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5 Anticipated Problems a TEFL teacher Should Solve

5 Anticipated Problems a TEFL Teacher Should Solve | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Troubleshooting is part of the teaching experience. A typical ESL lesson always presents problems. But, other problems arise when the teacher has to face particular situations. A good ESL teacher should be capable to diagnose these usual problems and work to fix them properly. Being a new teacher isn’t easy and regardless of how trained and skilled a teacher is, facing a classroom for the first time can cause nervousness. One of the hardest parts of being a teacher is to establish a rapport student/teacher and in the case of a new group, between the students themselves.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Daniela F. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

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1. Students’ Needs

In fact, the initial problem to face is to understand needs, aspirations, language level to tailor the future lessons to it. This is essential for the success of the whole course.

2. Motivation

Another problem that can concern a teacher is the constant need to keep students motivated. As a result, a bored student always gets distracted creating discipline problems.

Also Read: Should I take a TEFL course online or in a classroom?

3. Class Size

The teacher’s responsibility is to make the lesson fun and interesting. If a single student can lead to problems, we can imagine these circumstances applied to large classes. Generally, large classes need to be carefully organized. The first problem is classroom size and arrangement. Large classes are composed of a significant number of students whose participation has to be ensured with a correct arrangement that allows all students to be involved in the lesson. In any case, even smaller classes can bring a concern to the teachers because of the different levels of language.

This is a common problem for any classroom and can happen because of a non-efficient level testing procedure or a different pace in the learning process. Therefore, it’s up to the teacher to find the correct balance of activities to cover the gap between weak and strong students.

Also Read: How do I choose a TEFL course?

4. Type of Class

Also, another problem a teacher could deal with is more likely to be found in a particular type of class: monolingual class. Monolingual classes are those where English is a foreign language.In these classes, English is not the main vehicle of communication. The students have a common background and the only way they will ever learn to speak with fluency in English is through practice. Despite this, the recourse to the native language is very frequent. So, the teacher has to encourage the use of English and allows the native language only in those situations where the understanding of the students can be compromised or when they lack the words to express their ideas or don’t know how to pronounce them. Reluctant students, instead, are those whose participation in the class is prevented by cultural reasons, lack of self-confidence, intimidation. This kind of students will do the least amount of work possible or will be completely excluded from classroom activities.

5. Listening Activities

Lastly, a common problem for teachers and students of all nationalities is related to listening skills. In some cases, problems with listening texts could depend on the poor quality of the audio source, the incorrect choice of material for the students’ level, the wrong class arrangement. Cutting out listening from teaching is not the solution a professional teacher will adopt but he/she will find the appropriate measures to deal with it.

Despite the different problems, troubleshooting is something that is part of a TEFL teacher‘s preparation.

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To sum up, if experience plays an important role in the solution of problems, it’s also true that a TEFL teacher at his/her first lesson is provided with all the tools necessary to make the learning environment comfortable, stimulating and equal for all students.

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