A Short Guide for Preparing Course Materials for TEFL Teaching
Course materials are the ingredients of the class, that if implemented effectively, make it taste good. A teacher can be amazing at instructing but the materials are what will help the students apply the lecture and know if they understood it. It reminds me of when I was in class, listening to my teacher, oftentimes I was really under the impression that I understood what the teacher was saying. When I did my homework though, I found it difficult to apply that information to the exercises. This was often the case when the teacher explained things well, but the materials weren’t personalized and came from a textbook that has been out of date for the past 5 years. Here we’ll go over how to implement course materials and the important aspects to keep in mind.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Richard B. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Use Materials as a Support to Achieve Your Goals
First, materials that assist the lesson are going to be more effective than ones that are trying to be a lesson themselves. In most cases, new information will be best understood if it comes from the teacher. The teacher can present it formally, then put it in lay terms, and supply examples. After the engagement part of the lesson, for example, students could be given a gap-fill worksheet that asks for verbs. But if the worksheet also asks for adjectives and explains what an adjective is, this will take away from the lesson and the teacher’s objective for that day.
2. Place of Materials in the Lesson Plan
Next, a teacher should be prepared and know what it is that they are handing out to the class. It would be any teacher’s or student’s nightmare if a question were asked that the Teacher couldn’t supply an answer to. Teachers can be prepared by having enough copies to hand out, by having looked at the worksheet, understanding its directions, and having one filled out with the answers. Doing this right will also help the teacher establish rapport as students will know they can depend on the teacher to give them assignments that improve their understanding and answer their questions.
3. Reducing TTT
Third, implementing materials will reduce a teacher’s talk time, which students will favor and lets the teacher make sure everyone is benefiting from the lecture. Talk time is important in all aspects of an ESA formatted lecture.
4. Materials as a Visual Support
Fourth, materials can make a course more interesting. Having a plethora of different materials will change things up in the class and keep it from going stagnant. Including the way students think. If students know exactly what to expect before going into a class that might make them less likely to attend or even keep them from learning to apply English more fluently as they have only been applying it the one way.
5. Additional Suggestions
To expand my previous point, having materials planned for the week can be very effective. For example, Monday's are typically everyone’s slow day, having a movie or listening exercise might be easier for the students to apply themselves. Then on Tuesday stepping this effort up with a gap fill worksheet, Wednesday writing a letter in the tense that is being taught, etc.
Another addition to the point of making materials interesting is to keep materials current. The school may have a required coursebook, but that by no means requires that the teacher have the students fill out a gap fill on the immigration of Irish people in America during the 1800s. Unless the class was filled with students getting a degree in American History, this would be a terrible assignment. Rather getting to know the students and finding materials from topics of their interests would make for much better engagement. Topics could also be found from trending news such as Fortnite shutting down a few weeks ago.
6. Ideas for Teachers
Finally, Teachers should know that they are not alone in preparing materials. Starting with the websites supplied in unit 17 and material examples in unit 14 there are a lot of options past that where materials may be found and prepared. The best one is likely the teacher group one may be in. Reaching out to one’s teaching buddies could easily score them many new resources where materials may be found and maybe even personal made materials themselves. The teaching community has a lot of creative people and that is a great resource.
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Course materials are an amazing way to engrain the information from a lecture to the students. Past that they make it easier for teachers to check individuals for understanding and they will help students prepare for exams. Having a good set of materials will make the teacher stand out and be seen as a reliable resource to the students.
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