Becoming an Effective ESL Teacher
Apr 23, 2012 Teacher Training 2275 Views
Upon entering the ESL teaching profession, teachers must learn to present informative lessons while holding the attention of the class. This can be very difficult to accomplish, and it is the source of many novice ESL teachers’ frustrations.
The teacher must stand in front of a class full of children who may have a very limited grasp of English, then teach them aspects of English using vocabulary words and gestures that they can understand. Meanwhile, the teacher must know how to make the class somewhat enjoyable for the students by incorporating jokes, activities, or songs - anything that can help the students having fun while learning.
It should go without saying that ESL teachers must have a solid grasp of the mechanics of the English language. However, in many cases, teachers enter this profession with little or no training, and they therefore lack the in-depth understanding of the language that they will need to explain it clearly to students. A teacher who is able to skillfully explain the inner workings of the English language to students and provide useful examples while at the same time having fun will find that they are treasured by the students as well as their parents.
In addition to the above, teaching an EFL or ESL lesson means coming up with a clearly structured lesson plan. The lesson plan is a way to prepare for the class, and it should include a clear understanding of the focus of the class (what is going to be taught), how this is going to be taught, and how to assess the students' learning. For example, after an initial warm up activity, teachers can go through the students' textbooks with them and introduce the new vocabulary, sentence patterns, or grammar structures. Then, the teacher can use a game or worksheet to reinforce what was taught. Finally, a review quiz or worksheet helps assess the level of the students' understanding and progress.
Being a good ESL teacher requires more than simply speaking the language. Teachers must have a sophisticated understanding of how the English language works, then be able to teach in a lively manner and develop coherent, well-structured lesson plans. Although this may seem daunting to new ESL teachers, the rewards of seeing students steadily progress and gain fluency in the language are irreplaceable and make all of the effort worthwhile!