5 Tips to Make Your Life as an English Teacher a Lot Easier
Being an English teacher means a lot of responsibilities. You need to teach your students how to read and write, you need to teach them not only to speak, but to have good pronunciation as well, and you also need to hone their listening and comprehension skills.
Truth be told, the education system is not perfect, and all of these cannot be efficiently covered, so the whole transfer of knowledge is never equal. You end up with students who have good pronunciation and can comprehend better, but they may lack in grammar skills and spelling and vice versa.
Furthermore, this also depends on the type of people your students are. Some of them are socialites and they like to talk and thereby practice speech more than others, whereas those who are shy and anxious tend to compensate with things they have control over, which is why they usually know grammar and spelling brilliantly.
Well, if you want to practice all of these skills equally in your classes and help students master them, then you should follow the tips in this article. Here are five tips that can make you a better English teacher.
Work on your enthusiasm and motivation
Well, for starters, you need to remember to stay positive, motivated and enthusiastic. Almost everyone insists on this and it’s for a good reason. You need to convince students that the whole learning experience is fun. Of course, it won’t always go the way you intended and they might not get as enthusiastic as you, but you must not give up because being an inspiring teacher is all about managing your composure and resolve to teach.
It would be good if you thought about why the information you are about to teach will be useful for students before each lesson. You need to get them excited about learning something new, so instead of saying –“Kids, today we will learn past tense.” you can say – “Kids today I will teach you how to tell stories in English.” (since past tense is commonly used for narration).
You basically use this as a hook, and once you transfer the knowledge you can tell them all the other uses for past tense. This is just one example, but you need to try and do this for every lesson to make it more engaging.
Use more visual content
Another way to make an entire learning experience more fun and engaging is by using visual content. This way, your students will remember better and form a solid memory of the class. Remember how it was mentioned that we don’t have enough quality exercise to practice listening comprehension and pronunciation, well, this is your chance to fix this, and to make a whole lecture as easy as breeze.
You can use a small film or cartoon without subtitles as a part of your lecture, the kids need to watch it and then you’ll discuss it later. It’s a good topic to use for conversation, you get to see how they comprehend language without subtitles, and you can ask the students what they like to watch, so that you use materials that they are interested in, and that they want to talk about.
Use education software
If you need something to help you generate teaching materials, and something to help you out with monitoring students’ progress, then you can use education software. Since, children do not progress at the same pace, and do not excel in all fields evenly, you can monitor progress on an individual level, and see which students struggle with one aspect of language, and what his or her strong points are, and use this information to adjust your teachings. Also you can use this software for creating flashcards, tests, for collaborative work with students, and to help you out with grading their tests.
It’s important to remember that there are numerous software solutions for education, and that they are not all the same. So, before you start using these tools make sure you do your research. Look through some software for education reviews and see how other people felt like while using it. Maybe it was great but too expensive, or cost-effective but with an interface that you can’t intuitively navigate, or it simply lacked the desired features. In other words, do your homework.
Trick them into practicing conversation
One suggestion on how to do this was already made in the section about visual content. However, as a teacher you need to make sure that your students collaborate, communicate, that they use knowledge creatively and that they find ways to solve problems. One really good and fun exercise comes to mind.
The first thing you need to do is divide your class into 2 or more teams. You need to make sure that teams are diverse in terms of skills, you need on each team someone who is good with grammar and spelling, someone who is creative, and someone who likes to show off and who loves the attrition.
Then you can organize rap battles and each team needs to come up with a verse that will be creative, fun, not really offensive and grammatically correct. Then the team representatives come out and rap against each other by reading what their teammates wrote.
It’s good practice for collaboration, and you allow each of your students to use their strong points as a part of the team. Basically all of your production activity should have these elements, and should use knowledge that was covered over the course of the lecture. And having a good insight into your student’s strong points and flaws really comes in handy, so make sure you are using a type of software that was mentioned.
Keep up with trends
Lastly, in order to be a good teacher students need to feel comfortable during class and that you maintain a friendly atmosphere. So, if possible you can keep up with the latest trends to get closer to your students, and discuss the topics they enjoy. If you manage to use this as part of the lecture, the whole lesson will be far more entertaining.