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Top Things a Teacher Needs to Focus on When Teaching Beginner Students

Top Things a Teacher Needs to Focus on When Teaching Beginner Students | ITTT | TEFL Blog

When you select information to teach in your lesson, you need to think about what level the students are at and how well your lesson fits into what they already know and what they need to know. When you begin teaching it can be quite difficult to know what students are likely to comprehend at each level and few EFL teachers follow the same students from beginner to advanced level.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Shorena B.

Conseider the students' age

Beginner-level students aren't necessarily children. Many people discover a need or desire to study English later in life. Students at beginner level can't speak or write accurately in the present simple and present continuous tenses. Those who know some words in English but aren't ready to join elementary level are called False Beginners. When there's no distinct beginner's class, beginner level is absorbed within the first 15-20 hours of an elementary course. This is a difficult level to teach as you have so few words to work with when explaining things but it's also very rewarding because every new word marks significant progress for the class.

Also Read: Classroom Management - What is it and how do I implement it?

Grammar to cover includes:

  • The subject pronouns: I, you, he, she and so on.
  • Demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, those.
  • Question words: what, who, where and how.
  • Possessive adjectives: my, your, his and hers.
  • Singular and plural nouns.
  • Expletives ( not the naughty ones ) there is, there are.
  • The verb 'to be' in positive, negative and question form: I am, I am not, am I?

Also Read: The Anatomy of an Outstanding Teacher

Vocabulary to cover includes:

  • The alphabet.
  • Numbers 1 to 100.
  • Jobs: doctor, teacher, a taxi driver.
  • Countries and nationalities: ' He is from the UK. He's British.'
  • Basic food: fruit, vegetables, meat.
  • Days of the week.
  • Everyday objects: bag, pen, telephone.
  • Immediate family: mother, son, husband.
  • Rooms in the house: living room, bathroom, kitchen.

Also Read: The Many Roles of the Teacher in the ESL Classroom

If the syllabus for beginners don't include detailed descriptions of furniture but your student works in the sofa shop, you can adapt the syllabus to fit in relevant vocabulary. On the other hand, if your class is made up of children, they may not recognize half of the professions on your list and substitute names of games or sports equipment.

How to explain the meanig

Your lessons must become progressively more difficult step by step, it's a bit like climbing a hill. If the hill is too steep, your students get exhausted before they near the top.

You explain to your students the word 'bathroom'. It's not a difficult word, and it's one used every day, more or less. But a student at a beginner level doesn't know the word, and you explain in this way: It's the room where you have a sink, and a mirror and a bath. It's a place where you brush your teeth.

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This explanation is not good. logically, if the students knew both the words 'bath' and 'room' they would understand 'bathroom' without too much trouble, so using these in the explanation doesn't help them. The other words 'sink' and 'mirror' are even more difficult.

A better approach at the right level for your student is to approach the bathroom by starting with 'house'. Make sure that everyone knows the word by drawing or showing a picture and saying 'What is it?' Then divide the picture into separate areas and teach 'rooms.' Show a picture of a bathroom or do a mime of someone taking a shower to teach 'bathroom.'

Also Read: Top Benefits of Knowing a Student’s Native Language

Are you ready to teach beginner students? Take a TEFL course to learn new skills!

A well-graded lesson stars simply and builds, within a lesson, it helps to have particular activities for your students to work on.

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