Sep 5, 2008 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) 3917 Views
TEFL Techniques: Be Yourself! What makes a good teacher? Think about it… can you remember a particularly good teacher you had at school? Can you remember any that you’d rather forget? OK – hold those thoughts, memories, pictures, words… You KNOW what makes a good teacher. They’re caring, compassionate, interested and interesting – great communicators. I think they’re born that way, and the skill is developed through training and experience. They’re people who are good teachers simply by being themselves. In order to teach well you need to be yourself. No airs and graces. No pretence, no act – the same person at home as you are in front of your students.
To teach English (or any other language) you need to be relaxed and natural, without a regional dialect and lazy habits. Good, clear pronunciation and diction. At ease with the language, caring, compassionate, interested and interesting! A good teacher draws on his or her own experience of life and language to prepare varied, engaging, interesting lessons. Students need to experience the words and language in their ‘natural habitat’, and from a variety of angles. They need to hear tone, inflection, delivery in all its forms – but they need to hear these things in context, from a native speaker (or someone with very advanced spoken English) expressing themselves in a variety of situations / scenarios. Authenticity is the key to progress and success, so lessons should be built around the students’ interests, enabling them to hear the English words and phrases – the language – surrounding their own passion. Once these passions are engaged, then a variety of media can be employed to allow the student to develop all four key skills: reading about their favourite subject, talking about it and hearing it spoken about, and developing written items of the theme – journals, letters and articles are great practice.