Conversation classes, oral classes, presentation and debate classes are very common in both schools and higher education but time and time again you hear 1 of these 2 complaints from the teachers:
- My students won’t talk
- My students won’t stop talking
Let’s look at the first type. Here you need to reflect and work on WHY they don’t speak. Is it because they don’t have the language? They are shy? Or maybe they are just not used to speaking about topics they are unfamiliar in a strange setting with people they don’t know very well.
There were several interesting posts from our September and October topics on the theme of career and professional development. These included how to become a good Director of Studies, the challenges facing newly-qualified teachers and some tips for survival during your first year of teaching, the trials of planning lessons, how to take your teaching to a new level, and an insight into possible career paths. We also had advice on giving feedback on students' writing and tips for writing teaching material.
Everything is challenging and there are just so many things to keep on top of. With experience, however, teaching gets easier as we find ways of doing things that work for us and our students.
But what if we then get a bit too comfortable? How can we continue to challenge ourselves and grow as teachers? Here are ten questions that could help you climb above that teaching plateau.
Most teachers create at least some of their classroom materials, either as a supplement or as a replacement to the course book they are using. Are your materials good quality? You probably think they are but how do you know? And what can you do to make sure they pass a certain standard of quality control. Here are a few questions and answers that might help you to make your good materials even better.
Should I get an editor?
The posts from July and August 2017 on the theme of 'Managing resources' made for some interesting reading. There were posts on considerations for writing materials, strategies for differentiation, dealing with digital natives, the technological division between cities and rural areas, writing coursebooks and designing materials. You can read some of these posts by clicking on the links below:
It ended in the desert heat of Bahrain in charge of ICT at one of the largest teaching centres in the region. Any new job brings new challenges and the need to adapt and rethink our approach to a different context. This post outlines the major challenges my new role brought about:
Teaching Beginner YLs
Just thinking back over some of the training sessions I have attended on the topic over the years, there has been a wide range of areas covered. Some workshops have focused on giving instructions and transitioning from one lesson stage to the next, others have looked at motivating and engaging learners, some have presented ideas for establishing class routines, and others have centred on discipline and class rules.
They are an excellent way to work on your, or your students’, listening skills, as you can listen to them as many times as you want to. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also manipulate files so that they are faster or slower, or so that you are only listening to an excerpt of the whole programme.
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The blog topics for March/April are below:
But deeper understanding can only occur with the ability to reflect: to review, to notice, and to think carefully about what had taken place.
This is true for our students and is certainly true for us teachers looking to improve our practice.
But how can we become more reflective teachers?
1. Formal Observations
Many schools have a Director of Studies observing a teacher when they are newly employed, and subsequently, once every 6 months or more. Such observations often have an evaluative function.