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Top Back-To-School Tips Every EFL Teacher Must Know

back to school tips for EFL teachers

These Three Things First For Outstanding

Teachers of English as a Foreign Language are asked to take into account the following three 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 and 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.
  • Collecting 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 students’ levels and needs.
  • Reflecting on your successes and difficulties in the classroom.
  • Discussing teaching experiences with your colleagues.
  • Assessing your students’ progress continually 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.

Communicate Best With Your Students

As teaching should be a participative and interactive activity, there must be a kind of communication between teachers and their students from the first day of the new year.

As a result, teachers should be well aware of the principles and techniques that help them be more effective communicators and get what they want from their communication with students.

The main six of these principles are as follow:

  1. Listening well with signals that prove attention and interest in what students say.
  2. Using the voice well with variations of tone that send various responding messages to what students say or do.
  3. Using suitable words to convey clear messages and instructions so that students know well what to do exactly.
  4. Making the best use of body language to control the class and demonstrate attitudes towards students’ actions.
  5. Communicating by eye contact to show interest or encourage students to correct their errors by themselves.
  6. Considering the effects of the physical environment on creating effective communication. Rearranging the furniture, opening a window, hanging some photos or pictures, sticking some wall sheets and many other similar things can make a big difference with our communication with students.

Foster Motivation in Your Students

Motivation affects positively the ability to do work and willingness to do it. Motivated students are productive persons who achieve the predetermined goals in the shortest time and with the least effort.

Here are the main 20 tips for raising students’ motivation:

  1. Create a supportive environment where students are respected and feel a sense of belonging.
  2. Believe in the ability of each student to learn.
  3. Set up clear classroom rules from the very beginning and appreciate who follow them.
  4. Be aware of the strengths of each student and focus on them, not on their weaknesses.
  5. Use your students’ interests, talents and goals to encourage them to learn.
  6. Maintain a disciplined, organized and calm classroom to increase your students’ concentration.
  7. Vary your teaching methods and make the lessons interesting and enjoyable.
  8. Adapt your lessons to your students’ lives and needs.
  9. Let students be aware of the objectives of each lesson so that they can realize the feeling of achievement.
  10. Teach your students how to prepare and study their lessons, help them acquire good study habits at home.
  11. Always provide positive feedback. Never embarrass or ridicule a student.
  12. Assign homework that is specific and clearly related to the objectives of each lesson.
  13. Emphasize cooperation rather than competition; support pair work and group work to create opportunities for students to help each other.
  14. Teach students how to find solutions to the problems they may face.
  15. Avoid practices or exercises that can cause frustration, instead adapt them to students’ level.
  16. Provide rewards for unusual effort and success.
  17. Establish a close relationship with students’ parents to assist their children in forming good habits at home so that they will be ready to learn at school.
  18. Give your students the chance to lead a classroom activity.
  19. Treat each student fairly, show no favouritism.
  20. Discover your own strengths, learn from your mistakes and concentrate on doing your best.

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.

2. 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.

3. Working on projects

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

4. Working together

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

In fact, there are many more back-to-school recommendations and tips for teachers to consider and it’s your turn to add below what you see important and useful to go forward toward a successful school year.

Remember that strong and right beginnings lead to successful and happy endings.

Thanks For Reading

I hope you like this article on teacher burnout. If you really like it, share it with your networks. Do you have any additional points to share on the topic of teacher burnout? Have you ever experienced burnout? How did you feel & what did you think? What did you do to remedy this? I’d like to hear from you. Drop a comment below or email me at eltguide@gmail.com

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