Best Practices in
There is some disagreement about
best practices in teaching English as a foreign language, but there is
usually consensus about these main points.
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The school or college you are working for may have their own "in-house"
teaching style you are expected to follow. This should, however,
include at least some of the following points:
These three words broadly mean the same thing.
They mean you need to have a reason for teaching this particular
lesson. You need to have a
goal you want to achieve
. And you should make the students
aware of what that goal is before you start teaching.
This gives them something to aim for, and helps them stay focused on
Most training courses and in-company observations (when the school or
company observe your lessons and give you feedback) will usually
criticize a teacher if he or she has not outlined the lesson aims at
the beginning of the class.
Most will ask the teacher to write the aims or objectives on the board
so the students can refer to them throughout the class, again keeping
them focused on what they should be doing.
Teach lessons appropriate
to the level
of the students in that class.
Almost all agree that materials should be adapted (or "differentiated")
where possible to suit students with specific learning needs, whether
they are stronger in some areas, or weaker.
You should make your lessons challenging, and push your students to
achieve as much as possible, without making the lessons impossible.
Pace and variety
Best teaching practice says that a lesson shouldn't lose its pace, and
should contain a variety of tasks.
This is true whichever level and age group you are teaching.
Be aware of the age of your students and give appropriate tasks for
that age group.
Whoever you are teaching, don't let the lesson lose its pace, and be
prepared to move tasks around, add things to your plan or remove things
if you feel you need to.
Any lesson should give the students the opportunity to progress, and to
improve their language skills. Each lesson should end with the students
feeling they are one step closer to their goal.
You should also build in opportunities to test your students' progress,
either in each lesson, or by regular tests.
Students' errors do sometimes need
to be corrected
, but there are ways to do this without
focusing on negatives, as negative criticism may embarrass students and
put them off learning.
Correction by other students can be encouraged, and you should always
try to lead students to see their mistakes and correct them themselves.
In a similar way, you should always encourage your students and praise
them for things they do correctly.
Praise, encouragement and a generally positive attitude can often
inspire students to want to learn.
Encourage your students to perform to the best of their abilities.
Nurture the shy students and encourage all students to take specific
roles in group tasks so everyone has an equal chance to contribute.
Don't have favorite students, but encourage all your students equally.
If you have difficult students, try to find out why they are difficult
and find a way to work with that.
It could be that they need more one to one attention, they may not have
well-developed social skills, or they may even have medical
Best practices in teaching English can help you focus on what is
important in your lessons, and what is best for your students.