How to Build a Strong Foundation for Effective EFL Teaching
Setting a solid foundation for any learner is crucial. There are many different factors to consider. The students' age, culture, religion, learning abilities, and difficulties are capable of reading and writing in the Roman alphabet. This is only looking at the learning as an individual. When you have a group of learners, you need to consider things such as the class dynamic, personality clashes, quiet vs. loud, making sure all students are comfortable.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Megan H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
When setting up a good foundation for students, you may only have a small amount of information. This can be a benefit or a deficit; however, it is essential to enter a classroom with a positive holistic approach. To do this, you should treat every student equally, do not play favorites, ensure all students are heard and do your best to understand each learner's needs. Learning students' needs would happen in one lesson; however, you can do certain activities, warm-ups, quiz, and discussion with students to help you discover these needs.
Ice breaker activities such as hangman, Pictionary, and rapport building activities like passing the ball, although they sound like it's just all fun and games, it is one of the most important things you can do as a teacher to set up a positive, safe and comfortable learning environment. This will help your students loosen up, but it will help you view the class dynamics.
Managing Challenging Learners Correctly
You may encounter some students with some challenging behavior. This will typically happen more with younger students. The reasons can vary. However, as long as they feel seen and important, there are ways to manage this. If problems continue, it is OK to ask to speak with the student in particular after class and simply ask if everything is going OK. Keep it in a caring and thoughtful tone ( hey, I've noticed you haven't seemed overly concentrated in class. Lately, I just wanted to know if everything is going OK for you? ). Sometimes, this helps students to reflect on their behavior or if something is happening for them it allows them the opportunity to express that. You may refer them if it is of serious concern or keep an empathetic heart and let them know that you care and will try and assist them where possible within the classroom.
When it comes to learning a new language, it can be overwhelming and not come as easy to some. Ensuring that you use positive reinforcement, don't overcorrect, don't move too quickly through the learning content, and if possible, try to keep the content relevant to your students as this will create a deeper interest. Using creative and visual aids can also help with maintaining student engagement.
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In summary, get to know your students, learn about their interests and needs, find appropriate ways to handle different learning abilities. Don't shame students or make them feel stupid. Your attitude towards your students will greatly impact their attitude towards you. Be positive yet have clear boundaries in place.
As a teacher, you can help students build a new language skill and confidence as well.
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