My Plans as an EFL/ESL Teacher
When I envision myself in a classroom full of new English learners, I see myself striving to encourage and motivate students through positive student-to-student and student-to-teacher relationships. One of the key components of successfully learning a new topic is to enjoy it and to see a purpose in doing so. Creating a safe and welcoming environment is one of the most important things a teacher can do to ensure student learning by building confidence in every individual.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Bristol L. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
Personal Language Learning Experience
As someone that is also learning a second language by have taken classes in High School and now, in College, I have experienced many of the things, both encouraging and discouraging, that which I anticipate my future students experiencing as well. As much as I will be teaching the students, the students will also be teaching me, not every student is the same and it will be essential for me to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of every individual. To teach ESL/EFL will be an engaging and delightful experience for me and I hope to project that feeling onto my pupils as well.
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One of the most important traits that a teacher can have to maintain a straightforward and trouble-free class session is to be organized and prepared for every lesson. This includes creating multiple potential lesson plans for a single subject, being able to adapt to changes and differences in students’ learning experiences and to know how to properly execute a lesson plan. Having prepared simulations and worksheets for students to complete in pairs or groups is a great way for students to engage higher thinking and speaking.
What the teacher assigns in class can set up a foundation on what the students should focus on while outside of class. For beginner English learners, the teacher may assign activities from a workbook or ones that the teacher creates (for example, crossword puzzles). For more advanced English learners, the teacher can assign authentic materials to help the students study outside of class, this could include assigning a reading of a section of a newspaper or magazine, listening to podcasts or music, or providing forms/applications that a student may encounter while, for example, trying to find a job and residence in an English-speaking country.
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Understanding Students’ Needs
I have been studying Spanish for about five years, most of which have been in a classroom setting, some of it I have learned on my own time. For an ESL/EFL teacher, I believe it can be very valuable to have a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to be a language-learning student. I know how important it is to continuously use and to expose oneself to a language to become fluent in it, which is why I will stress the importance of prompting students to have conversations in class and to expose students to authentic materials appropriate for their fluency level. I also acknowledge that language learning is a very difficult task (especially the older one gets) which can become frustrating at times. To maintain students’ interest and self-confidence, I will always be encouraging and supportive of students and never express displeasure or disapproval.
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Throughout my time as a student I’ve noticed specific aspects held by teachers that make their lessons memorable, entertaining, and very effective in teaching, and that is for the teacher to build confidence in students and by making lessons fun and engaging. The teachers that have always left the biggest positive impact on my education knew how to interact with individual students as well as the whole class. They wouldn’t just tell us information, they would demonstrate it through a video or other means which maintained student attention and interest. To leave a lasting impact on my students and to help them enjoy language learning, I want them to learn as much as I want them to have fun and to enjoy the class.
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In the classroom, I expect to take on the role of an educator, a mentor, and a resource for all of my students. I want to motivate and encourage students to do their best and to create positive relationships within the class. Learning every students' strengths and weaknesses to ensure each student has an equal chance of success, and by creating lesson plans that interest the students are how I plan for the class to learn as much as they have fun. Enjoying oneself is one of the most important factors in language learning, and through my time as being an ESL/EFL teacher, I hope to plant a seed of interest of the English language and culture in every one of my students.
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