Teachers can be notoriously hard to please sometimes and their methods are just as often too. But there is one thing that almost all teachers agree on when it comes to teaching a language: there is no set formula for success in the classroom. It is up to the teacher to find out which strategies work best for them, their students, and their goals.
1. Know Your Pupils and Develop Their Respect
The first step to being an effective English language teacher is to get to know your pupils. Find out what their interests are, what motivates them, and what their learning goals are. Once you have this information, you can tailor your teaching methods to best suit your pupils’ needs.
It is also important to develop a good relationship with your pupils. Show them that you respect them as individuals and as learners. When they feel respected, they will be more likely to respect you and follow your instructions.
A good way to get to know your pupils and develop their respect is to have regular one-on-one meetings with them. During these meetings, ask them about their progress in learning English. Give them feedback on their progress and offer suggestions on how they can improve. These meetings will help you build a strong rapport with your pupils and ensure that they are motivated to learn English.
2. Grammar Paraphrasing
One of the most important teaching strategies for English language teachers is grammar paraphrasing. This involves taking a sentence or paragraph and rewriting it using different grammar structures. This is a great way to help students understand how grammar works and how it can be used in different ways.
Grammar paraphrasing can be used to teach a variety of concepts, such as verb tenses, noun phrases, and prepositional phrases. It can also be used to show students how to change the meaning of a sentence by changing the word order
This strategy is particularly effective for students who are struggling with grammar. By seeing the same concept presented in different ways, they are more likely to understand it. It is also helpful for students who are visual learners. Seeing the concepts written out in different ways can help them to better understand how they work.
Overall, grammar paraphrasing is a valuable teaching strategy that every English language teacher should know about. It can be used to teach a variety of concepts and it is particularly effective for struggling students or visual learners.
3. Teach the Vocabulary
It is important for students to learn the vocabulary of the English language. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as teaching new words in context, using visual aids, or having students create their own vocabularies.
Teach reading: Reading is a key skill for students of any language. Teachers can help students improve their reading skills by providing interesting and challenging texts, helping them to identify keywords and phrases, and teaching them strategies for understanding unfamiliar words.
Teach writing: Writing is another important skill for students of the English language. Teachers can help students improve their writing skills by providing clear instructions, modeling good writing, and giving feedback on student work.
Teach speaking: Speaking is an essential part of learning any language. Teachers can help students improve their speaking skills by providing opportunities for practice, encouraging them to use proper pronunciation, and correcting mistakes.
4. Audio Lingual
This teaching strategy focuses on teaching students to associate certain words and phrases with specific actions or objects. For example, a teacher might say the word “sit” while pointing to a chair. The student would then learn to associate the word “sit” with the action of sitting down. This strategy is often used to teach vocabulary and simple phrases.
With this strategy, students learn primarily through pattern drills, particularly dialogues, which the teacher uses to help students practice and memorize the language. These dialogues follow standard configurations of communication.
There are four types of dialogues utilized in this method:
- Repetition, in this the student repeats the teacher’s statement exactly
- Inflection, a change in the form of a word, where in one of the words appears in a different form from the previous sentence (for example, a word may change from the singular to the plural or vice versa)
- Replacement, involves one word being swapped with another while the sentence construction remains the same
- Restatement, where the learner rephrases the teacher’s statement
This technique’s name comes from the order it uses to teach language skills. It starts with listening and speaking, followed by reading and writing, meaning that it emphasizes hearing and speaking the language before experiencing its written form.
5. Humanistic Approach
The Humanistic Approach is a student-centered teaching strategy that emphasizes the importance of the learner’s experience. This approach is based on the belief that all learners have the ability to learn if they are given the opportunity to do so.
This approach is often used in English language teaching because it allows learners to work at their own pace and discover new things for themselves. It also encourages them to be creative and to think outside the box.
One of the main goals of the Humanistic Approach is to help learners develop a love for learning. This is done by providing a positive learning environment where learners feel comfortable taking risks and exploring new ideas.
If you are interested in using the Humanistic Approach in your English language classroom, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, it is important to create a safe and supportive learning environment. Second, you should provide opportunities for learners to work at their own pace and discover new things for themselves. Finally, you should encourage creativity and risk-taking.
6. Communicative language teaching (CLT)
Communicative language teaching (CLT) is a teaching method that focuses on communication. This means that students are encouraged to communicate with each other in the target language. CLT is a very popular teaching method among English language teachers.
The main goal of CLT is to help students learn to use the target language for communication. This means that students need to be able to understand and use the target language in real-life situations. In order to do this, students need to be exposed to the target language as much as possible.
CLT can be used in a variety of ways. For example, teachers can use games and activities to get students to communicate with each other in the target language. Another way to use CLT is to have students work in groups on projects. This allows them to practice using the target language for communication.
There are many benefits to using CLT in the classroom. One benefit is that it helps students learn to use the target language for communication. Another benefit is that it helps students become more confident in their ability to use the target language. Additionally, CLT can help students develop better interpersonal skills.
Overall, communicative language teaching is a very learner-centered, real time and interactive learning approach.
7. Total physical response (TPR)
Total physical response (TPR) is a teaching strategy that involves physically responding to commands or questions. For example, a teacher might say, “Stand up,” and the students would stand up. This strategy is often used with young learners or beginners because it is a very effective way to teach new vocabulary words.
The use of TPR can help to increase student engagement and motivation. It is also a very effective way to teach new vocabulary words.
If you are using TPR with your students, it is important to make sure that you are using clear and concise commands. You should also make sure that you are physically responding to the students’ responses.
TPR is an effective teaching strategy that can be used with English language learners of all levels.
8. An eclectic approach
Eclectic approach is a method of language education that combines various approaches and methodologies to teach language depending on the aims of the lesson and the abilities of the learners.
It includes several forms of learning approaches, which gives more flexibility to the teachers, and where one method supports the weaknesses of the other.
Many teachers choose from the collection of humanistic approaches (TPR, for example) and communicative approaches (the direct method and CLT), as well as many other teaching strategies for ESL learners, and use what works best for them.
There have been just over 30 popular approaches in language learning. However, there are around 8 (listed above) that are most widely known including task-based learning, communicative approach, grammar-translation and the audio-lingual approach. These days, the communicative approach is all the rage.
Pro Tip: A great way to combine or develop teaching methods is to frequently reflect on your teaching style by using a journal where you write down comments, note adjustments, and brainstorm how you can change certain methods or procedures if necessary.
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