Here is a selection of top tips to help teachers of English develop their professional competence. They cover issues of professional conduct, strategies for dealing with students and their language production, the importance of meaningful communication and the example the teacher sets. This is the first of two such articles.

Professional competence 1 - methodology article


  • Professional conduct
  • Classroom management
  • Teacher's approach
  • Language production

Professional conduct

  • Be prompt and punctual because promptness and punctuality lead to systematic work.
  • You are bound by the virtue of your professional growth to change and modify your approach to fit the ever-changing factors in the fields of learning and teaching. Therefore, seek the best ways to improve and brush up your English.
  • Evaluate your teaching tactics occasionally through self-criticism, which is highly constructive and leads to perfection.


Classroom management

  • Create a relaxed atmosphere in the classroom to achieve full student participation.
  • Discipline and firmness are of paramount importance especially when students practise group work. The friendly relationship between you and the class has its vital impact on the students' attitude towards learning the language.


Teacher's approach

  • Be creative because much of the teacher's success depends upon his/her imaginative power, originality and creativity. Teaching is more an art than a science.
  • Be an example of a good planner and organizer. By doing so, you encourage your students to develop their planning and organizational abilities.
  • Preparing the lessons regularly and adequately makes you surefooted in the classroom. It sets your mind at ease and makes you realize the main aim of the lesson. Do not over-plan. Make your lesson plan brief, informative, clear and purposeful. Include various activities to suit the individual differences in the classroom.
  • Be active. An active teacher means an active lesson. Avoid being indifferent because this creates a sort of boredom in the classroom.
  • Make your lesson enjoyable because the ability to enjoy is the key to effective learning. Remember that what one learns through enjoyment, one never forgets and its effect on the memory never fades. Lack of interest means lack of response.


Language production

  • Involve your students in authentic communication situations, which encourage a continuous flow of speech. In fact, the acquisition of the language depends on practising it naturally.
  • Give your students every possible chance to use the language. Talk as little as possible to give the students the opportunity to interact. Do not over teach. Make the lesson student centred, not teacher centred.
  • Teach the language in appropriate social contexts. Relate the word to a sentence, the sentence to a situation and the situation to real life.
  • Use the teaching media properly to make the lesson more attractive and perceptive. They save time and effort.
  • Use effective means to eradicate errors. Always look at what they have achieved rather than at what they have failed to achieve.
  • Be accurate in evaluating your students' achievement. The marks given should be in conformity with the real standard of the class.


Saleh M. Abdo, English Language Unit, National College of Science & Technology Salalah, Sultanate of Oman

Do you have some ideas that we could add to this list? contact us


Submitted by Po Lin Woo on Fri, 09/18/2020 - 10:47


I would like to say something about the language production. As language teachers, out ultimate goal is to get students engage in authentic communciations in real life. However, for lower level students who heavily rely on their first language would find it a little difficult to produce even some words to communicate. With the COVID 19, the possibility of having an interactive student centred classroom might inevitably turn into teacher centred lectures. New effective teaching media are yet to be explored. 

I would like to thank the author for listing out the importance of professional conduct, classroom management, teacher's approach and language production. It is definitely something we strive for in the many years to come. 

Research and insight

We have hundreds of case studies, research papers, publications and resource books written by researchers and experts in ELT from around the world. 

See our publications, research and insight

Sign up to our newsletters for teachers and teacher educators

We will process your data to send you our newsletter and updates based on your consent. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the "unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every email. Read our privacy policy for more information.