ESL Teaching and Learning Tips
Being an excellent teacher is never easy. Mistakes are committed from time to time as you try to figure out what teaching style and class management technique works best for you. This is understandable most of the time. However, there are some mistakes that can damage both your reputation as an instructor and your student’s progress. Here is a list of the 8 worst mistakes you can make in class.
Taking up all the talking time
First of all, taking up all the talking time in an English class is obviously counterproductive since to master another language, constant practice is certainly necessary. Aside from that, talking too much will hinder communication and discourage your student from speaking out in the future. Some of the worst ways teachers do this are by rambling, completing the student’s sentences and even echoing their statements. They are not only distracting but quite rude and frankly, serve no point at all. Stick to the 30:70 talking ratio and remember that “Silence is golden”.
Not preparing enough
This is definitely one of the worst things to do as a teacher. Facing your student and not knowing what to do or how to proceed is not exactly the best way to boost your student’s confidence in your skills. You will appear disorganized, confused and probably start rambling and make more mistakes due to nerves. Even in free conversation classes, a little preparation goes a long way.
Rushing through the lesson/material
Trying to finish 10 pages in a single class at the expense of the quality of learning the student will receive is not something to aim for. Just because you taught the lesson doesn’t mean that it has been learned. Never neglect to check the student’s comprehension by asking quick questions related to the topic. Believe me, your students will thank you for it.
Not correcting your own errors
This one occurs more often than you might think. Some teachers get so absorbed in the class or conversation that they forget to check themselves and accidentally commit grammar and/or pronunciation errors, realize it and then fail to correct themselves. What these instructors forget is that the way you talk affects your student in the long run. That grammar/pronunciation mistake you made may be taken as correct by the student or worse, be noticed and make the student have doubts about your English ability.
Overusing jargons (without explanation)
Another one is overusing technical terms during class without explaining what they mean first. There are hundreds of terms used when studying English grammar and you can’t expect a student to be familiar with all of them when even native speakers are not. If you want to use grammar terms, make sure to properly introduce them to the student first.
Telling your students that something is, “easy” or “so easy.”
In the wrong context, this is probably one of the worst things to say to your student. It implies that if they don’t understand your lesson, they are ‘slow’ or worse than your other students. Instead, it would be better to make them understand that all these lessons require different levels of effort and that they can master them with constant practice.
Not giving proper feedback
Feedback is something that teachers must never neglect to give to the student. As learners, it is very important for them to know where their strengths and weaknesses lie so that they can properly work on them. With these students taking lessons day after day, hearing that they are making progress, even just a little gives them the motivation they need to continue learning and avoid frustration.
Not knowing the student’s name
This is probably one of the most offensive things you can do to a student. It implies that they are unremarkable to you or worse, that you’re not interested in teaching them at all. Just think how frustrating and embarrassing it would be for you if your own professor or boss didn’t know who you were.
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