from one to six. If a student gets a number that is equal to or less than the stars on the board, then the class gets a sticker on their Star Lotto chart. Once they get a certain number of stickers, they get a prize.

Use signals for silence. Have a signal, such as putting your hands on your head, then clapping three times and then sitting up straight. Students will be able to see you and know that you want them to be quiet even if they can’t hear you.
These are just a few tips, try talking with other teachers as well. By sharing your ideas, both you and your students will enjoy learning more.

Make sure students understand the rules. Demonstrate how to do something with a couple of students in front of the class. That way, if they don’t understand English, they can see what they have to do.

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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