7 Useful Tips on Teaching Beginner Students
Teaching beginner students is a very challenging task for anyone. Personally, I have always found teaching English to beginners as a tough prospect, whether it is monolingual group and you know nothing of their language or it’s a multilingual group and the only common language is English. However, with some work and knowledge, everything is possible to teach beginners the English language. And I believe this is one of the most rewarding to teach.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Melinda K.
The question now is How to teach English to beginner students? Here are the basic tips and techniques.
1. Give simple and clear instructions
In making instructions clear and simple, don’t use or say ten words if you can say or use only three words, use loud gestures whenever possible, breakdown instructions into smaller units and make a sample using body language. Another thing is to speak slower then speak slower.
2. Let them listen first
Listening is very important in learning a new language. Most probably the students will want to start practicing speaking pretty much. But it takes a while for them to acclimatize to the sound of the new language and not everyone will be so keen. Don’t pressure students into speaking if they have lots of time and opportunity to listen to you before using it. But of course, you have to control your language and grade it accordingly.
3. Speak English only and don’t use their own mother tongue
Teachers should not forget that your students are fluent in their own language. So we don’t have to use their mother even though we know how to speak it. This is one of the most common problems in teaching English as their second language. We have to encourage our students especially beginners speak and use English most of the time especially during English lessons. Sometimes their reasons are they are scared to make mistakes, they don’t have any ideas and they don’t see any point. Make every teaching as friendly and easy as it is. In order for them to learn English, make the first lesson as simple as possible then we can add gradually later on.
4. Teach the basics
In teaching any subjects we have to begin from the very start. Like in math we have to start teaching from number zero. As a physical language, we have to use gestures and facial expressions to communicate easily. In teaching English to beginners, we can begin with alphabets and numbers, by this lesson we can create a great foundation for everything else that students will learn. We can teach them to pronounce words and read words step by step then through these we can make phrases, sentences, and verbal conversations.
5. Drilling and Repeating
Beginners need a lot of drilling and repeating especially with new vocabulary and as they get to grasp with the sounds of the new language. Teachers can use flashcards or real object in drilling and repeat. Sometimes it might seem boring to go over the same words or sentences but it is necessary. Teachers can make fun games or activities to make the class lively. And this kind of method is the best way of practicing.
6. Make every English lessons fun and easy
Games can reinforce the lessons, it can help the students learn English by making fun and it give them a chance to think in new and different ways. Use of tablets or other electronic device is one of the great ways to incorporate the use of target languages. It also provides an opportunity for students to visualize and observe the word usage, as well as to practice what they have learned.
7. Prepare well and save a lot
As like any soldiers before going to any battle make sure you are prepared well for the lessons and you prepare and save a lot just in case you need more activities to do. In teaching beginners, make sure you are always prepared, even though teaching beginners entails progressing slowly, repeating and using language many times. Ensure teachers have a wide range of activities to use and don’t ever come to class without having first thought on how you are going to introduce the new language, how to practice it, how you will check the student progress and how you can deal with possible misunderstandings.
Are you ready to teach beginners abroad?
Finally, every teacher should enjoy this level of students, though in so many ways it is the hardest level to reach for but well, of course, the most satisfying.
Seeing your students’ progress is very rewarding and you can tell yourself that you’ve helped them for their further and future success.
Speak with an ITTT advisor today to put together your personal plan for teaching English abroad.
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