Tip No 1. Be Prepared
Making sure you’ve put in enough preparation for your class is one of the keys to being a successful EFL teacher. Being prepared will ensure that you will be relaxed and stress-free and will be able to enjoy your teaching experience. The work that you put in generally reflects the result you get out. An important motto to remember is ‘Fail to prepare, Prepare to fail’.
Tip No 2. Be in Control of the Class
From day one the teacher should always lay out the ground rules for how they expect their students to behave. It is essential to remember that students learn best in classrooms that are well managed. It’s important to start out in the same way you intend to carry on and maintain that control. This will ensure the students understand the boundaries in which they are meant to work within. This will give you the respect you need in order to maximise classroom learning in a peaceful environment.
Tip No 3. Be Clear and Concise
When teaching to a class, the teacher should always give clear guidelines and instruction to students at the beginning of the course. These guidelines should include not only what coursework is expected from students, but also the teacher’s expectations as to attendance, punctuality, homework, etc. This will help prevent misunderstandings and problems later in the course.
Tip No 4. Know your Four Ps
It’s vitally important for good teachers to know and apply the “four Ps”. It’s important to remember it’s you the teacher that will be standing at the top of the classroom in front of the class so even small tips like this will be of great help when in this situation. Just in case you forgot the four Ps are as follows –
Parameters are clear at all times – general and specific ground rules, procedures, instruction and directions
Powerful lesson plans and accompanying materials are all prepared and at hand – meaningful, useful, relevant, with opportunities to be creative and emotional
Positive attitude – teacher models a positive mental attitude towards students and classroom activities
Participation is needed to be developed- students are actively engaged and on task; direct instruction provides for student involvement
Tip No 5. Present Information in Manageable Chunks
When delivering a lesson it’s vital that the core point is broken down and presented in manageable chunks of information for the student. It is important to keep in mind that this is a second language for students and a lot of what you say may be missed or misunderstood.
Tip No 6. Be part of a Professional Organisation
Joining a professional organisation should ensure your teaching doesn’t get distracted by factors outside of the classroom. Know a little background information on your school by doing some research and try talking with other teachers working there. This will make your whole teaching experience much more enjoyable and worthwhile.
Tip No 7. Have a Backup plan
It is worthwhile to have a plan B when teaching your class as you never know what’s going to go wrong and if it does having a spare exercise or language game up your sleeve will spare you the panic and time. This is part of preparation. It’s also worth having more materials than you strictly need for a lesson, as it is sometimes unpredictable how fast a class will work through the materials prepared for a particular lesson.
Tip No 8. Consult Other Teachers
It’s absolutely essential to discover the trade secrets of the TEFL world. The best way of doing this is by asking questions of experienced TEFL teachers who should be able to give you pointers on what works and doesn’t work in varying classroom situations. Their experience is invaluable to make sure that you use it.
Tip No 9. Dress Professionally
It’s important the students respect the effort that their teacher is making for them. By dressing in a professional manner it gives the students more confidence in their teacher’s ability. It will also help you feel more comfortable and feel more professional.
Tip No 10. Personalise the Classroom
Students appreciate their work is valued. One method of doing this is to hang students’ work up on the walls of the classroom. The result is the students devote more interest and pride to their studies. This is especially important with younger groups.