Keeping students' attention and stopping them from getting distracted is a big challenge.

Graded readers or ‘readers' are books that have had the language level simplified to help second language learners read them.

Assistants are not usually expected to carry out formal assessment of their learners with tests or marking. However, students need...

Learners beyond intermediate level require more opportunities to speak at length. It can be a challenge to find interesting topics and...

Have you ever felt you were asking all the questions about students’ opinions? Do you find you are doing more talking in a discussion...

Christmas is an excellent theme for adding games and fun to your teaching. Most students enjoy festive lessons if your activities...

Magazines are a rich source of authentic materials and can be very motivating and inspire a wide range of activities.

Drama techniques which focus on getting across meaning with body, as well as words, are very useful for the language classroom.

When you are faced with planning whole lessons on your own for the first time it can seem like a daunting task.

All classes are mixed ability to one extent or another. Extreme cases, when you have near native level speakers with beginners, can be...

Music can play a really important part in the language classroom. It can change the atmosphere in the room within seconds.

Before going into your first class with a new group you may feel a little nervous. It can be quite daunting to stand up in front of...

Learning a language does not just mean saying something new. It helps to also practise saying words and sounds.

If summer holidays are approaching it can be nice to base some of your lessons around this seasonal theme. Here is a selection of...

Cartoons and comic strips can be used from beginner level to advanced level for a variety of language and discussion activities.

This teaching tips looks at how to adapt materials for different age groups.

Developing spoken fluency with learners at low levels can be very challenging, but here are some tips and activities which may help.

'Realia' in EFL terms refers to any real objects we use in the classroom to bring the class to life.

The reasons for using poetry are similar to those for using songs and many activities that you do with songs can be adapted to poetry....

Class projects can be an excellent way to focus the whole class and get them working together towards a common goal.

Quizzes and trivia games can make a nice change from more typical EFL style activities and it may give students who aren’t the best at...

Songs can be a very interesting and motivating source of real life material for your students and one that particularly reaches into '...

When you’re planning your lessons how much time do you spend thinking about how you’re going to group students for the activities in...

When you’re planning your lessons do you ever think about the layout of the classroom?

One of the main dilemmas for teachers giving conversation groups is error correction. It’s always tricky to know when and if to correct...

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4
Strategies for keeping attention

Keeping students' attention and stopping them from getting distracted is a big challenge.

0
Using Graded Readers

Graded readers or ‘readers' are books that have had the language level simplified to help second language learners read them.

0
Student progress

Assistants are not usually expected to carry out formal assessment of their learners with tests or marking. However, students need...

0
Fluency activities for higher levels

Learners beyond intermediate level require more opportunities to speak at length. It can be a challenge to find interesting topics and...

0
Improving discussion lessons

Have you ever felt you were asking all the questions about students’ opinions? Do you find you are doing more talking in a discussion...

0
Christmas tips

Christmas is an excellent theme for adding games and fun to your teaching. Most students enjoy festive lessons if your activities...

0
Activities for using magazines in the classroom

Magazines are a rich source of authentic materials and can be very motivating and inspire a wide range of activities.

0
Drama techniques to get them talking

Drama techniques which focus on getting across meaning with body, as well as words, are very useful for the language classroom.

0
Lesson Planning

When you are faced with planning whole lessons on your own for the first time it can seem like a daunting task.

1
Adapting materials for mixed ability classes

All classes are mixed ability to one extent or another. Extreme cases, when you have near native level speakers with beginners, can be...

0
Using music and songs

Music can play a really important part in the language classroom. It can change the atmosphere in the room within seconds.

0
The First Class

Before going into your first class with a new group you may feel a little nervous. It can be quite daunting to stand up in front of...

0
Using poems, quotations and proverbs

Learning a language does not just mean saying something new. It helps to also practise saying words and sounds.

0
Activities on the theme of summer

If summer holidays are approaching it can be nice to base some of your lessons around this seasonal theme. Here is a selection of...

6
Using cartoons and comic strips

Cartoons and comic strips can be used from beginner level to advanced level for a variety of language and discussion activities.

0
Adapting materials for different age groups

This teaching tips looks at how to adapt materials for different age groups.

0
Fluency activities for lower levels

Developing spoken fluency with learners at low levels can be very challenging, but here are some tips and activities which may help.

3
Realia

'Realia' in EFL terms refers to any real objects we use in the classroom to bring the class to life.

5
Using poetry

The reasons for using poetry are similar to those for using songs and many activities that you do with songs can be adapted to poetry....

1
Making a class magazine

Class projects can be an excellent way to focus the whole class and get them working together towards a common goal.

0
Trivia

Quizzes and trivia games can make a nice change from more typical EFL style activities and it may give students who aren’t the best at...

0
Using songs

Songs can be a very interesting and motivating source of real life material for your students and one that particularly reaches into '...

0
Grouping students

When you’re planning your lessons how much time do you spend thinking about how you’re going to group students for the activities in...

0
Classroom layout

When you’re planning your lessons do you ever think about the layout of the classroom?

0
Error Correction

One of the main dilemmas for teachers giving conversation groups is error correction. It’s always tricky to know when and if to correct...

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  • Here are some reasons why students’ attention may wander and ways to keep your classes on track.
  • The language is graded for vocabulary, complexity of grammar structures and also by the number of words. They are made to cater for all levels from beginners through to advanced. Many schools use graded readers so find out if your school has some....
  • Here are a few short activities for your last month or weeks with them.Keep in mind that:We need to take responsibility for what the students have learned from us and with us.Students also need some type of conclusion to their work with us and this...
  • The following activities add a lighter touch whilst tapping into students' interests and sense of fun. The key is to choose subject matter in tune with the students in your classes.Just a minuteEach contestant is given a topic and must talk for one...
  • Here are some tips to: Shift the task focus from you talking to them (they have to talk to each other) Give them control of their own discussion Give them practice in formulating their opinions within a controlled framework.Discussion envelopes
  • Christmas quizFind or write a simple text about Christmas.For lower levels, give them multiple choice questions to answer, such as Where does the custom of Christmas trees come from? What is another name for Father Christmas? How many days are there...
  • You can bring whole magazines to class to stimulate interest in British culture, to introduce the topic of media and language or just to help students get to grips with handling a whole publication in English. If possible, it's good to use copies of...
  • These techniques:Encourage creativity of thoughtAppeal to reluctant speakersAppeal to the more 'physical' learnerReinforce understanding of language as a way to communicate meaningAre suitable for all levelsWords with mime and movementThis is an...
  • Where do you start? How do you choose a topic? Which order do you do the tasks in? What if you run out of time? What if you run out of materials? Ah! So many things to think about! In this tip I aim to answer these questions and give you some ideas...
  • In these cases it’s important to remember that all students will get something out of the class, but not necessarily the same things, and not necessarily what you aim to teach them! For example, the beginners may begin to get a grasp of your...
  • Songs sung in English are listened to around the world and students can often feel real progress in their level of English when they can begin to sing along to the chorus or even just to be able to separate what at first seemed to be a constant...
  • Even experienced teachers often feel nervous on day one with a new group and many claim that the adrenaline actually helps the class go well. So, don’t panic if you feel a few butterflies in your stomach.There are several things you can do to help...
  • The activities below are ways for students to enjoy the music of English.PoemsChoose short simple poems that are close to students' lives. These poems are not for heavy analysis.They are for saying aloud.Give pairs a poem to read together. Ask them...
  • Postcard prompts 
  • Cartoons are powerful teaching tools and can:Tell a complex story in a few imagesProvide comment and provoke thought on events and issues in the newsGive an example of vocabulary related to current trends and fadsProvide easily identifiable...
  • IntroductionIn the last teaching tip we looked at how to adapt materials for mixed ability groups. This is the most common type of adaptation that teachers have to do. However, there are times when you may have to adapt materials because of the age...
  • TipsProvide careful preparation – give lots of vocabulary practice and language practice beforehand.Offer visual support – a grid to follow, a table to complete or a series of picture cards to hold will help students focus and remember languageHalf...
  • Here are a few suggestions for activities using realia and to consider why we may want to bring things into the class.Why use realia in class?The main advantage of using real objects in the classroom is to make the learning experience more memorable...
  • Any authentic material exposes students to some 'real English' and can be very motivating for your students, provided they are supported throughout the task. The other great thing about poems is for students to have the opportunity to see the...
  • Taking some ‘time out’ from regular classes and doing something completely different can really help group dynamics and you may also give quieter or less able students a chance to shine. Making a class magazine is a project that will appeal to most...
  • It can be the case that some of the least able English students are really good at general knowledge, so tasks using trivia can help to boost their confidence and increase their motivation levels.Preparing trivia quizzes can be quite time consuming...
  • There are lots of useful exercise that can be built around them to help develop your learners' English.Choosing songsThe best songs to choose are ones that are:
  • Do you think about whether you’ve got a balance between pairs, groups, whole class and individual work? If you have activities for pairs and groups, do you let the students decide who they’re going to work with or do you decide?This tip looks at the...
  • Sometimes it may be impossible and impractical to move the furniture around at all for many reasons including the fact that in some schools the tables are bolted to the floor!However, even if the furniture is immobile, remember that your students...
  • The danger of over-correcting is that students will lose motivation and you may even destroy the flow of the class or the activity by butting in and correcting every single mistake. The other extreme is to let the conversation flow and not to...

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