Top Tips for Improving English Skills as a Non-Native English Teacher


hello everybody it's lizzy here so um
we are just about to start today's live session uh devoted to some ideas on how to
improve english skills and while i'm waiting for more people to join me uh
let me just tell you uh about this live sessions so we are doing them weekly on the
regular basis and right now there are um a lot of uh videos uh to check on our
uh youtube channel or facebook group uh so if you missed any of these live
streams um you can go to our social networks
and see those live streams hello everybody uh welcome to the new session and
um if you haven't heard already my name is lisa i'm a non-native english teacher
from russia and i can see that there are some people from the
philippines aaron am i pronouncing your name
correctly uh so welcome from the philippines okay um let me know where are you guys
tuning in from because um this moment we are just
uh getting started and it's a great idea to have this um piece of communication
so we've got this uh comments chat comments box uh and uh with this comment section you
can basically communicate with me and i'll be really really glad uh to
hear from you because uh every time i go live i kind of talked to myself because
uh right now i just see my face on the screen and that's all uh so
uh today's live session will be devoted to some ways to improve uh your english uh
because uh last time when we talked about uh international exams many people asked me
to uh suggest how to uh practice english on their own and they kind of
figured out that uh it's a great idea to talk about it and uh by the way i have prepared
a really cool presentation uh and a nice folder with useful resources
for you so stay tuned stay with me until the very end of this
session and you will get every everything you will get all of these links
absolutely for free just for you to help yourself in your english
path okay um as i have already said my name is lisa
i'm from russia and um if you are um not um
i don't know uh if you uh are willing to talk to me just let me know uh via the
chat box where are you from and where are you at on your english teaching path and
maybe english learning path so let me know and i'll just proceed with the
presentation so that you could uh see my personal experience
and feel that uh we are on the same page with you uh so um
when we talk about um our english skills as english teachers
uh we usually think of like uh taking classes or uh self-study probably and today
i would like to dwell upon self study thing a little bit more uh and
this is my story actually so uh before um 2016 uh i used to study
um in a class mostly um i studied
first i found a tutor just to make sure i progressed more because i was
really really motivated to learn english to have more opportunity
to work in future and that was actually not in vain
because uh my whole life is now connected to english
a lot uh so it was really helpful then i went to university and uh learned
english even harder there um but it was um all
about um me being in a class uh and in 2016 i finished uh
my um linguistics department and uh started like my real life
and it was um probably the best
point to start with because um i i just stopped i didn't want to
um learn i didn't want to practice that much because i i had no
idea what to do uh with my future so uh then
i went to china uh and you can see uh some of the pictures uh from that uh moment of my life
and um in china i just realized that i needed english a lot because
it was not that good um unfortunately and i knew uh for sure
that i had to practice myself because i basically didn't have uh teachers
around myself to teach me uh so i i started like practicing
but in real life communication because at that time in 2017 uh
i had a lot of colleagues from all over the world we all um worked um
side by side uh in a chinese school and it was really challenging um
to um express myself because i always like felt um
like an outsider and it was pretty difficult at the same moment uh
i started traveling around the world and i knew that i needed english a lot
but i still didn't know how to uh work on myself okay so i can see that
there are people from saudi arabia glad to see you thanks for joining me and
from myanmar that's a great country i would like to visit
uh bangladesh nice to see you guys thanks for joining me and uh yeah
this is just um the beginning and um if you don't like to listen to my story
uh i'm just wrapping up right now and i would like to tell you a little
bit more on how to become more aware aware of your english if you don't
want to join a classroom so basically my recipe to practice
and uh to um enhance my uh english ability was uh to
listen a lot um i knew that um i didn't have that real environment
like a non a native speaking environment because at that time i was in china
and then i went to thailand and back to russia so i didn't have native english speaking
environment so my choice was was to listen as much as possible and uh the best
source for myself was youtube i really love to practice
yoga with some youtube channels run by native speak english speakers
it was so helpful because i learned a lot of useful vocabulary from those
videos um and also they spoke um like real life english
not like uh in course books or in audience from those books you know so
um i feel like uh youtube is the best source to practice listening
um hey there are some people from china as well nice to see you guys
uh china is still in my heart so i wish i could go to china
again maybe one day i will um and at the same time apart from
youtube i still wanted to get some more um
topical vocabulary so i chose to watch tv shows such as two and a half
men how i bet your mother and so on and they were actually cool as well
um those um tv series were um those episodes were not that
long you know like 20 minutes and it was just enough uh to um expose myself
to um some english i listened to many useful vocabulary
again and to grammar patterns and like in half a year i noticed that
my grammar improved but i didn't do anything for that so basically
um um i i learned english grammar without actual
actual learning um all right and uh then
let's see um what other things i attempted to do uh were some
practical um things uh as a tefl course for example uh so
while being in china teaching uh english for the first year i also took um this tefl course
online and um it was also quite helpful because um i still um
had a chance to practice some um more specific uh things like grammar
uh grammar and pronunciation for example
uh we also had a lot of teaching workshops uh at work um thanks to
our employers in china uh because they provided um really
great workshops at that time we also had observed teaching practice
and peer learning so other teachers also helped me and it helped me to
become more confident in speaking english uh in front of other people because you
know uh it's kind of the most difficult thing uh for non-native english speakers
uh to like show off you know uh it's it's really intimidating
especially when uh when straight day students look at you
or native speakers uh look at you and listen to you so um
for me those things were really helpful and um apart from that i i traveled
from time to time and i had a chance to practice speaking and listening and
reading and it was also something to add
to my english learning okay and um right now please let me know
if you uh have the same kind of experience or you would like to uh have something
like that so let me know please uh
okay so uh barbara says that there is nothing like a primary english
speaker um okay because we speak english and desire
communication yeah that's that's actually right but um you know uh there are still people
who judge um others by uh their experience and ability to
uh express uh themselves and um sometimes it is still
quite difficult quite challenging to open and uh to give like presentations
um and to speak in front of the audience and uh even right now i i feel really
stressed speaking in front of the camera knowing that
a lot of people watch it and will watch it so
for non-native english speakers practicing english is something really important
and i know there are some people who say uh like i have learned
english and um this is the expression i hate because
you can't uh you can't stop learning english it's it's like a long uh term
pro process you are you have to keep learning something like
that um yeah by the way hello uh thanks for reminding me i wanted to
congratulate all the uh women out there uh with the international
women's day uh we actually had a huge celebration yesterday in russia it's like a public
holiday here and it's a bit different from the rest of the world because
um women are given flowers and nice jewelry and stuff like that
it's nothing about feminism but i still like this holiday because um
women are praised here okay um and
then i would like to also dwell upon some formal learning so apart from all practice uh
you you can still um attempt to learning by the books uh which i um
which i have done um and i am still doing uh i think it's um it's a really
important part um of the work experience of english learning experience and
when you um pick out some of the uh course books you
kind of uh get to know the publishers and um the teaching styles of those
course books and it's also valuable for your teaching experience apart from your english learning
experience and here you can see um two of my favorite uh course books
the first one is english vocabulary and use i have found this picture uh for
pre-intermediate and intermediate but these uh course books are for um all various levels
so currently i actually have it uh right above myself on the shelf so
um i i bought this book um a printed copy of this book uh just to
have it on my shelf and refer to it whenever i want okay um and i also really like this
advanced grammar and use i also bought a printed copy because it is so convenient to practice
um some grammar rules um i really like this one and i also listed
uh several websites here and i would like to point out uh these two for
writing uh they are really useful uh the first one uh is
called this one writing tips uh it is called um
i forgot it sorry so um it's for copywriters not actually for
practicing uh writing but uh to learn how to write a nice copy uh so
on this resource you can find useful tips on how to use punctuation
so this is probably the most challenging thing for advanced english learners
how to put all of these punctuation marks so uh you can find it there and
i will send this presentation with all the links after the live
session so stay tuned uh because you will have all of these resources um just at your hand
and i hope they will be uh useful for you uh i also want to mention this
pronunciation course so um i have i had been
uh participating um in the pronunciation course um for like
two years um i have stopped uh for some time but i would like to come back
because it's really helpful it's a self-paced practice but they also provide some um
weekly um live streams and weekly group lessons something like that and
it's quite affordable so for those who are not aware of the
pronunciation it's a great way to practice english speaking
and i also want to mention this resource library it's a great website
unfortunately it's in russian but there you can find a lot of useful
uh course books um books and so on uh in english which pri which cost
uh quite a lot uh if you go to a bookstore but there you can like get a copy
um of course it's not that legal you know uh but i still want to mention
it because um we teachers uh really need to get to know different
materials and um only after that buy them that's my opinion
and um we also have a grammar infographics corner uh on our
itt website so you can also refer to it if you want to uh refresh your grammar
knowledge so it's it's also useful okay um and by the way guys
i can see your comments right now but i would like to uh go back to them when we have a q a
session so uh feel free to write down everything you want to know from myself
and um i'll try my best to uh reach back to you uh at the end of the session
and uh help you with your problems or maybe with your questions okay
and um this is another um slide related to this
four balls already oh sorry i have to
okay um so it's it's quite difficult to uh speak
without breaks so sometimes my voice
becomes a little bit strange okay so if you also want to practice
grammar and vocabulary on your own uh this uh course book from pearson
oh no this one is from longman but anyways it's also really useful
but it's kind of advanced and um a little bit challenging so i would
recommend to use it together with this advanced grammar and use so if you want to practice advanced
grammar and uh want to refresh your like knowledge from the past
uh there are still some topics um that english learners have problems with
for example i have problems with if clauses like third condition
and so on and um i refer to advanced grammar and use first
read all of the simple rules and then i go to this course book grammar and vocabulary
and it's so deep um and proficient so
it helps me to um i don't know expand my knowledge on on
the same topic and this uh practice advanced writing
is a great resource to learn how to write yes it is from cae or
proficiency exams but if you don't want to take
english level tests it is still really useful because there are um
topics related to writing resumes uh or proposals
um maybe some letters and it's so useful uh for just real life so i
strongly recommend to uh refer to this book and uh by the way all of those books
will be uh on this google google drive in my
own folder so you will be able to download all of those copies
and i hope that these books will be useful for you and i think
that is all what i wanted to oh no this is just another slide
so a little bit more uh about practicing without english speaking
environment so uh generally speaking you can watch movies tv shows and
youtube as i have already mentioned but uh it's even more important to
look at podcasts and clubhouse chats so if you have already started um
if you have already joined clubhouse you've probably also found some groups or clubs related
to your interests and it's a great source
of english so i also recommend you to use this tip
uh another idea would be to read articles or books in english um and uh
two um two points at the bottom are my favorite
ones because they help to practice uh productive skills
so if you want to speak as much as it is possible then it's a great idea to join a
speaking club there are um so many of them i think last year
when we had that problem with the kobe 19 um so many speaking clubs
appeared and it's so convenient to practice english speaking uh and also book clubs
i actually joined the book club uh in russian because i've always dreamed uh of
speak of reading extensively but i've never had a chance to um
and i think there are also a lot of book clubs in english so it's a great idea to
look for it and the last point is it's a great idea
to write um on your personal blog you can basically use social networks
um for example i write uh on instagram um i
i don't think there are many people uh i mean there are not many um
western bloggers writing actual uh posts uh in english uh but
i know that many russian english teachers um prefer to write um on instagram
compared to facebook and another idea would be create your
personal web blog and start writing there it will help you
practicing your english writing as well and by the way i forgot to
list another resource which can help you to write better it is uh grammarly
um let me show you how it looks like
um oh no i'll just send you a link
to the group chat um to the chat so if you use grammarly uh you can
check uh if your writing is correct like it will highlight all of the
mistakes and errors and help you improving it so it's a great way to practice
writing as well uh by knowing what mistakes are there
okay and right now yeah let's go to the q and a session and uh
let me also mention that this is where uh we um share this 30
discount on any of ittttt courses so if you guys are willing to take a
tefl course uh you can simply scan this qr code
or uh let me send you a direct link with this 30 discount to the chat box
so if you want to take a tefl course and if you want to start your teaching
career then uh take this link save this link and maybe some time uh
when you want to enroll into the course you will have this 30 discount okay and
right now i would like to go to the chat box because i can see there are many
different um questions thanks a lot guys for asking me because that's the most um
uh nervous moment for myself the most stressful that i won't have any questions and i'll just
need to wrap up and finish uh the session without just answering and helping
other people okay so um so at agbar
asks what can they read to improv to improve english well basically you
can read anything but it should be related to your um needs first so um
i would recommend you to read um articles in english uh if you are
um an advanced learner at an advanced level um of english
uh you can um check out such resources as um
i don't know the economist um what else new york magazine or something
like that so this uh those resources uh are full of different expressions helpful
uh for english speakers not not non-native english speakers so
you can refer to them or you can also read some um
novels some novels like i don't know to kill a mockingbird
dracula or something like that just uh nice novels you are interested in
and it will also help you to practice your reading and uh to practice uh real life grammar
and vocabulary okay and as for writing i have already
mentioned that uh you can look at the resources i listed in the previous slides
so if you need the links stay tuned i'll finish this session and drop
the link into the chat box and you will be able to
download this presentation and get all of the resources i mentioned
[Music] yeah that's right that's right aaron
uh so those uh english and use uh serious and advanced grammar and use uh
are really helpful to practice various uh skills uh by the way english vocabulary in use
um online version uh which you can get with your printed copy
uh will give you an access to the online library and they there all of the
texts are vocalized so you can basically um skip reading but just
listen uh to the same um theory uh instead of reading
okay okay there is vanessa from malta
nice to see you thanks for joining us and um vanessa are you a native speaker or
an uh or a non-native english speaker okay
yeah that's right so um those resources are really
so um [Music] so you've asked me uh if you could uh
prove that your english level is uh like um advanced uh
with your uh bachelor's degree in english okay so um it depends
actually it depends on the place uh where you um got your bachelor's degree
for example um i also studied at the linguistics department and
um i learned english during like uh the four years of my study
and after the university i was like
supposed to have advanced level or something but it was actually not true because at
that time my level was lower than that and i i basically
um got that diploma from a russian university not from a non native uh not from a
native uh english university so i couldn't prove that my
level of english was comparable to advanced or something with
my degree that's why i i needed to take
ielts to prove my level okay so if you for example um
got your diploma in a native speaking country then you can prove uh that your english
level is the same standard um as from for example um an international
test uh but if you received if you got your diploma um in a non-native uh speaking
university then you you'd probably need to take
an english level test um so good i hope
i answered your question if not please um provide me with some more
information like what exactly um you would like to prove and to whom
okay thanks [Music]
okay so uh aaron um adds uh that cambridge dictionary
and oxford dictionary uh explain uh some meaning but it's not true and i
would like to prove it so i use
um i use online versions of those
dictionaries and they actually have a lot of useful materials
and you a lot of useful um tips for uh learning not only not only
vocabulary but um grammar and uh maybe
writing spelling and stuff like that so let me just show you
okay so i'll stop showing the screen for a moment and we'll show you another
okay so this is yeah this is how uh this lexico
dictionary by oxford dictionary looks like and at the top of the site you can see
many other links and for example if you go to grammar
there are useful links for example usage and you can look through their articles
and see what is interesting there what is useful there that's
probably the most um the most important thing about uh dictionaries
for for myself um yeah so you can basically use dictionaries in
various ways not only to refer to vocabulary but to refer to grammar and other
materials okay so um yeah
and let's go back to the presentation but i feel like you don't need it already
okay anyways
okay so let me check uh some other questions
okay so if you need some materials for ielts uh i have listed them um on my resource
library which i will share with you after the session
um yeah so you will be able to find some of my
resources i used when i prepared for ielts so i hope
they will be help helpful okay
and let's see
uh i'm i'm currently reading a question from from the chat box it's just
really really long so i won't show it uh on the screen so it's about
cp preparation materials and some other things related to
practicing english in terms of fluency and accuracy
so let me finish my reading and i'll try my best to answer and help you
so um
so uh good has a lot of um important questions and um i'll try
my best to answer and be helpful so as for
uh cpe materials um i've already mentioned some of the resources
i've been using uh so basically it's grammar and vocabulary
uh from longman practice advanced speaking uh from by mary stevens
and uh these two books i also have been using objective um
objective advanced or just let me check it it's right here
so yeah objective proficiency uh it's a course book uh we've been
using in a group so um i don't prepare for cp on my own i join a group
um and this uh course book was recommended by our teacher
and the whole course is based on that book um but yeah you can actually mix and
match and you can also practice um prep
proficiency preparation on your own you don't necessarily need to join a classroom or to find a teacher
you can prepare yourself but i just decided that it's more helpful for me to study in a group
so um just so that i could uh have some speaking practice as well
okay um as for fluency and accuracy without uh english
environment uh that's also um a good question and um i believe uh you can only
have it by creating this environment yourself so if you want to
become fluent and accurate you need to find some ways to practice english on a regular
basis so if you are an english teacher it's quite uh helpful because you can practice english
with your students and even if your students are like little
children with zero english it doesn't mean you have to be
like um intermediate or something you have to strive to excellence and uh practice even harder
so uh for myself uh it's a great point of growth
because uh when i prepare for um classes with my students
i always go back to their materials and look through all of the grammar
vocabulary and stuff like that when when i prepare for their lessons
and i constantly refresh my knowledge even on the lower level
topics so i feel like it helps to increase accuracy in english
and as for fluency uh it's all about speaking and uh practicing
uh through this active um [Music]
active expression constantly so probably it's a great idea
to um that's actually a great uh question uh i have
uh something useful uh i've been practicing for a while so there is an app which is
called uh big woo it's a simple tele uh teletype or
you know when you um when you input uh the text into the app and start
filming yourself and you can just simply read the lines uh out loud
and film yourself um it's called teletype i believe
i think yeah yeah it's a teletype
or not i'm not sure but anyways check out this app big woo
uh on um on apple store or on google
and you will get what i mean so you choose a random text
uh put it in this app uh start filming yourself and uh
pronouncing uh reading all of the text the whole text and
after that you will be able to evaluate if you did good or bad
and after a while of such practice you will probably see
that um your results are getting better and better so if you
don't have uh an opportunity to speak in front of the audience you can speak
to yourself basically you don't even need this app
you can do it in front of the mirror it's also a way to practice speaking so um
you can try it and previously on the other live sessions i mentioned
another app which is called elsa speaks elsa speaks you can check it
um on the app store as well because it's a really really useful
uh application to practice pronunciation there are many exercises to practice
uh various um various problematic uh things like uh
pronunciation of consonants diphthongs
and stuff like that and at the very beginning of the app
you will get a kind of an assessment of your pronunciation accuracy
like the app will compare your pronunciation to a native speaking level um
yeah all right so uh check out these two applications and
um try your best to practice speaking daily um there are
also some other ways to practice speaking for example um right now i'm practicing speaking
uh i basically don't have um opportunities to speak every day
but i practice speaking weekly uh hosting these live sessions and
um it's it's also helpful because it helps me to become more confident
and after this live sessions i can evaluate my speaking even
um regardless of the thing that i'm still so ashamed of myself like
um it's it's really pity to listen to myself at the end of the live session like uh going
back to the uh streams the recordings but it is still a way to practice
so uh if you want to do if you want to have the same kind of
experience think of starting a youtube channel
i know that many uh non-native english speakers um
run their youtube channels uh for the sake of practicing english
and you can even go to their earlier videos and compare
their results in speaking and see that it actually helps a lot so
if you don't have the environment you can create it yourself it's just about
your willingness and your commitment so uh try these tips and let me know if
they are uh useful okay
and the last thing um good has also asked about the problem when
a student has uh different um levels
um various english skills to be more exact
their student has b2 in writing and a1 in speaking and
it's a really usual uh situation basically uh what i would like to
suggest you good uh is to uh review your course uh
review the teaching course you are following with your student so
uh maybe it's a great idea to change the course books uh to change the course book you've been
using because i i had the same problem with one of my students
we've been using um a course book which can which content
was focused uh more on [Music] receptive skills than productive skills
uh it's it's a really common situation with core course books they are not ideal so
you as a teacher have to add on um their content uh so if you see that
there are not many uh activities related to speaking related to activation
of the uh other skills uh you need to add some more activities
and uh by the way if you teach online uh i i'd recommend you to watch
one of my previous um live streams where i talked about um
creating lessons with mira it's a great um online whiteboard
it's it's really really uh useful for online teachers and
uh with the help of mira i actually uh organize interesting and
creative lessons which contain a lot of speaking components
okay so don't worry about your student being on different
levels with their uh productive and receptive skills it's a
normal situation and when for example we advanced learners go
to language tests we also find out that um we have like
this many points on grammar this many points on reading and writing so for example when
i went to ielts i found out that my writing was like
um like falling behind it was not as good as
um speaking for example which was really surprising to me but um on ielts um
i got uh 7.5 for speaking and just 6.5
for read um for writing it was really strange to me i i used to believe that
my speaking was bad and my writing was better but that was not true
so uh that's just common to many learners that uh different skills are
on different levels and the best thing is to um test the skills as you've done
already and adjust the program so that your student could
um have a little bit more chances to practice those skills that
are not as good as the others all right so uh please let me know if i
if i've answered your question and right now please let me drop
the links to um to the resource library
um oh no i have to share the presentation probably yeah i have to
share the presentation let me do that and by the way guys
uh we've already um been 53 minutes uh online so
uh if you still have any questions just let me know via the comments box um and um
i'll try my best to answer and we will finish uh at this point
because uh we've been almost one hour here and it's a really
productive um presentation i should say it's a it's a really productive
uh session and i'm so thankful that all of you uh came today
okay so uh let me just share the link to the presentation so that you
could uh have all of this materials and i'll also share
the presentation on facebook as well okay so just one moment
if you still have any questions just let me know um yeah
okay and right now i'm sending the link to this uh canva presentation
uh which you are um watching right now uh try to click
the link and let me know if you can see the presentation
at the end of the session i will also send a pdf file on facebook
so that you could also have a pdf version of this presentation
let me just point out that all of this links for example on this slide they are
clickable and if you click on it you can go to
um the resource listed here okay so all of this
websites have actual links
and yeah and this resource library it's my google drive
so if you go to my google drive you will be able to get all of the
books i've mentioned today so make sure you download or copy
that google drive folder so that you have all of this resources
and um i can see that there are no other no further questions so just right now
please let me know if today's session was useful to you and by the way if you still have any
concerns related to english learning english teaching um just message me
right now so that i see it and probably um i'll pick uh i'll pick out
um a topic for the next time uh to create to like to have uh
the same session for you related to a more specific topic
because frankly speaking it's really difficult to
think of a topic to talk about weekly so if you have any questions
please let me know and i'll try my best to um just present it next time
okay thanks a lot guys thanks for coming today
uh and um also i forgot to mention that
um myself and linda my colleague who has live sessions
uh every friday we are on clubhouse and if you would like to chat with us
sometime um we can like get in contact keep in touch there and maybe
one day we will create a room related to tefl teaching and we'll be able to
discuss uh in a live chat okay so uh these are our um
profiles so follow us and uh i personally will follow you back
we will have a networking and uh itttt also has various um
itt is also presented on various uh social networks uh so if you for
example like uh instagram or pinterest follow us and you will be able to get
updates uh every day um there are also useful set uh
sections on our website so if you would like to read some other persons
some other uh graduates um stories you can go to uh the website
blog and read okay uh so actually these profiles
are for clubhouse but um i believe we are also on instagram by
the same nicknames so you can find us as well and i also have a facebook page so
you can direct message me on facebook and we can also
make friends on facebook we can become friends okay so if you
want to uh add me feel free to do that um i i should say i'm really friendly so um
i would like to communicate okay so thanks a lot guys um if you
haven't checked uh the presentation yet uh i will um i will post it uh
on facebook uh on itt facebook group so you will be able to get the
presentation from there and uh additionally uh don't forget
to go to the uh google drive with all of the materials i listed okay
all right so okay prudence says that he likes my
accent oh my god this is so pleasant to hear nobody likes russian accent
um so yeah i i can i feel like uh
i'll burst into tears right now okay thanks a lot
all right guys so uh it's one hour already um i mean we've been online
we've been live uh for one hour i think you all have something to do as well so um
just keep in touch i'll go live next week um as usual and i hope to see you
again have a good have a good day and have a good rest of the week and bye
bye see you next time