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5 Ways to Make Sure Your TEFL Lesson Plans Fly – Part One

5 Ways to Make Sure Your TEFL Lesson Plans Fly – Part One
Admin - Jul 12 2015

Everyone has their own style of teaching. Some people treat their students like friends and do all they can to make them feel comfortable and relaxed in the classroom. Others like to instill strict discipline and keep things a little more formal. Whatever your style and whatever your approach to teaching English abroad, these 10 basic TEFL principles will make sure that your lessons will work well and help your students learn.

1: Go For It!
Throw yourself right into your new career teaching English overseas: nothing ever works when you do it half-heartedly does it? The more you apply yourself to it, the more fun you’ll have. And your students will enjoy your classes more, learn more effectively and energize you all over again.

2. Have an aim
When planning a lesson, the most important thing is making sure that it has defined and considered aims and objectives. Your students should walk away from your TEFL lesson feeling that they have learnt something specific. If you don’t identify a key objective (usually taken from your classes curriculum) and address throughout the lesson, your students may leave your lesson thinking it was a complete waste of time. We’ve all had lessons that where you end up thinking “What was the point of that?” Don’t let it happen to you!

3. Be organized
Familiarize yourself with any new language or grammar you’re going to teach. Make a running sheet. Have your materials ready to go, in plastic pockets in a file. Make sure the equipment works. Take a spare whiteboard marker. Make sure your laptop is charged up and the files are easy to access. If you need a projector make sure you book one from the resource department. The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll feel, and you’ll be able to really relax and enjoy the time with your students.

4. Get students talking – to each other
This isn’t just about making a lesson lively and fun (although that’s a big plus). Learning English is a skill, like learning to swim or cook. Your students need to practice English, not just learn about English. And the best way to make sure students get lots of practice is if they talk to each other, in pairs and groups, or mingling as a whole class. Make sure you don’t make all the practice come through you, or only one student gets to talk at a time.

5. Start a lesson with a warmer
A warmer is a simple activity, preferably something active and fun, where students talk and interact with each other in English. As you know, it’s easy to feel awkward and shy with a big group of people. A TEFL warmer removes that anxiety. It helps students feel relaxed and confident to speak for the rest of the lesson. In a warmer, students should be interacting in small groups or mingling – definitely not talking one at a time to the whole class. That’s the exact opposite of a warmer and will only serve to make your students nervous and guarded.

Stay tuned for part two coming up soon!

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