General Tips for Teaching English | TESOL

Can you still remember when an adult asked you something and you just stared with your mouth wide open? That’s exactly how TESOL students feel in a classroom. They’ll get nervous when their teacher starts talking in a language they don’t understand.

When you were in your first year of teaching the English lesson, you don’t want to scare your students. Why don’t you put yourself in their shoes and feel the same way that they feel? It’s nerve-wracking and mortifying, to say the least.

Here are the 6 tips that you need to know when it comes to teaching English to TESOL students.

  • Keep it simple

This is one of the most important steps to teach English to TESOL students. Most newbie teachers make mistakes of using a lot of English when giving instructions to students, praise, or feedback. Instead of doing that, why don’t you try saying something like this: “Take out your books. Okay?” with an OK sign if it is culturally suitable in the country you’re teaching in. Gestures are very important and help beginner students studying TESOL to better understand even when English seems vivid to you. This tip is always a life-saver especially when you are teaching English to beginners.

  • Check for understanding all the time.

In your first lesson of classroom instructions, your students may not be used to the way of schooling like Western people wherein raise their hands if they don’t understand.

They feel embarrassed to admit their ignorance in front of their classmates and prefer to remain silent. You need to read your students’ body language to know whether they have understood the subject or not by asking, “okay?”.

  • Give them lots of time to practice

You cannot expect your students to get the lesson immediately especially if it is about TESOL. You need to give them examples, check their understanding, and make sure that your class has enough time to practice what you taught them.

When you are teaching English to beginners, it usually means that you are drilling your students or making them practice. You usually do this with activities you are going to give to them. Make sure that you tell them that’s okay to make mistakes during practice so that they won’t feel any pressure on their first try.

  • Demonstrate instead of telling

One of the steps in teaching English to beginners is to show or demonstrate rather than tell them. Students understand better what you are saying if you are showing them with visuals since most students are more on the visual side.

Instead of telling them that you are going to study a specific topic, why don’t you show them using practices to give them a clearer view of the topic?

  • Use positive reinforcement

If one of your students gives a wrong answer, don’t yell, “You’re wrong!” and never embarrass a student in front of the whole class. You’ll leave a scar on him or her and will hate English for the rest of her life. Try to create a friendly atmosphere wherein students will not be afraid to make mistakes.

  • Be an entertainer

Teaching English doesn’t mean that you must carry a burden forever. Use lots of games and practice activities to encourage your students to produce the language you taught. Incorporate your students’ interests so that they want more learning.

If you practice these tips, you will soon become an expert in teaching English to beginners especially your students in TESOL. Remember to keep praising your students so they will become confident learners who are not afraid to take up a foreign language. Who knows, they’ll thank you and remember you for being the best teacher they ever had.

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Leana Jan Candoleta

Leana was an administrative officer in a dialysis center. She has extensive experiences with all administrative tasks, including scheduling, information and billing. Having held positions in the medical and business field, leana is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs of various patients and clients. she has increased her efficiency in her skills and roles and became an effective employee in her company. As a senior Administrative Officer, she has helped the company earn millions when it comes to medical transactions. Leana graduated from West Visayas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Development Communication. After she graduated, she worked as an English Tutor in a Foreign School as her first job. She also served the community for a year and three months wherein she gained more experiences in her career record. She was also a holder of Civil Service License. During her college years, Leana was a member of Gawad Kalinga and Philippine League of Development Communication. After 5 years of working, she decided to shift to another career which is teaching. She took up the course Teacher Certificate Program in Phinma-University of Iloilo. She balanced work, school, social life and a mother. She did this to create a bigger future for herself and for her family. Leana is also a member of a non-government association in Iloilo City wherein her passions and hobbies can be shown off to other group members. Leana is a very passionate and goal-achiever person. She will do anything to be on top and be the best among the rest to reach for her better future. She is now waiting for the Licensure Examination for Teachers and hoping that she will pass it.