TEFL Training Tips I Still Use

2135701.jpgI’ve confessed that there are a few things I don’t use from my TEFL course…but of course there are a lot of tips and techniques I DO use. Here are a selection of useful hints that you may also pick up from yours:

  • Give instructions first and then hand out papers; the focus stays on you and not whatever is on the back of the copy you’ve made on the clear side of scrap paper to save your school money.
  • Use timelines when you teach tenses.
  • Focus on meaning before form – ideal with grammar and also marvelous with vocabulary. My own ability to do this developed over time, in large part due to this voabulary activity from a Bulgarian colleague.
  • Use guided discovery to prompt or lead students to some grammar rules, rather than simply listing or lecturing on them.
  • Use concept check questions – or at least think of what they would be when you start teaching to make sure you are clear. Don’t ask “do you undersand?” directly or “are there any new words?”; predict what will be hard and then check with your questions!
  • The Reward series rocks (even though it is elusive)
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  • This “assuming identities to practice forms” activity is great and can be easily adapted.
  • Nominate students to speak and don’t wait for them to volunteer an answer (well, I generally follow this but not always).
  • Write a brief list or summary of what is planned for the day, and tick off each part as you finish it. It might look like this:

    speaking (agree/disagree)
    check homework
    listening (culture in Thailand)
    modal verbs (practice in writing, in speech)
    vocabulary revision competition

    This lets students know where you are in the lesson and also subtly shows them that you have in fact planned out the lesson; you’re not just arriving and pulling things out of your hat. The order can change…but I still like to write it out.