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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Successful Language Teaching is about Connection

Successful Language Teaching is about Connection

What is language, if not a means to connect with other people? We all have an innate need to communicate, to connect with other people.

In education, this is especially important. Too many teachers communicate without connecting. They just ‘don’t care anymore’.

So why does connection matter in language teaching?

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3 Ways to Get Parents to Teach For You

3 Ways to Get Parents to Teach For You

Students’ parents are not your enemy. They can actually be one of your most powerful allies. No, I don’t mean the “If you do that again I’ll call your parents!” threat of the overwhelmed teacher. I’m talking about getting parents on your side and using them as a force for good.

What if you could get parents actively involved? Motivating students at home, acting as a guide and participant when you’re not there, and making sure homework gets done?

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4 Reasons to Value Silence in the TEFL Classroom

4 Reasons to Value Silence in the TEFL Classroom

In the TEFL classroom, silence can be golden. We tend to think that silence is worthless. That if a class (especially a language learning class) isn’t busy listening or speaking, it’s a waste of time.

Even I’ve said that if you can do it at home, don’t do it in the classroom, and we tend to think that silent activities fit this category. They don’t.

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5 Reasons Why Edutainment Classes Suck

5 Reasons Why Edutainment Classes Suck

'Edutainment' is a dirty word. Edutainment (education + entertainment) in the TEFL world is what happens when a teacher can’t be bothered to deliver a good lesson, and instead just plays games that barely meet the criteria of being educational. Entertaining, but ultimately worthless once you've factored in the time that they waste.

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How to Always Have the Best ESL Activities

How to Always Have the Best ESL Activities

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut using the same activities every lesson. The activities you’re using are familiar to you (you know that they work) and familiar to the students (less explaining to do).

However, you’re bored, the students are bored, but you’re too busy to create or find new activities.

What can you do?

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