TESOL is all about practice and interaction. All the teachers out there whose profession is about teaching English as a second language to non native speakers should keep in mind that being an excellent speaker of the global language is not the sole criteria required to teach.
You have to be good at what you do, i.e. teach by making the language easier for the students by interacting with them in their native tongue, monitoring their progress or lack of progress and last but not the least making the process of learning an entirely new language a fun and joyous experience. The following tips are essential for any TESOL teacher:
Most people think that giving instructions refers to telling students what they need to do. But there is more to that and as a teacher you need to know the art of breaking down instructions, modeling them according to your students’ needs and using visual and hearing aids to make them learn faster and better at the same time. This is largely helpful for both teachers and students because:
- It gives students a myriad number of ways to assimilate and process knowledge.
- It assists lower level language learners who are unable to decipher oral instructions properly.
- It provides the students with quality time to practice their speaking and writing as they are no longer confused with the task at hand.
Making Sure That Students Understand
You might ask ample number of times, “Everyone understand?”, but there will always be some shy student lurking at the corner of the class who doesn’t speak if he has doubts. Since no teacher is a mind reader, you can make your work uncomplicated by assigning tasks at the end of each session. Comprehension helps to analyze the student’s grasp over the language and also stirs the teacher in the right direction.
Breaking Down Things Into Manageable Chunks
If you organize the things you teach into chunks, for example you mix vocabulary with grammar one day, the next day you add pronunciation techniques with speaking English, then it will be easier for your students to grasp what you are teaching. Besides teaching methodically and balancing the pace ahs certain benefits:
- You boost up the confidence of students.
- Students feel motivated to take more chances with their learning.
- Students get enough time to practice and revise what they learn.
Creating Opportunities For Interaction
Teachers cannot learn the language on behalf of their students. The latter needs to master it and the teacher can only guide him/her. So creating opportunities for interaction is important. Utilize your TESOL certificate to the fullest. But first of all the teacher needs to instill the belief in each and every student that while interacting if they stammer or stumble, it is perfectly fine and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Creating possibilities for communicating with each other can be done in various ways.
You can make it a rule for everyone in the classroom that apart from English, no other language is allowed for communication.
If by mistake or even deliberately a student talks in his native tongue, then do not respond unless and until he speaks to you in the required language.
Noticing What Helps And Hinders Student Learning
You have to analyze your teaching at the end of every class. Also keep in mind that not every student has the same capacity to process things within a few hours. So you need to be patient with the students who are unable to get a grip over the language. Experiment with your teaching. See what works and what doesn’t. Patience, observational skills and correct strategy will help you to know what helps your student and what creates a language barrier for them.