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Teach English in Huangfengqiao Zhen - Zhuzhou Shi
One of the key elements of any EFL lesson is to maximise the time that students are practising using English, and minimise the time that the teacher is talking. It is also important to be well organised as a teacher in terms of making a lesson plan, but ensuring there is enough flexibility to adjust for tasks that work well, tasks that take longer and different standards within a class. Thirdly teachers should aim to keep lessons varied and interesting, incorporating different activities, games and study elements. Teachers should also build rapport and involve all students in a lesson, not just a small group of the best students. Finally where possible teachers should use a mix of authentic and created (specifically for teaching) material. For example radio programmes, DVDs, newspaper articles all add authenticity and help students to become accustomed to looking at real English material. Various teaching aids and equipment can be used to help achieve the above aims, but need to be managed and used appropriately. I’ve listed some key items here, and how each can best be used to meet the above goals. 1) Visual aids, e.g pictures, photos, flashcards, drawings - These can be used during the ‘engage’ phase of a lesson to help get students speaking English, to elicit some language and engage them in the lesson -A key advantage is that they reduce teacher talk time, as rather than the teacher trying to explain a concept or some new vocabulary, the picture can be used to show this -They should be prepared in advance, large enough for all to see what is in the picture and perhaps laminated with sticky backs so that they can be attached to the board and reused in the future -Sometimes visual aids may also be used as part of worksheets and activities, for example enabling the students to build up a story based on the pictures on a sheet 2) DVDs, radio or video clips - These add interest and variety to the lessons - They may well be authentic material which is helpful if the students are at a level where they can use and understand this - They should only be used in relation to a specific teaching topic - The teacher needs to be organised and prepare their use in advance by checking they have the right start and stop points and checking the sound and the equipment works - Ideally the teacher will provide some key vocabulary before showing the film or DVD to help the students understand any new words 3) Course and study books - These can be a helpful resource for both the teacher and students to help structure the course, and many students will expect and want to have a book to refer to - They should be used for specific tasks and not used for the whole lesson as this may be boring for the students and not encourage enough student talk time - Typically during the study phase of a lesson when the students are learning a particular grammar or vocabulary point some exercises can be used from a course book that are related to this - Also some homework exercises may given using the study books and the students can use this time to revise what they have learnt during the lessons 4) Objects and props - Similar to visual aids these can be used to reduce the teacher talk time and encourage the students to speak more - Often used in the engage phase of a lesson to get the students speaking and elicit some language - The teacher can also use an object such as a ball as part of a warm-up activity to draw all students into a lesson and build rapport, e.g throwing the ball to someone to ask them a question, they then pass to another person to ask a question etc. 5) Worksheets - Similar to the course and study books these should be used for specific tasks, often during the study phase of a lesson, or for homework - They enable the students to practise what they have been learning on a particular grammar or vocab area. Common examples include gap-fill exercises, word searches, matching exercises etc - A well organised teacher will have extra worksheets or activities to hand for any students that are quicker or more advanced so that they can continue practising and learning whilst the others complete the original task - They need to be printed and prepared in advance ready to hand out in the lesson 6) Games - An effective way of keeping the class interested, but also learning and speaking English - Often they can be played with the whole class as a group (therefore involving everyone and building rapport), or in individual pairs or teams - They are often used at the beginning or end of a lesson. At the end of the lesson, you may for example have different words on the board and split the class into 2 teams to come up and answer a question by pointing to the correct word on the board. Another common game would be hangman 7) Whiteboard - The teacher should manage and organise their use of the whiteboard, making sure it is clean before the students arrive! - They should plan ahead what they will put up and how they will divide the whiteboard into different sections - Have different coloured pens to hand to help the students read and understand the information on the board - Only essential / key words or phrases should be written on the whiteboard - When writing the teacher should not be speaking, therefore sometimes it may be useful to prepare and write some parts in advance so that the board is ready for when the teacher wants to present to the class the new topic - Whiteboards can be used for pictures, photos, drawings etc, and not just words