Tag: back to school

Six Back-to-School Ideas for the First EFL Class.

Back to school. Finally! In Egypt. The first day of school is a special day for students and teachers. It is a day full of emotions. Teachers get anxious about how to start their first lesson and students feel nervous about how their teachers are like. I agree that first impression counts, so it’s necessary for each teacher to plan for a successful first lesson that will set a good tone for the rest of the lessons of the course along the school year. Here are some useful back-to-school ideas for the first EFL class.

1. Get to know your students and let them get to know you:

First, introduce yourself to your students telling them what subject you are going to teach. Give them some detailed information about yourself such as your likes and dislikes, your hobbies, your favorite football team, … etc. and then get to know your students asking them questions to find out a little more about them.

2. Do some activities to break the ice with your students: 

Plan for some warm-up activities to create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere in the classroom. Make it fun and always encourage students to communicate (in English if possible) with you and others comfortably. Remember, some students may feel shy on the first day; it’s probably the first time they’re meeting you and their classmates. A good way to help students overcome their shyness and lighten up the mood is to use icebreakers.

3. Go through the textbook with them:

Talk about what they are going to learn, and the specific skills covered in each unit. Tell them what they will be able do at the end of the course and how it is very interesting. Focus on the fun they will feel if they engage in the lessons.

4. Set the tone for all future classes:

Your first lesson is the perfect time to set your rules and expectations. Go over what you want out of your students, but also tell them what you plan to do for them if they stick to the rules. You can write the rules onto a piece of poster board to be shown clearly for all students every day.

6. Talk about possible disruptive behaviors and their consequences (For Adults):

You can mention some classic examples of disruptive behaviors such as:

  • Insults or put downs,
  • Bullying,
  • No respect for other students and their personal belongings,
  • No respect for the teacher,
  • Unwillingness to participate in the activities,
  • Not following the rules agreed upon beforehand,
  • Cheating,
  • Not completing tasks, assignments, homework,
  • Untidiness and littering, …etc.

And then, talk about what happens if a student do one of the previous behaviors. It is recommended that you tell them a system of punishments and rewards as well. You may choose to give them a warning first; the second time, they lose a privilege, like going outside to play; the third time, a call is made to his or her parents.

5. Get an idea of your students’ skill levels.

Plan activities that test the four basic English skills: listening, speaking, writing and reading. You can make a short quiz to know brilliant students and low achievers.

6. Let your students have a way to reach you.

Tell your students that you are in the school to help them and they can come to you for any problem they encounter in the course. Be precise and tell them exactly where and when they can come to meet you in the school. You can also give them your WhatsApp number to connect with you at any time.

Have a Great First Lesson!
Having a great first lesson sets a great tone for future lessons and makes students look forward to your classes. All you need is a good attitude and a few activities prepared beforehand. Treat your first lesson as a meet-and-greet rather than a classroom lecture and be sure to have fun! Start your first class in a fun way. That’s ALL.

P.S.
If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking one of those sharing buttons below. And if you are interested in more, Look Right and “Subscribe to our Blog” to receive our latest articles that can help you teach English more effectively.

Start the School Year with Teaching Students These Four Skills

I recommend teachers help their students develop the following four skills from the very beginning of the school year as they set the tone for powerful, engaging and self-directed learning.

  1. Researching

Tell your students that your main job nowadays is not to give them the information but it is to teach them how to find the information.

  1. Contribution

Encourage students to make meaningful contributions to their surrounding environment. Teach them how to do so. When they have the opportunities to make such contributions they will be motivated and working hard.

  1. Working on projects

Let and help students determine projects that they are passionate about to work on during a certain period of time. Teach them how to plan their projects and provide them with useful resources.

  1. Working together

Help your students build teams or groups. Teach them the rules of teamwork.

Eight Back-to-School Tips for ELT Supervisors

The supervisor should concern for creating a successful relationship with the teachers from the first day of the school year. This will make teachers enthusiastic, respectful and admirable of their work and their supervisor. Considering that, the supervisor should:

  1. Explain what he can offer to the teachers clarifying that his goal is to collaborate with them to develop their and the students’ four language skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  2. Ask to observe a class declaring that his goal is not to watch how the teacher teaches but in order to learn along with the teacher.
  3. Give suggestions and ideas that can be put into use and be ready to collaborate with the teachers to implement them.
  4. Provide teachers with basic teaching resources that can be used and adapted for the students creatively.
  5. Role model some teaching practices getting the class engaged and motivated.
  6. Guide teachers to write focused and meaningful objectives to lessons.
  7. Help teachers to reflect on their teaching by providing them with the time to contemplate on the day’s lesson.
  8. Convey encouragement and support along with professional respect and personal interest.

In closing, supervisors should be eager and excited of teaching and learning and share these positive feelings with their teachers. Being active listener and giving the feeling of partnership are responsible to give teachers a head start along the school year.

Three Recommendations for EFL Teachers to Consider From the First Day Back to School

Presentation1

Teachers of English as a Foriegn Language are asked to take into account the following recommendations from the beginning of the new school year to make great success in their career:

1. Control your teaching and make it as effective as possible by:
* Getting to know the course materials very well by reading them through in advance.
* Getting to know the outcomes of each unit sticking them at the front of your preparation notes to adjust your teaching accordingly.
* Preparing your individual lessons well.
– Preparation notes of each lesson should include mainly the following:
Objectives – Warm-Up Steps – Presentation Steps – Practice Steps – Assessment Procedures or Homework – Self-Evaluation Note.
* Making sure that you have any important information about your students; their names, level of learning, weakness & strength points, ….etc.

2. Improve your teaching and facilitate your students’ learning by:
* Learning & applying new teaching methods, techniques and activities.
* Adjusting your teaching according to your students’ level and needs.
* Reflecting on your successes and difficulties in the classroom.
* Discussing teaching experiences with your colleagues.
* Assessing your students’ progress giving them grades, marking their written work regularly and giving them effective feedback.
* Designing and using simple teaching aids in the classroom to attract your students’ attention and facilitate their learning.
* Organizing your class in different and various ways; whole-class, individual students, pair work and group work, depending on the activity being taught at different times of the lesson.

3. Give your students the opportunity for language learning and practice by:
* Creating a natural context and real-life situations to use the language.
* Giving students the chance to hear and use as much authentic English as possible.
* Using more and more teaching aids to untie your students’ tongues & encourage them to talk in English naturally.
* Contextualizing the new language asking students to put new words in sentences of their own and utilize new structures in real-life situations.

Eight Activities for the First Day of School

If you are looking for some fun activities for the opening days of school – activities that help you get to know your students and to help them get to know you, check out the following suggestions.

1- True or False?

Write four facts about yourself on the board. Three of them are true, and one is false. Ask students some questions to see what they thought about each statement. That gives you chance to tell a little about yourself. Then, on a sheet of paper, students write three interesting facts about themselves that are true and one that is false. Ask them one by one to read the facts, and ask students what they think about each statement. That gives a chance for students to know more information about each other.

2- Already a Test!

After students sit and you take roll, ask them to take out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil for their first test of the school year. Ask them to title the test ” My English Teacher ” and ask them to answer all questions which you write on the board. The questions might include:

Where was I born? Am I married or single? How many sons or/and daughters do I have? How old am I? What is my favourite colour? ….. etc. The test can be as long or short as you wish. Make the questions fit the things you would want them to know. At the end of the test, give the right answers. One of the favourite things in this activity is to see a student or more who were in your class the previous year. They always think they will get a full mark in this test, it is your job to let them not to do so.

3- Going in a circle:

Arrange all the desks in a large circle, with everyone facing the center. This makes it easy for the students to talk and get to know one another. Then ask each student to introduce himself/herself. The students must also provide one fact about themselves. Then ask some questions to encourage students to repeat some information about their classmates.

4- Jump into science:

Invite students to scan the table of contents, which introduces major areas covered in the course. Then start with the first unit asking students to read its title. Ask some questions about it to recognize what students know about the topic or issue, what facts or information they would like to know about it. Discuss, in what ways the topic is relevant to their life. If time allows, do the same with unit two, three, …. etc.

5- Ten questions:

Choose an item in the room, and students have to guess what it is. They can ask only ten questions that you can answer with “Yes” or “No”. The student who finally can guess the item will be the next to choose another item.

6- Who Am I?

Give some students flash cards to write four or five statements about themselves, the last line in each statement is a question: who am I? Put the flash cards on the board and have students guess who each person is.

7- Math about me:

Ask students to write some information about themselves in a sheet of paper but this information must be in numbers, e.g. number of people in the family, number of pets, phone number, ….. etc.

Then, students share their numbers with one another. They see what numbers they have in common with their classmates.

8- Last summer holiday:

Write some activities on some cards, e.g. learned how to swim, read some books, watched some English movies, bought a pet, …..etc. Then asking students who did each activity. Have students repeat the sentence and ask some questions to collect more information about each activity, e.g. what movies did you watch? Where did you learn to swim? ….. etc. This is a great way to learn special things about your students and encourage them to use the past simple tense focusing on the irregular past form.

English Language Teaching & Testing Guide © 2018 Frontier Theme