What’s the best and the worst class you’ve ever taught?
As promised, here are some of the lighter moments that I have been privy to in my time as an ajarn in Thailand; a time that, give or take one or two visits elsewhere, has lasted about twelve years. To be honest, I don’t have to think that hard to come up with memories of my good classes as they spring to mind with relative ease.
Why not design your own student reading material
Let your textbooks dictate the level and style of language to use and only introduce new vocabulary if it’s cool and/or funny. Students have a nice habit of always remembering these types of words.
An argument about what students really need
Most of us are faced with the same challenge: large class sizes. We can’t do anything about this other than work with it.
Putting students through their paces
Each lesson has four sides. I lift one side. If by the end of the lesson the students know what is under the remaining three sides, I do not repeat the lesson
A simple activity for your first day with a new class
If you’re new to the job, and haven’t figured this one out yet, you can start off classes with a new group in confident style every time – the first thing you can do is make a name card.
Activities that go over well in the classroom
What are some classic language activities that go down well with all types of classes? You'll definitely find something you can use in this list of tried and trusted lesson-fillers.
Why many ESL environments are so nightmarish
At its very worst, teaching is the kind of job you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. When the students couldn’t care less about what you have to say, and are determined to just make fun of you, the ESL classroom can literally become a living hell.
How communicative language teaching fails
These truths are not wild, philosophical, esoteric ramblings. How we choose to teach English as a second or foreign language is a perfect example of how our methods of teaching is failing the very same people it was meant to help.
The role of the computer in the EFL world
If someone is really eager to learn a language (any foreign language, it doesn’t necessarily have to be English), a computer is the ideal tool for self-study. Actually, a computer is nothing more than a modern combination of a notebook, a pen, a dictionary, a phone and a fax machine. Without the communicative infrastructure called the Internet or the software to make everything happen, a computer is basically worthless.
Do they learn anything at all?
Although weekend courses have to be fun for everyone involved, meaning both children and teacher, I think that fun and learning should be balanced. If the parents pay good money to get their kids on a course, the least a teacher should do is make sure that they learn some English. This can be done using fun and games, but not exclusively.