Differentiate Mixed Abilities

Differentiate Mixed Abilities

Differentiation is the means of teaching one concept and meeting the different learning needs in a group.

Differentiation lies on a scale. At one end is 1-to-1 teaching, where everything is 100% personalised for one student. At the other is where I was when I first started teaching – treating everyone in the class the same, and moving together (regardless of how well they did or didn’t do). Your job as teacher is to move as close to the 1-to-1 end as possible whilst keeping your sanity.

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Lesson Plan Aims

Lesson Plan Aims

Without lesson aims you might as well give up and go home, because you suck.

Yet for an embarrassingly long time, I didn’t write any aims for my lesson plans. Sure, I learned all about them on my TEFL course. Yeah, they made sense. But I was busy, and had been told to follow the course book (“two pages of the class book every lesson in class, and one page from the student’s book for homework!”). Surely my aims had just been set for me, for every class?

Oops.

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Lesson Methodology

Lesson Methodology

There is no one ‘best’ lesson methodology for teaching English.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any methodology at all. If you leap out from behind the photocopier, grab a teacher and demand they explain their activity selection and sequencing, they usually can’t (but they do sometimes question your sanity for hiding behind photocopiers).

They claim to use an ‘eclectic’ or a ‘post-methods approach’. What rubbish (mostly).

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Using Supplementary Materials Effectively

Using Supplementary Materials Effectively

Most of us suck at using supplementary materials effectively. From the teacher that staggers into class with a mountain of handouts, to the teacher that wanders in with nothing at all, I’ve seen (and done!) it all.

What I mostly see now is teachers using materials reactively, rather than proactively. What do I mean?

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Should Every TEFL Teacher be a Language Student?

Should Every TEFL Teacher be a Language Student?

Does it strike you as strange that as language teachers, we teach something that many of us have never done? I’m talking about learning second language to a high level.

For those of us that have learned or are learning a language to a reasonable level, we can empathise with our students and help them to a greater degree.

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