Here’s a fantastic guest post from Michael Walker, who currently teaches at a university in South Korea. He offers some great tips for teachers who are just starting out. Thanks Michael!
Don’t smile until Christmas?
There is an old piece of teaching advice which tells us. “Don’t smile until Christmas.” This is nonsense, a simple smile is contagious, we want our students to learn in a happy, friendly, and approachable environment, smiling helps deliver that type of environment. Creating a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment in the classroom is vital to educational success. If students are not comfortable they will not talk, if they stay silent their English will not improve. A friendly environment will lead to increased student-teacher contact, this is key to student motivation and learning. (more…)
I’ve had a really busy year. I’ve taught in four different countries since January. They’ve included a quick winter camp in Spain (which was great fun), a short stint back in England, an amazing summer in Vietnam and now Christmas in Bangkok! You can’t beat the life of an EFL teacher!
I’ve certainly learnt a lot this year. Here are a few things I’ve done that have improved me in some way as a teacher. I hope they give you some ideas for professional development. Some of these were motivated by this great post from ELT Experiences, I recommend looking at it for more inspiration! (more…)
Game shows and TV quizzes are a great source of inspiration for classroom activities. Believe it or not, I keep a notepad on the coffee table so I can jot down any teaching ideas I get from watching TV!
It’s always good to have a range of different games up your sleeve to mix things up a bit. Here are some activities that appear in shows on the telly. I bet you already use a fair few of them, but you might find something new! (more…)
I had my first lesson observation at the British Council Bangkok the other day. I still have a job, woohoo!
I got some very surprising feedback from my line manager: ‘your board work was a real strength’. Boardwork? Strength?! I did NOT expect that! However, I do think my whiteboard work has improved a bit over the last year for a few reasons. (more…)
I’ve kept a list of all the vocabulary that has come up in class during the last few weeks of summer school. It’s a fair bit – about 200 words.
Here are some ideas for reviewing vocabulary in groups. For these tasks I didn’t use all 200 words, but about 60 or so. To prepare, give students the word list and get them to cut all the words up so each one is on a different slip of paper. Get them to mix all the words up and put them face up on the desk. (more…)
This week a colleague at the British Council gave me FIVE different activities for my young learner classes. That means I have to share 5 ideas to even things out! There’s a theme to the ideas below – 5 ways to make textbook reading activities come alive! (more…)
I was reading the Teacher Toolkit the other day, which is a fantastic site. I took at least 5 new ideas from it, mostly relating to classroom management. It reminded me how rewarding it is to learn from others, and also to share ideas. As a ‘Thank you!’ to that site, I’m posting five of my favourite ideas from my ‘ELT Toolkit’. Most are age-old, tried and tested, and a lot are described on other sites and in books. (more…)