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Suggested Solutions To The Main 10 Difficulties In TEFL


In the previous post, I tackled the first 5 difficulties you may face in your journey of TEFL and gave you some suggested solutions. You can check out the post from here:

10 Main Difficulties In TEFL And My Suggested Solutions

In this post, I’m going to write about the other five challenges that you may encounter in TEFL and I will provide you with some suggested solutions.

After reading about all 10 difficulties, your turn comes. Have you experienced other difficulties? Do you have any more suggestions to solve these problems? Let the world of ELT know your thought.

6. Disruptive Behavior

The behaviour and the attitude of the teacher is perhaps the most important factor in the classroom and thus can have a major effect on discipline and controlling disruptive behaviour. We can make a list of things that teachers should probably not do if they want to avoid problems in classroom management.

*Don’t go to class unprepared.

Students automatically identify teachers who are not sure what to do in the classroom. The teacher has to appear well prepared and knowledgeable in his subject.

*Don’t raise your voice.

One of the great mistakes of many teachers is to try to establish control by raising their voices and shouting.

*Don’t give boring classes.

It’s very important for both teachers and students to have interesting classes. It seems that the greatest single cause of discipline problems is boredom.

*Don’t be unfair.

A teacher cannot allow himself to be unfair, either to the class as a whole or to individuals. Teachers should always try to avoid having favourites or picking on particular individuals.

*Don’t have a negative attitude to learning.

A teacher who does not really care and who is insensitive to the students’ reactions to what is happening in the classroom will lose the respect of his students.

*Be the first one to follow the rules set.

  • If you asked your students to be in the classroom on time, then you must arrive on time.
  • You should not chew gum if there is a ban on chewing gum,
  • If homework must be handed in on time, it must be corrected promptly.

You can also follow these steps when having disruptive behaviours:

  • Keep students busy.
  • Make few and reasonable demands.
  • Accept reasonable excuses.
  • Excuse them from examinations when they have been absent.
  • Praise them!
  • Keep your expectations for them within their ability levels.
  • Make sure they understand exactly what you expect of them.
  • Don’t ask for a choral response to a question unless you are specifically practising that question and answer.
  • Don’t raise your voice or continue to work when students are talking.

7. Students Face Some Pronunciation Difficulties

To overcome this difficulty the teacher should:

  • Always give his students the correct pronunciation of new words because he is a model fully imitated by learners. This requires that the teacher has to check the pronunciation of most words, if not all.
  • Pay attention to segmentation. This implies that he has to pronounce words correctly regarding their consonants, vowels and stress.
  • Pronounce sentences with their correct intonation and sentences stress and at a fairly normal speed.
  • Pronounce correctly all the time, either when teaching the other skills such as reading aloud, or grammatical structures and, vocabulary.
  • Call his students’ attention to silent letters while teaching new words by probably dotting them when demonstrated on the board. Such focus is helpful in learning both pronunciation and spelling.
  • Emphasize and repeat those words with problem sounds
  • Design pronunciation drills that handle some common pronunciation difficulties especially those caused by new sounds not existing in the native language.
  • Teach his students some regularities that control the relationship between writing and pronunciation, e.g.. the pattern of sold, hold and fold and the pattern of it, bit, and sit.
  • Ask students to listen to new words before they produce them orally. The underlying educational principle is that perception and listening should precede production and speaking.

8. Some Students Have Terrible Handwriting

The teacher is a model fully imitated by the learners. Some teachers have unsuitable handwriting or some students do not know how to use the pen (pencil) correctly. The teacher should try his best to display the best handwriting in front of other students.

Some students are unable to form the correct shape of some letters and they find it difficult to distinguish in handwriting between some letters such as /w- m/, /n-u/ and so on.

To deal with these challenges the teacher should remind his students of the rules of correct handwriting such as the following:                            

  • Beginning the sentence with a capital letter.
  • Leaving one-letter space between words.
  • Ending the sentence with a full stop.
  • Leaving two-letter spaces between sentences. …etc.

Some students develop incorrect ways when writing because of their teachers who do not train them well in the first and the second year intermediate. So, the teacher should train students on:

  • Moving their hands correctly when writing.
  • Writing on four-line notebooks.
  • An ink pen shouldn’t be used in the beginning levels.
  • Writing the correct form of each letter.

It will be very useful if teachers make competitions in handwriting in order to encourage those students who write beautifully.

9. Learning Vowel Letters is Difficult for Some Students.

  • Revise vowel letters daily.
  • Ask different individuals to write some letters on the board.
  • Ask mistaken students to re-write the letters again.
  • Repeat these steps when needed.
  • Be very keen on using flash cards containing different letters.
  • Never forget the other letters.

10. Students Are Afraid to Speak in the Classroom.

  • Start with choral repetition, followed by group repetition.
  • Call on the more able or less timid students first.
  • Be patient with really timid individuals.
  • Praise them for any effort, no matter how slight.
  • Try to avoid continuous looking at their faces when they speak.
  • Use paired activities.

Thanks For Reading

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