Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (T
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Articles
The Art Of Lesson Planning
Some people feel as though lesson plans are a waste of time, or that they restrict their teaching freedom. It is true that sometimes we begin a lesson feeling rather under-prepared, but still manage to teach well. In a similar sense, we sometimes spend ages preparing a lesson, only to find ourselves changing direction halfway through.
However, lesson planning at some level or other is essential, and good teachers take it very seriously. There are a few general principles which we can point to with regard to preparing TESOL/TEFL lesson plans.
Keep them short and simple
Try to limit the length of your plans to no more than 2 A4 pages using 1.5 spacing and 12 point font. Obviously, this will not include any handouts or other practice materials, as these should be kept separately. A long and complicated lesson plan will bore your students and be too difficult to teach in the allotted time.
Start with a warm-up activity
This could reflect something done in a ...
Reflections on Standard English in EFL classroom
To be unable to write Standard English or to use its spoken forms in appropriate public contexts is to be disenfranchised, to be deprived of true citizenship…. Where it is appropriate to use the standard, you see it but there are many uses where other forms, or other languages, are as appropriates… It is astonishing to reflect that no linguistic theory has ever begun to pose the question of the permissible range of variation within a standard although it is obvious even from the history of English that the range is not fixed.
Languages all over the world have significant changes over the years and the English language is not an exception. Differences in patterns of sounds, vocabulary and grammar from all over a country make a distinctive way of speaking a language. The way we address to someone in different contexts, situations and places requires our speeches to vary and that also will depend on ...
Learning to Read
Most children start reading around the age of four although some are ready at three. Children quickly become fascinated and excited with the idea of being able to read. However, they can also feel nervous and intimidated. Our job as teachers is to harness the children’s interest and excitement.
Stages of Reading:
Children need to recognise, understand and produce the spoken word before the written form can be introduced. They need clear consistent models from the teacher, drilling, chants, songs, responding to simple questions which will allow them to make meaningful links to the sound system of English. Learning sounds and letters without understanding any words is a purely mechanical and potentially off-putting experience for them.
3. Letter recognition
4. Phonic recognition
Phonics is the association of sounds and letters. It provides the building blocks to be able to decipher previously unseen written words. Once learners are comfortable ...
~~'Language games' are seen as an activity where learners use language to achieve a goal (usually by exchanging some kind of information), according to clear rules, in an enjoyably competitive environment. A classic example is 'Back to the board', where players identify unseen words written on the board using clues from their team-mates.
Teachers should see games as a legitimate use of classroom time and a useful motivational tool, offering valuable language practice. There is a plentiful supply of published materials featuring a wide variety of language games.
The advantages of language games are that they can:
1. Reduce learner stress and so increase their receptive to learning
2. Offer demanding and thorough language practice
3. Provide a context for genuine, purposeful communication
4. Allow teachers an opportunity to analyze learners' strengths and weaknesses
However, fun can be a trap for inexperienced teachers, because they might assume that learners who are 'having fun' are ...
~~Teaching children can be a challenging prospect, especially to those who are new to teaching. But don’t worry! Below are some FAQs about teaching English to young children, with suggestions and tips.
Q: What should my main role be when teaching?
A: In a young learner class your role is very special. Your enthusiasm for English and having fun will be transmitted to the children. This leads to their love of coming to your lesson and learning English!
As a teacher of young children you need to be prepared to do silly things the children enjoy – for example, putting your hands on your head to make rabbit ears and jumping around the classroom pretending to be a rabbit.
As a teacher it is important to demonstrate new vocabulary and language, either by showing the children realia/pictures or actually doing the action. Young children learn by watching and imitating a model. So by seeing the language in action the child understands what this ‘strange’ English is all about. Children watch, ...
~~What knowledge are you using to read this? One thing you are using is your knowledge of the grapho-phonemic relationships of English, i.e. the links between written letters and the sounds they represent. You’ve also had a lot of practise with English spelling conventions. You’re using your knowledge of English grammar and quickly take in the morphemes of English, the grammatical units of meaning such as the –ed ending we use to make the regular form of past tenses. All these skills took a while to build up. It’s also going to take our learners a long time to build up these same skills.
Let’s start by considering the basic skills you need to build up to become literate. Reading can be seen as decoding different pieces of information. We use visual information when we recognise written symbols. We use phonological information when we connect these symbols to sounds. Finally we use semantic information when we use these symbols and their sounds and connect words to meaning. Phonics ...
~~Children, especially very young children, are physical, tactile and use all their senses to experience the world around them. They need a variety of activities to acquire the language they are presented with: music, games and movement.
Research has shown that using craft in the classroom results in:
• curiosity about the language and the task
• behaviour and socialization
• more involved children
Craft activities can be anything from simple colouring pages to more complicated constructed projects. They combine learning and fun while providing an opportunity to personalise the language and increase opportunities for social development. During craft activities learners are exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and lots of repetition of key terms, such as colours, numbers, in addition to developing their fine motor skills.
Every lesson should contain some sort of practical task (painting, cutting and sticking etc.).
Tips for using craft successfully:
• Preparation: Prepare as much as ...
~~From time to time in any teaching situation you will come across mixed-ability classes. People learn at different rates and develop different skills, so in any class you’ll have some people who are better at speaking, some which are better at listening, others at acquiring and understanding form and structure etc. Consider yourself and your peers, do you feel particularly less confident when discussing grammar compared to devising games for your learners, alternatively you may feel adept at organising your lessons and activities but just can’t get to grips with teaching pronunciation? – This doesn’t imply that any teacher is better than another it means that we acquire skills and information differently. This situation is the same for our learners, which can be frustrating both for them and the teacher.
With young learners of English the effects of mixed ability classes may be more pronounced as they may have started learning at different ages, some may receive more parental support ...
Academic institutions of learning are now turned into international communities with diverse students of varied and complex cultures. As a result, instructors must strive to put in structures to accommodate all the cultural diversities of students in his/her class. This is very important because educational institutions must be communities where cultural hybridism is encouraged to serve as a pilot community of peace and unity. However, instructors must be assisted with practical steps in knowing how to handle a class of students with varied cultures. This would prevent any form of culture abuse that may stir anger, chaos and mar the unity that should be the hallmark of every academic institution.
The instructor must provide a learning context that is friendly to all cultures. To be able to do this, the instructor must take time to study the different cultures of the students in his/her class. S/he must research and know more about the cultures of the students so that s/he wouldn't ...
Vocabulary is: All words make up our vocabulary. All languages have words. Words come in different forms and perform different jobs. Each language will have rules over how words can change, which words work with which, how words sound.
When teaching vocabulary it is important that learners know:
* the meaning of the words (this can include when we should/not use it
* the form of the words (what it looks like, where it goes in a sentence & what it sounds like)
It is important that teachers repeat (through drilling, elicitation and examples) and recycle (through activities, games and tasks) vocabulary to make learning fluent.
There are 2 types of vocabulary teaching:
* Productive (Active) vocabulary – this is what the learner needs to speak &/or write. They need to understand, remember and use it in the lesson. There will be more focus on practice, production & pronunciation.
* Receptive (Passive) vocabulary – what the learner needs to read &/or listen to. They need ...