13 EFL Quickie Warmers to Start Your Class

A warmer is a motivating starting activity better called: zealous, suggestive, dynamic and enthusiastic. It is an activity done at the beginning of the lesson to activate students to become animated in the language class. It is considered as a tool designed to attract students’ attention.

Advantages of warmers.

For teachers, warmers enable them to:

  • get students’ attention and make them engaged in the following steps.
  • break the monotony of learning.
  • make the tasks more interesting.
  • move students smoothly to the target language.
  • activate the students’ background knowledge.
  • help put aside distracting thoughts.
  • serve as a springboard into the topic or target language.
  • ensure students’ involvement in the class.
  • recognize the different types of students’ learning styles.

For students, warmers enable them to:

  • get their minds focused on the lesson ahead.
  • get them started, so the wheels in their heads can start turning,
  • have fun and enjoyment at the beginning of the lesson.
  • know each other.
  • open up their creative thinking to apply learning in new ways.
  • feel comfortable with the environment and their classmates.
  • increase their participation.
  • review vocabulary from a previous class.
  • have their energy raised.
  • think and speak in English.

Tips to manage a warm-up activity:

  • Normally, the warm-up session is the first 5 minutes of the class.
  • During this session, get students to relax, know each other, and chat with their peers and with the teacher.
  • There should be a good kind of mobilization.
  • During the warm-up session, you should not over-correct students’ mistakes.
  • Plan well for the warm-up session in a way that facilitates the rest of the lesson, increases students’ confidence and avoid students’ feeling of worry that prevents them from saying or doing what you want.
  • Control the tone of what is to take place during this session.

13 examples of EFL warm-up activities to start your class right off.

1. Vocabulary Circle:

Teacher asks random students for a verb, a noun, an adjective or an adverb that begins with a, b, c, d, etc.

2. Catch Up:

Students interview other students in pairs or groups to discover about their lives: past, present and future.

3. Finish the Thought:

Teacher writes the beginning of a sentence on the board. Students are asked to complete it.

E.g. Today, I’m happy about ……………

Today will be awesome because ……………

Yesterday, I wish I had …………….

4. I Went to the Market:

This circle game begins with the simple statement:

(I went to the market and bought a ……….)

The first student adds a noun (a bag of flour).

The second student reads and adds (a packet of tea)

The third student reads and adds (a kilo of sugar), and so on.

By the end of the circle, the student will be required to have memorized a dozen of nouns and measure expressions.

5. What Does Your Name Mean?

Using a dictionary, google, a mobile or any other resource, students find and write down an appropriate adjective that begins with each letter of their first name. for example:

Hany: honest, active, neat, youthful.

6. Mixed-up Sentence:

Teacher writes a sentence on the board but mixes up the word order; then challenges students to reconstruct the original sentence.

7. The A to Z Game:

Teacher gives students a theme, for example: jobs, food, etc. teacher writes the letters a to z on the board. Teams of students must race to write an appropriate word next to each letter on the board.

8. Name Ten:

Teacher has students think of 10 items that fit particular criteria like:

Jobs where people have to wear a uniform, sports played with a ball, animals that lay eggs, three-letter parts of the body … etc.

9. Word Chain:

Students toss a ball to each other – and name the words that start with the last letter of the previous word, forming the chain. for example: ball, lamp, pen, and so on.

10. Error Correction Races:

Teacher puts students in some teams – and gives them lists of sentences containing mistakes. Students race to see which team can correct the entire page first. Teacher can include some correct sentences as well as sentences with multiple mistakes.

11. Synonyms & Antonyms:

Students work in pairs. Teacher gives students a word (good, for example). Students have to think of synonyms and antonyms. The pair of students that think of the most words win.

12. Can’t Say: “Yes or No”:

Here, students ask each other questions to try to get the other members of their group to say, “Yes or No”. The other members must answer the questions, but without saying “Yes or No”. It’s a fun activity that requires students to think on their feet.

13. Here’s the Answer; What’s the Question:

Teacher writes the answers to a few questions – about his life – on the board. Students have to guess what the corresponding questions are:

Examples:

Two.

Hamburger.

In the club.

Do you have any more warmers? Let us know in your comment.


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Two Games to Teach Reading and Develop Children’s Auditory Skills

Children who can’t read are missing one of the following important auditory skills:

  • They can’t rhyme sounds in words.
  • They can’t put sounds (word parts) together to make words. That’s They don’t have the skill of sounding out new words.
  • They don’t know the short vowel sounds or unable to recognize the differences among short vowel sounds. (Short vowels: a-apple, e-elephant, i-igloo, o-octopus, u-umbrella).
  • They have slow recall of letter sounds. E.g. they see the letter “w” and can’t remember what it says.

These traits are common to most children who struggle in reading. These are not traits of “laziness” but of auditory and memory deficits.

In this case and in order to get your children to read words quickly and with ease, you should encourage them to practice the skills mentioned above by using the following two games.

1. Connect-three Game:

This game will help your children connect sounds to make words. This skill is used when children sound out new words.

How to Play:

Tell your children, “I’m going to say three sounds. I want you to put the sounds together and say a word. For example, I say c-a-t and you say cat. I say d-o-g and you say dog.”, etc.

Here’s a list to get you started: begin with nouns, things that can be visualized and advance to words that don’t create mental pictures.

m-o-m
b-ir-d
h-o-t
h-i-m
d-a-d
s-u-n
gr-ee-n
c-a-n
d-e-sk
pi-zz-a
dr-in-k
w-i-ll
br-ai-n
mo-n-ey
c-ol-d
a-n-d
tr-e-e
c-am-p
st-o-p
b-u-t
y-ar-d
t-en-t
w-i-n
fr-o-m

2. Body-name Game:

This game will teach children how to rhyme. Knowing how to rhyme will help children read word “families” such as let, met, pet, wet, and get. Notice that rhyming words have same sound endings, but different beginning sounds. Some words don’t look the same: ache, cake, steak but they rhyme.

How to Play:

Begin by modeling how to rhyme. Point to parts of your body, say a rhyming word and your children should say the body part. This puts rhyming into their ears with a visual cue (pointing). If you point to your nose and say rose, they will automatically say nose.

Tell your children, “We are going to play a rhyming game. Rhyming words have the same sound endings. I’m going to point to something on my body and say a word. You’re going to say the body part that rhymes. Okay?” Give them two examples: “I’m pointing to my leg, and I say beg. You say leg. I’m pointing to my nose. I say rose, and you say nose. Point to your knee and say bee or me, children will say knee. etc.

Here’s a list of body parts and rhyming words:

deer-ear
pail-nail
sack-back
go-toe
gum-thumb
put-foot
bye-eye
deck-neck
see-knee
bear-hair
fin-chin
band-hand
peek-cheek
farm-arm
feel-heel

When your children are able to rhyme body parts, turn it around. Say, “I’m going to say a word and you’ll tell me as many rhyming words as you can. I say “bee”, then you say words such as “he, she, we, three, free, or agree.”

Choose one-syllable words that are easy to rhyme with, such as had, rat, man, fall, ten, red, big, fill, hop, dog, bug and sun. All of these have multiple words that rhyme.


For a whole guide including more practical tips and activities to teach beginning reading to ESL/EFL learners, you can get my featured eBook: Teaching Beginning Reading to ESL/EFL Learners

It covers the following topics:

  • What is reading?
  • The main approaches to teaching beginning reading.
  • The stages of teaching beginning reading.
  • Sample activities for beginning reading.
  • Some important guidelines for EFL teachers to follow before beginning to teach reading in English.

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Practical Tips to Teach Reading with Phonics

In order to be able to read, every child must be taught the sounds of the alphabet letters. They must be able to recall the sounds quickly. They must see the letter and say the sound without hesitation.

Following some practical tips to teach alphabet sounds and improve your child’s auditory skills:

  • Use “Alphabet Chart” with pictures to teach alphabet letters and letter sounds.
  • Point to each letter and ask your child, “Tell me what this letter says.”
  • Point to each letter as you are saying the letter name and the letter sound.
  • Review the alphabet chart once a day and pretty soon your child will be able to point to each letter and say the sounds himself.
  • Help your child to create his own “Alphabet Book” to learn most of the alphabet letter sounds by drawing pictures of items that begin with the sound of each alphabet letter.
  • Ask your child to tell you the letter sound, not the letter name.
  • Say and let him repeat the letter sounds that he misses. This is a good place to begin fixing your child’s auditory gaps.

Phonics is one effective method of teaching children how to read. Following are some items that children should be taught to know how to “sound out” new words:

  • Consonant letters’ sounds b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z
  • Blend sounds: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, wr, bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, scr, str, sm, sn, sp, sc, sk,
  • Short vowel sounds: a, e, i, o, u
  • Digraph sounds: sh, ch, th, wh
  • Double vowel sounds: ai, ea, ee, oa
  • Other double vowel sounds: oi, oo, ou, ow
  • Silent /e/: it doesn’t say anything but makes the vowel before it says its own name.
  • /R/ controlled vowel sounds: ar, er, ir, or, ur

Phonics consists of a series of rules that children have to memorize and apply when they are sounding out new words. When children are taught a rule, i.e. silent /e/, they should practice reading words with silent /e/. Then they should do skill sheets at their desk highlighting the silent /e/ rule.

Children cannot learn to read without proper knowledge of phonics. It is the foundation for success in reading. They will succeed to read if they learn letter sounds to an automatic level – that’s being able to see the letter(s) and say the sound immediately.


For a whole guide including more practical tips to teach beginning reading to ESL/EFL learners, you can get my featured eBook:

It covers the following topics:

* What is reading?

* The main approaches to teaching beginning reading.

* The stages of teaching beginning reading.

* Sample activities for beginning reading.

* Some important guidelines for EFL teachers to follow before beginning to teach reading in English.

 


If you are in charge of teaching adult learners and want to know how to teach reading comprehension with practical tips, you can get my latest eBook:

It covers the following topics:

* The nature of reading comprehension.

* What should be done before starting a reading lesson.

* Reading comprehension strategies and activities.

* How to work with a reading text.

* How to plan a reading lesson.

* How to develop your students’ reading comprehension.

 


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Why and How to Use Songs in English Language Classes

Songs are a useful tool in language acquisition. Language teachers can use them to open or close their lessons, to introduce topics or themes, to add variety or change the pace, to present new vocabulary or recycle known language structures.

Simple, repetitive songs often contain a recurrent grammatical pattern which is useful to teach (especially with younger children). More difficult songs often contain interesting vocabulary and idioms. Also, there is often a message, a theme, or a story underlying a song which students can discuss, explain, debate, and write about at almost any level.

According to Gardner, students classified into ‘aural/musical’ category will have a lot of benefit from learning through songs as they are strong in singing, picking up sounds, remembering melodies and rhythms. They like to sing, play instruments and listen to music.

This is not to say that learners with other learning styles cannot benefit from songs. Of course, they can, because in the activities we use songs, we can dance and act (physical learning style), read, draw and do puzzles (spatial intelligence), tell stories, and write (verbal learning styles).

What makes songs so useful in language learning context:

Songs have characteristics that help learning a second language. Some of them are as follows:

  • Songs often contain common, short words.
  • The language in songs is often conversational.
  • The lyrics are often sung at a slower rate than spoken words and there is repetition of words and grammar.
  • Songs address the effective side in learners so they can motivate them to learn.

In addition, songs contribute to learners’ development in the following sides:

Socio-emotional:

Singing songs in and with a class is a social act which allows learners to participate in a group and express their feelings, no matter what their English is like.

Physical:

Songs provide a great opportunity for young learners to move around. Clapping, dancing and playing instruments stimulate memory, which makes it possible for learners to hear chunks of language as they sing and use them in different situations later.

Cognitive:

We all know the phenomenon of the song-that-is-stuck-in-my-head. With the right kind of song, it is easy to use this phenomenon  to get learners to know what to say and to produce language rapidly without pausing.

Cultural:

Songs used in English classes can, in that way, shed light on interesting musical traditions in countries, but can also teach teens, young adults and adults to appreciate other cultures. For adult learners, songs can be “a rich mine” of information about human relations, ethics, customs, history, humor, and regional and cultural differences.

Language learning:

Through singing authentic songs, learners would have the opportunity to listen to pronunciation in a wide range of varieties of the language. Songs will help learners become familiar with word stress and intonation, and the rhythm with which words are spoken or sung. Again, this will enable learners to remember chunks of language which they can then use in conversations or in writing. As language teachers, we can use songs to practice listening, speaking, reading and writing.

How to use songs in English classes:

Focus it:

Start with a focusing activity: anything that will get students thinking about the subject of the song. Have them think about the title of the song, in groups of pairs. Find a picture that relates to the subject of the song and have students guess about it.

Highlight it:

Put the important words from the song on the board. Present what each word means. Then, have students give you simple sentences that include these words.

Hear it:

Write the song on the board. Students listen to it. You can stop the song before a word you want them to guess or after each part of the song.

Strip it

Cutting the song into strips, give each student one strip to memorize. Students put the strips in their pockets. They get up and tell each other their part of the song, without looking at their part or showing their part to anyone else. Students then organize themselves in the right order, speak the song and then listen again and check. You can also have students put the strips on a table in order.

Question it:

Ask students some questions about the song (about the words, about the topics or about characters in the song).

Change it:

Change words (adjectives, adverbs, nouns, names, places or feelings), and invent new lyrics for the melody. If you have karaoke versions of the songs, you can then let students sing their own versions.

The possibilities are endless. Music and songs are fun, and most people enjoy them. Make songs a regular feature in your lessons!


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Do You Know What ECRIF is?!

ECRIF stands for five phases of students’ learning: Encounter, Clarify, Remember, Internalize, Fluency.

ECRIF is a framework for understanding learning, looking at how people learn rather than prescribing what teachers should or should not do.

ECRIF framework focuses on the learning process that students go through as they work with the target skill or knowledge rather than what the teacher is doing during the lesson.

This framework can provide a tool that help teachers see student activities and content from the perspective of student learning. In this way, ECRIF is connected to how teachers think about what is happening in their classrooms.

Who developed ECRIF and where is it being used?

ECRIF framework was developed by Josh Kurzweil and Mary Scholl between 2004 and 2005 as they wrote the book Understanding Teaching Through Learning

This framework has been used in a variety of workshops given for governmental and non-governmental organizations. Although it was originally developed for English language teachers, it has also been with content teachers teaching other subjects such as history and math as well as vocational instruction such as using computer software and operating construction equipment.

Benefits of recognizing the ECRIF framework.

ECRIF can be used by the teachers to:

  • plan lessons and adapt course book materials = (reflecting for action).
  • assess where students are in their learning process during a lesson = (reflecting in action).
  • reflect on student learning after a lesson = (reflecting on action).
  • determine what kind of corrective feedback would be useful for the learner.

The phases of ECRIF framework.

ENCOUNTER.

The encounter phase of learning is the first time a learner encounters new material or information.  It is the presentation of new language.  In the ENCOUNTER phase, the learner’s background knowledge is activated and what they already know is found out.

Methods of ENCOUNTER:

  • Inductive or deductive presentation.
  • Storytelling with or without realia, role play, pictures, recordings, etc.
  • Matching exercises
  • Categorizing, sorting, predicting

CLARIFY:

Clarify is something that happens inside the learner when the learner can determine, for example, certain meaning or pronunciation of a vocabulary word or use certain grammar construction in certain situation.  Teachers of course assist in clarifying and check or assess learners’ understanding of material.  One way that teachers check comprehension is with comprehension checking questions.

4 kinds of comprehension checking questions.

  1. Non-verbal affirmation – “Point to the supermarket.”
  2. Positive/negative – “Is this a supermarket?”  “Can I buy bread at the supermarket?”
  3. Discrimination – “If I want to buy bread, do I go to the pharmacy or the supermarket?”
  4. Short answer – “What is the name of a local supermarket?”

Some notes about comprehension checking questions (CCQs): 

They are used to check the understanding of anything that learners have encountered or been presented:  vocabulary, grammar, appropriateness, etc.  They are also to check if students understand instructions for an activity, project, or assignment. It is helpful to write them out at first in your lesson plan.

REMEMBER:

This is the first step in putting new material in memory.  It is usually characterized by repetition, drilling, and referring back to support materials using models or prompts.

Typical activities for remembering:

  • Drilling.
  • Gap filling or cloze test.
  • Information gap.
  • Searches.
  • Scrambled words or sentences.
  • Guessing games.
  • Matching.
  • Reading scripts and dialogues.

Note about remembering: 

The activities for this stage of learning are also called “controlled practice”.  Controlled practice means that the learner has lots of support, and little or no choice in how to successfully complete the activity or exercise.

INTERNALIZE:

When a learner internalizes material, it is transferred to long-term memory. Continued practice is needed to help internalize new language or information. Kinds of practice here differs from the remembering stage in that it will be freer and less controlled. In this stage learners make more choices in how they are using the information and relying less on outside support.

Typical activities for internalization:

  • Guessing games.
  • Information gaps.
  • Storytelling/role play.
  • Short answers.

Notes about activities to remember and internalize:   

Learners go through a process of putting target language into short-term memory and then longer-term memory in order to prepare for later communication by practicing the language in various ways moving from “teacher-controlled” to “learner-initiated” activities.

FLUENCY:

In this stage of learning, learners are using new material and information fluidly, in accordance with their current understanding and internalized grasp of the material.  It is the stage where they freely test internalized knowledge and spontaneously produce the target language creatively in a personal, real-life communication tasks.

Typical fluency activities:

  • Guessing games.
  • Fluency lines, circles.
  • Debates.
  • Role play.
  • Information gap.
  • Discussions.

Note: While corrective feedback is useful at the practice stages of language learning, no corrective feedback is offered during fluency activities, because it interrupts the flow of language production.

Remember: ECRIF is not a linear framework. Learners find themselves practicing fluency before they have internalized target language. They go back to clarify something that is not fully understood, then double back to drill or practice fluency. After learners have internalized the meaning of a structure, they encounter a new meaning or use of the same structure which again leads them to clarify, remember, etc.

Since ECRIF is not linear, the teacher orders the stages of the lesson based upon student learning and chooses to start lessons with fluency practice, or returns to pronunciation drilling based upon the assessment of learner production in the internalization or fluency stage of the lesson.


If you have any more ideas, experiences, questions, or feedback related to the ECRIF framework, please, share them with me. You can email me at eltguide@gmail.com


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Four Factors Make TEFL a Failure in Most Countries

EFL is taught in most countries as a compulsory subject. However, most students in these countries do not show a good English proficiency or ability in using English in daily-life communications. It may mean that there is some kind of failure of TEFL in these countries. The following are four factors that may cause this situation.

1. It is not easy to learn English language.

Words are differently pronounced from one to another even though those which have the same form in writing or spelling. English idioms give another challenge to the learners as each idiom has a new meaning. In addition, there is what is called “English collocations” that learners must be acquainted with in order to speak well. Further in terms of grammatical rules, students are usually faced with some exceptions which must be kept in their minds when using English in communication.

2. There are six English language skills to be mastered.

Students must master six skills to be able to use English language in meaningful communication. These skills are listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary and grammar. English language learning success is measured by looking at learner’s ability in these skills. Meaningful practice on all these skills is significant for students to understand and convey the right meaning in real-life situations. These skills are the key components of English language learning so they must be given equal importance in teaching and practice.

3. English language learning is an accumulative process.

English language learning cannot be happened with a magic stick but it is an accumulative process that must take time and effort. It is like building up the stairs. We cannot build the upper stairs without constructing the lower ones or if the lower ones are too weak. This means that students should learn and practice the language continuously and they should have a good memory to remember everything taught and learned beforehand to show success and good results in learning English language. In this case, we can assure again that meaningful and continuous practice is the most important factor that leads students to remember the acquired English language knowledge. In fact, the more learners practice these items, the more they stick in their minds.

4. Teachers may use poor teaching methods and techniques.

Above all, teachers are still considered to be the determination of English language learning success. The methods and techniques they use in the classroom to teach and practice English language must be frequently discussed and reviewed. Moreover, EFL teachers are demanded to design and apply teaching strategies, methods, and techniques which are believed as the best ones putting in their minds the importance of learners’ contribution and participation in the learning process. Learners must take the responsibility and play an important role in their own English language learning.

Besides, students must be encouraged to change their old view that English language learning process is limited to studying certain English lessons in the classroom with the teacher. English language materials should be widely explored and English language learning and practice should occur in every place and at any time. In this case, the role of the teacher comes to be just a facilitator helping students to reach safe and useful resources so that they can learn and practice English language independently and make a success in their proficiency level in English language.


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8 Benefits of Games in TEFL

Language learning is not easy. It takes time and effort. Games can sustain students’ interest and work so they ought to be at the heart of teaching the foreign language. Perhaps they are often used as short warm-up activities or when there is some time left at the end of a lesson, but they should be used at all stages of the lesson, provided that they are suitable and carefully chosen.

There are many benefits of using games in EFL classes. These are seven of them

  1. Games break the usual routine of the language class as they are fun, and children like to play them.
  2. Games motivate and challenge learners as they add variation to a lesson and increase motivation by providing a plausible incentive to use the target language.
  3. Games provide language practice in the various skills: speaking, writing, listening and reading as they create a meaningful context for language use. They also encourage creative and spontaneous use of the language
  4. Games make the foreign language immediately useful to the children as they bring it to life and make the reasons for speaking even to reluctant children.
  5. Games encourage students to interact and communicate with their environment. Through games children experiment, discover, and learn English the way children learn their mother tongue without being aware they are studying; thus, without stress, so they can learn a lot.
  6. Games make classroom students-centered as in the game context, teacher acts only as facilitator while whole class participate and involve in healthy competition. Even shy students can participate positively.
  7. Games reinforce and review language items as they help learners recall material in a pleasant, entertaining way.
  8. Games can focus on grammar communicatively and promote using language structures in real-life situations.

Even if games resulted in noise, they are still worth paying attention to and implementing in the EFL classes since they motivate learners, promote communicative competence, and generate fluency.


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Three Methods to Teach Your Child to Read

Reading is Best Taught Using a Combination of Three Methods:

  1. Auditory training – training for the ears to prepare the child’s brain for phonics.
  2. Phonics – knowledge of letter(s) sounds.
  3. Whole Language – immediate application of phonics into connected sentences and stories.

It’s clear from research that using one of these methods will help only a few children. In fact, using two out of three methods will still leave numerous children illiterate. However, when auditory training, phonics and whole language are merged, literacy rates increase significantly.

Learning How to Read Begins in Children’s Ears.

Most people think children learn how to read through their eyes. But reading is actually learned through the ears. Parents lay a foundation for success in reading by talking to a child, reading books to him, and playing auditory games such as rhyming. The more books you read, the bigger his vocabulary becomes. A bigger vocabulary allows him to recognize lots of words while he reads.

Steps to Teach Your Child to Read:

  1. Teaching alphabet sounds to help your child improve auditory skills.
  2. Encourage and motivate your child to put sounds together.
  3. Teach your child how to rhyme.
  4. Teach your child to sound out new words.
  5. Encourage your child to memorize words as whole units.

The Normal Sequence For Children Learning How to Read:

  1. From birth to age three, children listen to lots of words spoken and learn how to talk.
  2. Children, aged three to four years old have growing vocabularies, and they learn how to rhyme.
  3. In first grade children are taught how to blend letter sounds together to “sound out” words and memorize sight words. They begin reading simple sentences.
  4. Second and third graders learn how to read “chapter” books and read fluently with comprehension.

Students who fail at reading in English are unlikely to do well in English exams at school, so all ESL/EFL teachers in primary schools place much emphasis on developing the reading skills of their learners.

ESL/EFL teachers in primary schools are constantly searching for effective techniques that can help them produce effective results related to getting their students to read in English as quickly as possible, that’s why I’ve decided to create a practical guide with sample activities to help both teachers and parents to teach children beginning reading so that they can read in English easily and quickly.

“Teaching Beginning Reading” eBook tackles the following main ideas:

  • What is reading?
  • The main approaches to teaching beginning reading.
  • The stages of teaching beginning reading.
  • Sample activities for beginning reading.
  • Some important guidelines for EFL teachers to follow before beginning to teach reading in English.

I wrote this eBook to exchange my experience with the teachers on the techniques they should use in the classroom, the guidelines they should follow and the reading tasks that can get most children to read in ESL/EFL classes with ease and in a fairly short time.

To spread benefit, I offer this eBook for the lowest price and moreover, if you buy it, you will get another eBook on “Teaching Grammar in the Classroom to ESL/EFL Learners” as a bonus from elttguide.com.

Top 10 Tips for Teaching a Great EFL Lesson

If you want to make a success and teach a great English language lesson, you should consider the following before stepping into the classroom:

  1. Be aware of the aims of teaching English language in the country where you are working and in the educational stage you are working in.
  2. Read the learning outcomes of the whole unit to which the lesson you are teaching belongs.
  3. Read the lesson from student’s book and write the answers of the exercises on both student’s book and workbook.
  4. Get a look at the teacher’s guide to know the guidelines for teaching the lesson.
  5. Be aware of the behavioral objectives that students should be able to achieve at the end of the lesson.
  6. Prepare in writing what steps you will follow and what you will do exactly in teaching the lesson.
  7. Prepare at least one teaching aid (e.g. word & picture cards) to facilitate learning, activate students and attract their attention.
  8. Prepare the the audio files and listen to them beforehand and check the pronunciation of each word in the lesson.
  9. Be aware of the specifications of the exams and prepare related questions to train students.
  10.  Have an assessment sheet to assess students during the lesson.

What else should the teacher do before going ahead to the classroom to teach a lesson? Waiting for more suggestions from you.

 


If you are interested in how to teach reading comprehension and want practical tips to do so in the classroom, you can buy my latest eBook: Teaching Reading Comprehension to ESL/EFL Learners: A Practical Classroom Guide With Sample Reading Lesson Plans.

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If you want to know how to teach beginning reading to your primary students, you can get my eBook “Teaching Beginning Reading to ESL/EFL Learners” now for the lowest price for a limited time.

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How to Deal with Low-Achiever Students and Help Them

Who is the low-achiever student?

If the student doesn’t or achieves to a low extent the required objectives at the end of the lesson, unit or course, it is important to recognize and identify him/her as a low achiever. In this case, a remedial plan should be designed to allow him/her to learn the required knowledge and skills to achieve the established objectives.

Why are some students low achievers?

Some students are low achievers due to different and various reasons. Some of them are as follows:

1. Perhaps the content is too difficult or the students must learn a large amount of it in a short time.

2. Maybe there was no time for practice, revision or recycling the previous content.

3. The students may use wrong or poor learning strategies or study habits when learning or studying their lessons.

4. The students may suffer from stress, depression, physical illness or learning disability.

5. The attitude of the students towards education may be negative. They may lack motivation to learn and study.

6. The reasons may relate to the teachers and teaching. Teachers may be unclear concerning to the objectives their students should achieve. Teachers may use poor or inappropriate teaching or assessment techniques. Feedback and assistance that must be provided to low achievers may be totally absent or provided too late.

How can you assist low achievers and improve their learning skills?

1. First of all, know well who low-achiever learners are. They are learners who usually:

* lack basic knowledge or skills.

* have difficulty in comprehension.

* lack concentration.

* confuse easily in the classroom.

2. Change your attitudes towards them.

3. Give them clear, step by step instructions.

4. Be ready to give them extra help or explanation.

5. Motivate them all the time using all possible ways.

6. Be aware of their learning or studying habits and try to improve them.

7. Know their leaning styles and adapt your teaching to them.

8. Set the objectives that  students should achieve at the end of learning sessions and prepare how to assess their achievement. Objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, acceptable, realistic and timed) and be informed to the students orally at the beginning of each learning session.

9. Diagnose the difficulties as soon as possible or anticipate them and prepare how to deal with and react to them.

10. Observe the students and provide them with immediate feedback concerning to their points of weakness.

11. Prepare some procedures that students should follow or design and implement a remedial plan to remedy your students’ points of weakness.

12. Consult and get advice as early as possible from your colleagues, supervisor, psychological and social specialist regarding to learning issues of your students.

What to do if unable to prevent failure or remedy low achievement?

1. Never give a passing mark to the learner who doesn’t deserve it.

2. Make professional and fair judgments about your students’ performance.

3. Document your judgments and let the school principal and parents be aware of them.

4. Don’t feel “bad”. Failure in a course can be a signal for students to re-consider their choices of the kind of learning or specialization or at least it will mean that, unless they work hard, they won’t pass.

If you liked this post, please share it with your friends using the buttons below, and if you want to know more about this blog and its founder, you can read About Me. 

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