Teaching English overseas has a wide array of advantages. To ensure you are truly making a difference, there are some tips to follow. This will help everyone learn more from you and allow you to enjoy your time teaching
Give Learners Time to Learn
When you teach students a new lesson, give them time to absorb the information. Focus on a goal that you want them to achieve by the end of the lesson. Remember that when you learned a foreign language, it was overwhelming at times – so be sure to follow the same courtesy for your students.
Don’t Rephrase Too Often
It’s important that you don’t rephrase a sentence too often. Try a simpler version of the sentence using much of the same words, first. If you continue to rephrase a sentence and introduce too many new words, it can be overwhelming. This means you need to take the time to develop short, affirmative sentences as the alternative.
Do You Understand?
You want to avoid asking: do you understand? In an ESL atmosphere, most students are likely to nod their head yes, even if they don’t know what you are saying. This is done simply to make themselves look better. Most people do not want to admit that they are lost. Instead, focus on comprehension and let them prove to you that they understand. Create a comprehension quiz or ask an open-ended question for them to respond to you.
When you reinforce a message that you are trying to teach, use a variety of different methods. This can include facial expressions, demonstrations, pictures and anything else. Be sure to keep the props authentic and basic. If you do use a blackboard or any other board, avoid overcomplicating it. Keep the message clear and then use what you need to in order to reinforce the message effectively. Change it up once in a while so people do not become bored with the lessons you are teaching.
Ask the Group
Don’t just teach to a group of students. Involve them in what you are doing. Remember that there are different learning styles. Some people may be audible learners but others may be tactile. Get people out of their chairs to help you with a lesson. You may want someone to role play with you or you may want to get everyone into groups to work with a project.
You can also ask the group to help you in other ways – get their feedback and find out what they think about your teaching style. You can always change your style up but only if you know there is something wrong with the approach you are currently using.
Try Different Teaching Styles
This is your opportunity to try all of the teaching styles you learned in school. You can be as interactive as you want to as long as you are teaching everyone how to read, write and speak English. If one style doesn’t work, you can always try something else. Be patient as you may be the classroom’s first exposure to English. Think about all the different ways you can teach – quizzes, reading, group projects, dialogue and more.
When you get back home, the use of multiple teaching styles will tell you which work for you and which don’t.
Review the Material
Never teach one subject and then move on. You have to review the material again and again to be sure each person in the classroom has obtained the information they need. If you move on too quickly, there may be people who are lost – and they aren’t going to raise their hand to tell you they are. Figure out some fun ways to review the material so the ones who are ready to move on don’t become bored.
When you’re teaching to a group of people, some are going to pick up quickly and others aren’t. You need to confirm the knowledge they have of each subject before you can move on to another. Calculate their knowledge with a basic skills test. This will help you figure out how much time you need to spend on each area and which people are going to need the most help. From there, you can give quizzes, tests, reading out loud tests, spelling bees, and various other things to help ensure that people have comprehended what you have taught them.
Teaching English is going to be just as educational as learning English is for them. There are going to be times when you wonder if you’re doing a good job and that’s normal. Unresponsiveness is natural in an ESL setting at first. As long as you stick with it, you will be able to teach and they will be able to learn. Following some tips can help you get to that level faster.