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Giving Classroom Instructions Using English: How To Help Students To Understand Them

Using English when giving classroom instructions gives your students a good chance to develop their listening skills in a context and using English in real communication.

It is true that some students may not be able to understand all the words when instructions are given in English at first but this is a similar situation to what happens when young children learn their own first language. If parents support children’s understanding, children usually understand the meaning, even if they don’t understand all the words.

So, you should help your students to understand your instructions in English by:

  • Giving these instructions clearly.
  • Supporting the instructions.
  • Checking your students’ understanding of the instructions.

A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works – 2nd Edition

How to give clear classroom instructions:

  1. Firstly, make sure you get everyone’s attention. Wait until everyone is looking at you.
  2. Secondly, speak clearly, but not too slowly.
  3. Thirdly, use sentences which are not too long.
  4. Write the instructions on a piece of paper to help you if necessary and make sure you keep eye contact with the students.

How to support classroom instructions:

You can help students to understand the instructions by supporting them by:

  • Using Gestures, facial expressions, your hands, and intonation.
  • Using pictures or real objects sometimes.
  • Writing key instructions on the blackboard if this helps.

How to check your students’ understanding of classroom instructions:

  • Don’t ask ‘Do you understand?’ students may think they have understood when they have not, or may say just ‘yes’ to please you.
  • One alternative is to ask students to explain in their native language what they have to do. This is a clear and economical way for you to see if students have really understood.
  • As students’ English develops, you can ask them some questions in English to check understanding: ( e.g. will you work in twos or fours? Will you speak or write? Have you got five or ten minutes for this activity? ….. etc. )

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One thought on “Giving Classroom Instructions Using English: How To Help Students To Understand Them

  1. Mr zerzour says:

    thx for sharing

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