How to Teach English

How to teach EnglishBy learning how to teach English you can become much more efficient and successful.

This section of the site is here to give you all the tips and advice you need to truly and effectively help your students.

You can start by reading the following article (The 10 Most Helpful Pieces of Advice) and then check out the other articles and resources:

eBooks and Downloadable Files for Teachers

English Language Teaching Tips and Advice

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

How to Teach English – the 10 Most Helpful Pieces of Advice

If you have studied an ESL teaching course you were probably given a lot of advice on how to teach English by tutors, and by well-meaning friends, colleagues or strangers. Sometimes it's too much to take in so here is what I have found useful.

The 10 most helpful "How to teach English" pieces of advice:

1. You don't need to stick to a lesson plan.

This may come as a shock, but things will happen in your classes that you don't expect! Students will finish some activities too soon and take longer on others. Some things will be easy for them, and others that you expect them to understand quickly will be tougher. It is more important to be flexible than stick rigidly to something that isn't working.

2.  You don't need to know all the answers. 

Another shock? I taught some classes where they asked me questions I couldn't answer right then. I told them I would find out for them, and I did. As long as you are honest, say you don't know, and then give the answers later, that's fine.

3. Every student is different.

Now, that may be obvious, but so many teachers forget this when they are teaching and treat each student in the same way. That won't work. Get to know your students, their learning styles and their strengths and weaknesses. If possible, create a variety of tasks to suit different students in the class.

4. You can't force students to learn, nor should you.

Teachers often feel responsible if their students don't progress. You can give them the tools for learning and inspire them to want to learn, but then it becomes the individual student's responsibility to learn, not only yours.

5.  Have a personality.

Be yourself. Let the students see you're a human being and not a teaching machine. Laugh at yourself if you make mistakes. Bring humor into the classroom.

6. Be encouraging.

Error correction is essential in the right circumstances, but if you correct every mistake then you can easily destroy a student's confidence. Praise good work and never tell students they are stupid. Students who think they are stupid lose motivation.

7. Balance your lessons between different skills.

A teacher who teaches 90% grammar is not helping the students. Communication skills, reading, writing, and vocabulary building are all as important as grammar. Possibly even more important than grammar!

8. Keep an emergency resources box.

Include games, paper, colored pencils, extra worksheets, magazines etc. This will be invaluable if you need to add a new activity into the lesson or to extend something the students are working on.

9.  Give homework.

This is controversial! You can't force students to do homework, but if you give them the choice then they will feel encouraged and they can take responsibility for their learning. It is really important to mark the homework if you do give it, and not leave it on your desk for weeks.

10.  Have fun!

If you enjoy your lessons, then your students will too.

These are the pieces of advice that helped me learn how to teach English and I'm sure they will help you too!
Teaching Idioms: How to Teach Idioms in 4 Steps

Reading & writing

How to Teach the Alphabet (ESL)

ESL Stories: The Importance of Short Fiction for English Learners

Finding High-Interest Low-Vocabulary Books for English Students –
Books for Reluctant Readers

How to Help Your Students Learn to Read English

Teaching Writing Skills

How to Teach Spelling

ESL Workbooks

Listening & speaking

How to Create Useful ESL Listening Activities

How to Include ESL Speaking Activities in Your Lessons

Teaching English Conversation

Methods for Correcting Students

Different Accents in English and How to Teach Them in Your Classroom

Lesson plans

Best English Lesson Plans

Vocabulary Lesson Plans

Adjectives Lesson Plans

Library Lesson Plans

How to Write a Daily Lesson Plan Template

Printable English Grammar Lessons – A Useful Tool for Busy ESL Teachers

Printable ESL Worksheets

Teaching English Tips – Time Management and Running Out of Work

Fun English Activities outside the Classroom

How to Write ESL Culture Lesson Plans

Teaching English to Children (for teachers)

How to Learn English for Kids (for parents)

Teaching English to Teenagers

Teaching English to Adults

What is a Smart Board?

Smart Board Lesson Plans

Best Practices in Teaching English

How to Organize Your English Lesson

Teaching English: Icebreaker Activities

Lesson Plan with the Song "Wind of Change"

Games, songs and role plays

Fun ESL Games – Make Lessons Fun with ESL Games!

Improve Your Lessons with ESL Vocabulary Games

Examples and Specific Advice on ESL Vocabulary Games

Teachers Games for Vocabulary

Great ESL Songs and How to Use Them

Great Role Plays for ESL Students

Vocabulary Videos – How to Use them in Your ESL Class

Hands-on Activities for Teaching English

More Hands-on Activities and Games for Teaching English

Methods and terms

ESL Terms

Different English Language Teaching Methods

What Are the CEFR Levels?

English teaching training

How to Become an English Teacher

How Do I get ESL Teacher Certification?

What is CELTA?

The Trinity TESOL Qualification

Teaching English for Special Purposes

Teaching English: TEFL or TESOL?

How to Teach the Alphabet (ESL)

Top Facebook Pages for English Language Teachers
How to Add Humor to Your English Classroom

English teaching jobs

How to Find English Teaching Jobs

Online Teaching Jobs – The Future of Learning

Online Tutoring Jobs

Teaching English overseas

English Teaching Jobs Overseas

Teaching English in Europe

EFL Jobs in the UK

English Teaching Jobs – Moscow and Russia

Teaching materials and resources

Books to Learn English, How to Help Your Students (British English)

Essential ESL Teaching Materials

What ESL Supplies do you Need?

Get Updates, Special Offers, and English Resources

Download your FREE GIFT (the first two chapters of
English Short Stories Book and Workbook)
as soon as you join!

English Short Stories

By submitting your email, you consent to receiving updates and newsletters from us and to the sharing of your personal data with third parties for the purposes of sending you communications. We will not spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.