Teachers have their work cut out when it comes to learning new ideas and concepts to students who have only just begun the learning process, and there is arguably no harder subject to teach than that of a foreign language. With math or geography you understand what’s being said and the learning curve can be much easier, however picking up a language for the first time can often be a battle that some people grow tired of.

TESOL: Best Practices in Teaching the English Language

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However, it’s how you teach English to your students that often separates good teachers from bad teachers, as each class will be completely different from the one that you taught before. You need to create lesson plans for specific students, because at the end of the day you can’t teach an adult to learn English in the same way that you would teach a child.

Using Common Social Greetings

One of the very first things a teacher should do is to introduce common social greetings into their student’s vocabulary. If they are in a classroom based environment or taking a TESOL certification online there should be no change to how this section of the English language is taught. This first section will help students listen, engage and actively write down greetings that they can use in the real-world.

What Teachers Need to Know

There are six fundamental lesson requirements that a teacher needs to factor into their lesson plans when it comes to best practices. These are the lessons objective, and what you want your students to achieve by the end of the lesson. The steps of the lesson, which looks at the ways a student can reach the end-goal.

TESOL: Best Practices in Teaching the English Language

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The activities and interactions that are going to take place in the lesson, the timing involved, and finally assessing the progress of that lesson and to see which students are on course.

Remember that a student can only reach goals if a teacher helps them to move forward in that course. Usually with TESOL based courses teachers are given a lot of support to begin within lesson planning and development but then that support will fade as the teacher becomes more comfortable in their new role. As time goes on and the teacher gets more comfortable in the role, they may adapt the study plan to suit their needs as well as those of the students. The course is suitable for both teachers who want to better their language skills and for future teachers who hope to teach others.

The course is, of course, intense and will include more than a couple hundred hours of instruction. Teachers need to be well prepared for this.

Who Are You Teaching?

Before sitting down to plan lessons, teachers need to address the type of students they are going to be teaching and in what capacity (online or offline). What works well for an adult will not work as well for a teenager so it’s weighing up what kind of activities and engagement will suit the classroom a teacher is going to be educating their students in.

Understanding the student is crucial for a well planned and effective study schedule. Learning doesn’t come the same way to everyone and some students learn in very different ways.

For children, nursery rhymes, games and hands-on activities are usually the best practices in order to help teach them English as this entertains them and keeps involvement and attention spans at their highest. For adults, written literature and listening could be a better way of putting together a lesson.

When learning English, nothing beats reading books or newspaper articles in the language. English language learners can be greatly benefited by simply adopting a habit of reading English on a daily basis.  This is perhaps the only way to effectively learn a language that is common to everyone. It’s also relatively easy to do.

SunnySunny Popali is working for UNI-Prep Institute. UNI-Prep is an institute offering courses in TESOL teacher training, business and management. Courses are offered online and in-class.

TESOL: Best Practices in Teaching the English Language

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